Your dog's coat is an important aspect of its overall physical health. So, how can you keep it healthy and shiny? Our Burlington and Bellingham vets offer some practical tips for dog coat care and maintenance in this post.
Caring for Your Dog's Coat
Part of keeping your dog happy and healthy is ensuring their coat and grooming needs get enough attention and maintenance. From bathing them regularly to providing quality food, vaccination to protect them from parasites, providing them with a lot of exercise in their routine, and consulting your vet, a lot can be done to keep their fur looking and feeling great.
Since a dog's coat can point to his overall health, it should always be shiny and clean. In this post, we'll explore 6 ways to keep your dog's coat healthy.
1. Give Your Dog Regular Baths
Any seasoned owner who's got a dog with a longer coat will tell you that pet grooming is one of those perennial tasks that can be a challenge to keep up with.
While dogs don't need baths 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 adventurous, active, boisterous side, its coat is likely getting dirtier than it would if they are a couch potato.
Since they never take their coats off, most dogs end up with a lot of dirt and debris in their fur. One or two baths per month should be enough to keep their coat healthy, shiny, and properly groomed. If you'd rather not take on the job of bathing your dog yourself, we offer professional dog grooming services that include bathing, full haircuts, nail grooming, and other aspects of physical maintenance to keep your dog looking and feeling adorable.
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 dog'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 dog 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 dog'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 of ingredients. You might even decide to add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to your dog's food to help its coat get some extra glow. Even treats can be healthy - think raw carrots, which are healthy and good for your dog'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 the skin of dogs who suffer from allergies 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.
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.