Taking care of your dog’s coat should form the basis of your grooming routine. A simple daily brushing should suffice for most dogs and, if you start early enough, your dog will come to expect and even enjoy his daily grooming session.
But dog coat health goes beyond brushing and includes regular coat inspections, skin care and healthy nutrition.
Dog Coat Health: Benefits of Regular Coat CareRemoval of dead hair from the coat: Brushing removes dead hair from the coat. Without this there are two things that can happen to dead hair, it can remain on the coat and become tangled and matted, or it can end up in your clothes, carpets and furnishings.
Removal of external parasites: If you are giving your dog a daily brush down, and are doing a visual inspection of skin and coat at the same time, the chances of flea infestation or ticks are reduced to virtually zero.
Distribution of natural oils: Brushing distributes natural oils through the fur, which has the effect of producing a shiny, healthy coat.
Removal of dirt and organic matter: If your dogs are anything like mine then they come back from their walks dragging a virtual forest with them. Sticks, leaves, grass seeds and thorns become easily entangled in long coats causing knots and matting. A daily brush down addresses this problem.
Identification of coat and skin problems: Be sure to check the condition of your dog’s skin and coat as you brush. A brittle coat, skin rashes and canine “dandruff” can all be indicative of health or nutrition issues.
Dog Coat Health: Grooming Short-haired BreedsWhat you’ll need; Slicker Brush Bristle Brush Grooming Comb ScissorsBasic MethodBrush with the slicker brush to remove matts and loose dirt.Remove dead hair as well as any remaining dirt and debris with the bristle brush.
Be sure to give your dog’s coat and skin a visual inspection as you do this. You’ll be looking for ticks, fleas, sores, rashes or other skin disorders.Run the grooming comb through the fine hair on the dog’s tail and hindquarters. Trim any stray hair if required.
Dog Coat Health: Grooming Long-haired BreedsWhat you’ll need; Slicker BrushPin BrushGrooming CombScissorsBasic MethodGently brush with the slicker brush being careful to untangle any matted or tangled hairBrush the hair through again with the pin brush.
There should be no tangles or matting in the coat.Using a wide-toothed grooming comb, work through the fur again, paying special attention to the fine hair on the legs and hindquarters.Trim long hair around the feet, especially between the toes.
Trim around the hocks with a sharp scissors. This will prevent debris becoming trapped in the fur.Dog Coat Health: The Importance of Good Skin Health
It should be no surprise that skin condition affects the quality of the coat. In fact, unhealthy skin can reduce the hair “life cycle” from about 44 days to under 30 days.
That means your dog will be shedding more and the coat will be dull and brittle. Routinely check the condition of your dog’s skin as part of your dog coat care regime and refer any problems to your vet.
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Dog Coat Health: The Importance of Proper Nutrition
Diet plays an important part in maintaining overall coat health and poor coat condition is often a result of poor nutrition.
Some dogs also suffer from diet-based skin allergies which have a direct impact on the coat. If this refers to your dog, ask your vet to recommend a specially-formulated dog food. Many of the premium brands have variants which particularly address skin and coat health.
Maintaining good dog coat health is easy provided you still to an effective, regular routine like those outlined above.