For dog owners, grooming their dogs is usually a major concern. After all, you would always want your dog to have the best looks and good health right? One of the key aspects of grooming a dog is taking care of its coat. Regardless of the breed, your dog would need regular and proper care in order to keep the hair healthy, smooth, and shiny. Dog owners who are unaware of the right grooming techniques often fail to take proper care of their dogs’ coats. Organizations such as Alliance of Therapy Dogs highly recommend knowing the grooming needs of your dog, based on its breed and other factors.
How can I keep my dog’s coat healthy?
Just like in the case of humans, the health of the coat has a direct impact on its looks. Hence, the key to keeping your dog’s coat shiny and smooth is to keep it healthy. Here are a few tips on how you can go about it:
- Brush your dog’s coat regularly
The importance of brushing a dog’s coat goes beyond just keeping the hair arranged nicely. Dogs have certain natural oils in their coat that contribute to their luster. Brushing the coat spreads around these oils over the coat. This, in turn, stimulates greater secretion of the natural oils and helps to keep the coat shiny. Grooming the coat regularly also prevents the fur from matting up, which could lead to shedding.
- Provide your dog with the right nutrition
The condition of your dog’s coat would depend largely on what it eats. Make sure that your dog always gets a nutritious diet that includes vegetable oil and small amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid if possible. Besides helping to make the fur healthier, Omega fatty acids also assist in fighting various infections. You might also want to bear in mind that not every type of human food is suitable for dogs.
- Use bathing products meant for dogs
Make sure not to use human hair products on your dog. These products contain a wide range of harsh chemicals that can cause your dog to shed hair by irritating the skin. When while purchasing dog shampoos, go through the labels carefully to see whether the product is suitable for your dog. There are different dog bathing products available for different breeds and using the wrong may have detrimental effects.
- Use coconut oil
Just like in the case of humans, coconut oil is great for dog fur too. You might want to add a few drops of coconut oil to the dog shampoo or just massage it with the oil for a few minutes. Another alternative way to use coconut oil to improve your dog’s coat is to include the oil in its diet or feed it coconuts. Coconut oil helps to moisturize the skin and increase the glow of the coat.
- Use herbal supplements
Horsetail, spirulina, and other herbal supplements can make your dog’s skin healthier and its hair softer. You might want to add these supplements to the dog’s diet in controlled amounts. However, do consult a vet first to know about the right dosage. An excess amount of supplements may not have the best effects on your pet.
How often should you bathe a dog?
One of the key things that you must do to keep your dog’s hair clean and healthy is bathing it regularly. However, it is crucial to bathe your dog at the right frequency. How often you should bathe your dog depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- Type of fur
- The health of the coat
Bathing your dog is crucial for maintaining good fur conditions, as it cleans out dirt and debris. A buildup of dirt can cause skin problems like dryness, clogged pores, itchiness, etc. In fact, keeping your dog unclean can lead to issues that would need the attention of a vet.
At the same time, bathing your dog too often could lead to problems as well. It would cause the skin to dry up, wash away the natural oils that keep the fur shiny and smooth, and result in other irritations.
In most cases, bathing once in a week or two is enough for a dog. However, you might want to consult an expert to know what’s best for your pet in particular.
How to bathe your dog?
Now that you know that you should bathe your dog at the right frequency, it is also necessary to follow the right bathing techniques. While bathing properly can help your dog maintain healthy skin and coat, improper techniques might do quite the opposite. Here are a few dog bathing tips:
- Do not let water into your dog’s ears. If possible, use cotton balls to plug the ears and stop water from entering. If your pet wouldn’t allow you to put in cotton balls, just try to avoid spraying water into the ears. Water entering the ears can cause discomfort and health issues.
- Make sure to dry your dog properly after a bath. If you are using a dog blow dryer, be careful to not burn the skin. If you plan to simply use a towel, get a dog towel from a pet store. These towels are more absorbent than regular towels and can, therefore, help to dry the coat effectively.
- You might want to start bathing and grooming your dog since puppyhood itself. This way, the dog would become accustomed to bathing and would not give you much of a hassle upon growing up. This way, you can help your pet grow a positive attitude towards bathing.
- Be careful while washing and scrubbing your dog’s coat. Excessive scratching can result in scraping the skin. This can potentially lead to a wound infection, which would not only be a hassle but also prove to be painful for your canine friend.
Hence, by taking proper care of your dog’s hair, you may preserve the beauty of its coat. If you need guidance, you may always consult an expert for advice. Organizations like Alliance of Therapy Dogs always emphasize keeping dogs well-groomed.