One of the indications of a healthy dog is having a healthy coat. In addition to being attractive, a shiny coat conveys good health. What’s the trick to a dog coat that shines? Proper maintenance and grooming are vital components. How you care for and protect your pet’s fur from parasites and what you feed it can affect how its hair looks.
Factors that affect your dog’s coat
- Diet. Your dog’s growth, development, and health are significantly influenced by what you feed him. A well-muscled, healthy, and content dog results from a nutritious, well-balanced food consumed in the right amounts. And since the skin is the largest organ in the body, its cells renew themselves quickly.
Hair covers your dog’s skin, and with breeds, shedding, or non-shedding, the hair continues to grow. Your dog needs a perfectly balanced meal that includes high-quality digestible proteins, carbs, fats, minerals, and vitamins, as well as the correct quantity of calories to meet its energy requirements to maintain the skin and hair healthy. Dogs need a diet rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for excellent health. You can find these nutrients in some dog meals or supplement them with liquid or capsule forms.
Poor-quality nutrients that dogs cannot digest well will not only not be accessible to meet the body’s demands but will also make the liver and kidneys work harder to clear the undigested waste. A deficient diet will result in a dog with a dull, dry coat that frequently sheds excessively.
- Bathing and Grooming. Bathing your dog is fine as long as you do not over-bathe it. Overbathing your dogs can lead to dry skin and irritation. Don’t bathe your dog more than once a month unless they are filthy. Dogs are OK without a bath since their “doggy smell” builds up bacteria and oil, so bathing them will remove this.
But if you will ever bathe your dogs, make sure to use the right products and not those not for pets. Human shampoo is a big no as it can irritate your dogs’ eyes and other factors that might be dangerous because of the chemical components. The detergents in baby shampoo are so light that they won’t remove thick oil or grime, but they are safe and won’t hurt the eyes. Ideally, choose cleaning supplies made specifically for your dog. You can purchase them at your local vet or pet specialty store.
Regular grooming benefits all dogs by removing loose hairs and dead skin cells, keeping the coat clean and clear of debris and external parasites, and distributing natural skin oils along the hair shafts. No matter what coat your dog has, you should check to ensure there aren’t any tangles or clumps behind the ears, in the crotch, or under the armpits. It is a good idea to check the coat for burrs or twigs that may have become lodged during a romp through the grass or the woods and could irritate. You will also have a higher chance of finding unusual lumps and bumps, parasites like fleas and ticks, or sensitive regions on your dog’s body if you routinely inspect your dog’s coat and skin.
- Parasites. Parasites are frequently completely asymptomatic and simple to overlook. It’s not in the best interest of parasites to make their hosts ill because they have evolved alongside their hosts. Parasite control is crucial to avoid its exposure to humans and infect us with the diseases they carry. The most common parasites seen in dogs are fleas, ticks, lice, mites, and worms.
Regular pet grooming, checking for ticks after being outside or around other animals, securely removing them when discovered, and keeping your pet’s environment, dishes, and bedding clean are some of the simple ways to prevent parasite infection.