13 Ways to Keep Your Dog's Coat in Top Condition
By Sviat Oleksiv | Updated on Jan 16, 2023
A dog with a healthy, lustrous coat is a sign that they are happy, healthy, and well-cared for. The dog's coat serves multiple purposes, including improving the animal's visual appeal while shielding it from harmful elements and keeping it comfortable in cold weather. As a dog owner, it is your utmost responsibility to always keep their coat in tip-top shape. This post will go through 13 methods to maintain your dog's coat in pristine condition!
1. Brush your dog's coat regularly to remove loose hair and dirt.
Your dog's coat will look and feel better if you brush it regularly because it helps eliminate stray hairs, dirt, and other debris that could otherwise cause matting and tangles and disperse the natural oils throughout the coat, making it healthy and shiny.
When hair becomes tangled, it can help stop oxygen and moisture from reaching the skin, leading to bacterial infection that manifests as red, itchy patches. In addition, the skin can become fragile because of the pressure caused by the clumps of hair.
Use a slicker brush, bristle brush, or shedding blade, depending on whether your dog has a smooth or curly coat. You should brush your dog's coat once every few days, no matter what kind of fur your dog has.
2. Feed your dog a high-quality diet rich in essential fatty acids.
Whether your dog has a long, silky coat or a short, wiry coat, both types can benefit from a well-balanced diet to keep their skin and coat in tip-top shape. Feeding your dog with essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 can help maintain its coat healthy and shiny. Omega-3 can improve your dog's disposition and reduce arthritis pain, while omega-6 is also helpful in fighting infections. Examples of these foods include fish, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
You can also add food supplements containing fish oil or vegetable oil to keep the coat healthy and strong. Bear in mind that you ought to change your dog's diet if your dog exhibits dry, red, or irritated skin and other symptoms of food allergy.
3. Make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water.
Dry, itchy skin from dehydration can lead to dandruff, flaking, and a dull coat. In order to keep your dog healthy and happy, you should always provide him with clean and fresh water on a regular basis.
To encourage your dog to drink more water, try adding some flavoring to his water, like slices of fruit or vegetable or even some chicken or beef broth. Seek emergency veterinary care if you observe any telltale signs of dehydration in your pet, including droopy eyes, dry gums, or loose skin.
4. Give your dog regular exercise to increase blood flow to the skin.
A healthy coat begins with healthy hair follicles, which can be supported by regular exercise that can help increase the skin's blood flow. In addition, hair loss, itching, and other skin problems are often a result of stress, which can also be alleviated through regular exercise. It's also important to remember that letting dirt and sweat accumulate on your dog's coat after strenuous physical activity can irritate its skin.
5. Protect your dog's coat from sun damage.
Like humans, dogs can experience discomfort from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, which might result in dry skin, irritation, and sunburn when exposed for an extended period. Dogs with thin coats or lighter coloring are more susceptible to sunburn than those with thick coats.
During the hot days, either bring your dog inside or provide shade outside using a canopy or a tent. When exercising outside, use sunscreen made for canines to prevent sun damage to your dog's fur.
These sunscreens typically contain harmless ingredients if licked or ingested, so they can shield the skin from the sun's harmful rays without harming your dog. It should be applied more to your dog's nose, ears, and belly, which have minimal fur.
In addition, the ocean water, sand, and chlorine can wreak havoc on your pet's skin and fur, so you should always bathe them afterward.
6. Protect your dog from fleas and ticks.
Fleas and ticks can lead to several issues for canines, including itching, biting, and even anemia. Flea bites can cause severe skin irritation and dryness. More seriously, your pet's fur can be damaged and even lost from the excessive scratching caused by these parasites.
There are several options for warding off fleas and ticks, such as topical creams, oral medications, anti-flea collars, and chewable pills. Keep in mind that flea and tick treatments will only keep fleas and ticks at bay, not get rid of an existing infestation entirely, so it's still important to check your dog for fleas and ticks regularly and treat your home and yard with fogging and sprays.
7. Avoid using harsh shampoos or chemicals on your dog's coat.
When washing your dog, use a gentle shampoo made for canines. Choose shampoos that have a neutral pH and don't contain harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates, or synthetic fragrances.
You should also refrain from applying any harsh chemical treatments to your dog's coat, such as hair dyes, an excessive amount of flea and tick sprays, or other similar products. The coat's natural oils can be stripped away by harsh chemicals, leaving it dry, dull, and irritable.
Avoid using hot water when you bathe your dog since it will dry out your dog's skin and coat. A conditioner applied after shampooing can aid in detangling the coat and adding moisture to it. Avoid getting shampoo in your dog's eyes, ears, or nose as you work it gently into their fur. Make sure every soap is washed off by giving it a good rinsing.
8. Groom your dog regularly at home.
Grooming your dog frequently can help spot skin or coat problems in their early stages, which is crucial for maintaining their health. It serves two purposes: it keeps your dog clean and spreads the coat's natural oils so they look healthy and shiny. Grooming entails more than just a weekly soak in the tub; it also involves brushing, trimming nails, cleaning ears, and flossing.
9. Use grooming products specifically designed for your dog's coat type.
Keeping your dog's coat healthy and looking good requires regular grooming with products made for your dog's specific coat type to maintain its best appearance, each type of coat responds best to a unique set of grooming methods and products.
Leave-in conditioners are beneficial for long-haired breeds because they help to detangle the hair while adding moisture, but a light conditioning spray may be sufficient for short-haired breeds.
A detangling spray can be helpful for dogs with curly hair by loosening and removing tangles, while a finishing spray can be sufficient for dogs with straight hair.
Check the label of any grooming products you plan to use on your dog to ensure that they are appropriate for their coat type and condition. The best results can be achieved by adhering to the label's recommended dosage and usage instructions. Consult a professional dog groomer or your dog's veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about the products you are using on your dog.
10. Add some coconut oil to its overall coat grooming.
Coconut cubes can be given as a treat during training, while coconut oil can be added to your pet's food once a day or applied externally and directly to its coat. This will make your dog's coat shine and help keep your dog's skin supple. Apply the oil topically by massaging it into your dog's skin for a few minutes or incorporate a few drops into your dog's shampoo.
11. Visit a professional groomer every few months.
A professional groomer is the best option for thoroughly cleaning and trimming your dog's coat. Bathing, brushing, clipping, and styling are all part of the complete grooming service that a professional groomer can provide for your dog. And if your dog's coat looks a little less than its best, they can give it a professional trim to remove any tangles, mats, or debris and restore its healthy sheen. Furthermore, they can give your dog a stylish cut that complements its breed and individual personality.
12. Keep an eye out for any skin conditions and issues.
To keep your dog's coat in good shape, you need to check for skin problems like dry skin, dandruff, red spots, lack of moisture, flaking, and itching. As with humans, checking your dog's coat and skin regularly can help you catch problems before they worsen.
13. Give your dog a bath.
Giving your dog a bath removes the dirt, bacteria, and parasites that have settled into the coat and could otherwise irritate the skin and lead to itching, flaking, and other problems. It also aids in dispersing the coat's natural oils, making for a healthy, glossy coat.
Your dog's breed, coat, and routine will determine how often they need to be bathed. A bath may be necessary anywhere from once every four to eight weeks for short-haired dogs and as often as once every two months for long-haired dogs.
After bathing your dog, use a towel or hair dryer to dry it completely and to avoid irritating its skin. If your dog experiences seasonal allergies or has been irritated in some other way, you can help treat its skin by adding a cup of oatmeal to its next bath.
Overall, a dog with a shiny, healthy coat is a good indicator of receiving good care. If you feed your dog a nutritious diet, give him thorough grooming on a regular basis, and use the right products, your dog's coat will always look great and feel healthy. To that end, by taking these measures, you can ensure that your dog's coat will continue to be healthy and glossy for years to come!