Caring for Your Dog’s Coat
Coat care basics include brushing, bathing, regular inspections and a healthy diet.
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.
- 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.
- 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.