Your dog's coat is an important aspect of their overall physical health. So, how can you keep it healthy and shiny? Our PetVet Care Centers member vets offer some practical tips for dog coat care and maintenance in this post.
Caring for Your Dog's Coat
A dog's coat and grooming needs play a large role in their health and well-being, which is why pet parents need to pay close attention to maintenance. From regular bathing sessions to ensuring they get high-quality food and protecting them from parasites, there is much to do to keep their fur looking and feeling great. Adding a few extras to their routine and consulting your veterinarian can also help.
Because a dog's coat can be an indicator of overall health, it should always be clean and shiny. In this post, we'll explore 6 ways to keep your dog's coat healthy.
1. Give Your Dog Regular Baths
If you've got a dog with a longer coat, pet grooming becomes a perennial task that can be challenging to keep up with.
While your pooch won't need to be bathed every day (in fact, bathing your dog too often can damage their coat since it removes natural skin oils), their coats do need regular cleaning and maintenance. Especially if your dog is on the active, adventurous or boisterous side, their coat will probably become dirtier than it would if they spent most of their time curled up indoors.
Since dogs never take their coats off, most end up with a large amount of dirt and debris in their fur. One or two baths per month should be enough to keep their coat shiny, healthy and properly groomed. If you'd rather not take on the job of bathing your canine companion yourself, we offer professional dog grooming services that include bathing, nail grooming, full haircuts and other aspects of physical maintenance to keep your pooch looking and feeling great.
Pet grooming services and routine exams often go hand in hand, as issues with the coat or skin may be spotted during a regular grooming appointment that prompt a visit to the vet, or a vet may recommend our grooming services to ease the burden of the regular upkeep of your pet's coat.
2. Brush Your Dog
No matter the type or length of your dog's fur, we recommend brushing your pooch's coat every few days to keep it healthy and free of mats. The key is to find a brush that's appropriate for your dog's breed. Pick up a de-shedding brush at your favorite pet supply store if your pup sheds a lot. These brushing sessions can even provide bonding moments for you and your four-legged friend. What could be better than treating them to a relaxing brushing session - while making sure they look their best?
3. Protect Against Parasites
Parasites like ticks and fleas can irritate a dog's skin, triggering them to bite and scratch. As you might imagine, this can easily damage a pup's coat and cause health issues - a few reasons to ensure your dog is protected against parasites. One way to do that is to make sure they are up to date on vaccinations and parasite prevention.
4. Provide Your Pooch with Quality Food
A nutritious diet is a great foundation for a strong, healthy body - inside and outside, including your dog's coat. When buying your dog's food, take the extra time to look at the list ofi ingredients. You might even decide to add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to your pooch's food to help their coat get some extra glow.Even treats can be healthy - think raw carrots, which are healthy and good for your pup's teeth.
5. Try Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 are good for your dog's fur. While Omega-3 can help ease arthritis pain and help improve your dog's mood, Omega-6 can help fight infections. These are both most effective when given fresh. We also caution against going overboard with Omega acid supplements, as they could cause stomach upset. If you are considering adding any supplements or other aspects to your dog's diet, we recommend consulting your vet first.
6. Add Oatmeal to Your Dog's Bath
With its anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal is often used as an at-home remedy to soothe skin for dogs who suffer from allergies to ease itchiness, prevent the urge to scratch and help them relax. While more serious skin and coat issues will require a veterinarian's attention, oatmeal baths can help your dog's coat maintain its glow.
7. Ask Your Vet for Help
Lastly, if your dog seems to have a scratching habit or a bad itch, it could indicate skin allergies are an issue. Because every dog is different and will require a unique combination of potential treatments, food and medication, it's best to ask your vet about these problems. We are here to address any questions and concerns you may have during your pet's annual checkup or between visits.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.