Part of the allure of any dog, no matter the breed, is their beautiful coat. Whether it’s curly, dreaded, silky smooth, or anything in between your dog’s coat is a huge part of their livelihood. Their fur keeps them warm in cold months, cool in the summer (highly important here in Houston), and can even repel dirt and water. Aside from that, it also helps transfer information to other dogs through chemicals. Wild, right? The biggest takeaway here is that your dog’s fur is a great indicator of their overall wellbeing, so you need to take care of it as such. Today, we will be going over several tips to help you achieve that, so your dog is happy, healthy, and beautiful.
Things to note about your dog’s coat: most breeds will have 3 different types of body hair. They have their topcoat, their undercoat, and their little whiskers. Each of these coats performs a slightly different function and may have slightly different needs. Be sure to ask your vet and do your research to make sure you are following the proper guidelines for your dog’s breed.
Your dog’s nutrition is one of the most important things that can affect everything about your dog, including their coat. If your dog is missing some essential nutrients from their diet, it will reflect in their skin and coat. The key thing you will want to look at with your food will be a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. If needed, you can also use supplements to help achieve that balance.
First, try to find ways to make bath time a not-so-terrifying process, like treats. Baths are not needed every day or even every week. Check with your vet to see how often your dog needs to be bathed, as bathing too often can actually cause skin irritation. Aim for twice a month unless they get themselves into a messy situation. You will need to make sure to use a dog-safe shampoo and conditioner, and wash everything from the neck down (you can do the face with a washcloth). Be sure to use a shampoo and conditioner that is suitable for your dog’s hair and skin needs. Rinse super well, and then be sure to dry your pet as much as possible. This tip really will be subject to each dog, as all dogs have different needs and personalities.
Regardless of what type of coat your dog has, you need to be brushing them thoroughly at least every few days. Brushing your dog helps to distribute their natural oils and removes dead skin cells to keep their skin healthy, as well as prevents matting, which can become painful for your pup (hint: if your dog has tangles, brush those out as much as possible before bathing them). If your dog is a heavy shedder, as any dog with a double coat tends to be, you can invest in a de-shedding brush for extra help. This will help get the undercoat under control a bit better.
Part of keeping your dog’s coat healthy means keeping them free of all the little buggies that like to hitchhike in the Houston heat. Fleas, ticks, and other pests are even bigger fans of your dog than you are, so you want to be sure that you are taking care of your pet by using some form of flea and tick prevention. Talk to your vet for specifics.
Heck, we had to include this one with as much as we’ve already mentioned them. If all of these tips get you nowhere with improving and managing your dog’s coat, visit your vet to see if there are some other underlying issues, such as allergies or illnesses, that are impacting your dog’s health.
While we know you want to do your best to care for your pet, sometimes we all need help. Well, Prestonwood Kennels here in Houston is here for you, always with boarding, dog grooming, and training for your furry friends. Come back to see us for more information!