Caring for Your Dog’s Coat

Coat care basics include brushing, bathing, regular inspections and a healthy diet.

Woman checking dog's coat and skin

Regularly inspect your dog's coat and skin after they've been outdoors.

There are many factors that contribute to the health of your dog's skin and coat. Because specific needs tend to be breed-dependent, researching your pet's coat-care needs will pay off.

For example, some dogs have a "double coat": an outer or guard coat plus an undercoat. An uninformed pet parent may unknowingly neglect the undercoat, resulting in a painful mats condition that could require professional attention. Minimize potential coat problems by getting to know your dog's needs and following these basic guidelines:


  • After your dog has been outdoors and especially if he's been in heavy brush, inspect his coat. Fleas, ticks, and other parasites are more common in warmer weather.
  • Also, check for skin irritations or dandruff — which closely resembles human dandruff. Dog dander can be caused by parasites and skin infections that require veterinary care.


  • Brushing your dog's coat removes dead hair. Hair shed but not removed can easily form mats which can be painful and in severe instances, affect his heart.
  • De-matting is uncomfortable for dogs. Leave this job to a professional groomer that knows how to minimize the impact on your pet.
  • Brushing also helps to stimulate the skin and distribute natural oils throughout the coat.
  • Using the right brushes and combs for your dog's hair type is critical. Brushes and combs for short-haired dogs can be much different than those for medium and long coats.
Hartz® GROOMER'S BEST® Combo Brush for Dogs
Hartz® GROOMER'S BEST® Conditioning Shampoo for Dogs


  • Your dog's skin is very sensitive and requires specific skincare products. His hair oils are protective, so gently lather in dog shampoo to avoid stripping all oils from their coat.
  • A proper shampoo will help to stave off many health problems and make your dog more pleasant to be around.
  • Brushing prior to bathing removes loose hair and mats that can trap shampoo against the skin and cause irritation.
A woman feeding a dentatreat stick to an australian shepherd puppy

Diet can affect a dog's coat and skin. Be sure to feed them the essentials.


  • Building a healthy coat and skin begins from the inside out. Feeding your dog a diet complete with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids is essential.
  • Supplements and treats formulated with skin-nourishing supplements are a great way to reward your dog and care for his coat at the same time.

Your dog's appearance is not the only benefit of a proper grooming schedule. Your regular grooming care will play an active role in your dog's overall health and well-being.