The Secret to a Beautiful, Healthy Fur Coat!
The way our dogs’ fur looks and feels is more important than just projecting outer beauty. The health of their coat is a big indicator of our dogs’ overall health. Dog’s coats should be shiny, soft and smooth (even if you have a wire-haired pup). Our dogs’ coats will become dull, matted, dry and even infested when we are not taking proper steps to keep them healthy.
So, what is the secret to our dogs having a healthy, beautiful fur coat? It’s really as easy as regular bathing and brushing, flea and tick control, and proper nutrition!
Common Coat Conditions:
Dull and Matted Coat
Fur that is dull and matted probably means that we haven’t been bathing or brushing our dogs regularly. Dogs should be bathed at least once a month, and if our dogs have long or very thick fur, we should be brushing them daily or weekly, or having them groomed regularly. Check out which Hollywood Feed locations provide grooming services and have self-serve dog washes available.
I personally have to brush my Skeeter at least once a week to make sure he does not become matted, which for him can lead to hot spots. He really enjoys our brushing sessions, and we get to bond a little more each week. It’s also a great time for me to check his body for lumps and bumps since he is my old man at almost 12 years old. Check out more reasons we should be brushing our pets here.
A bonus to regular brushing is that we have less hair in our homes to sweep or vacuum every day! This can be especially important now as we start into shedding season and our dogs are trying to lose their winter coats. Read more about Spring shedding here.
Does your dog have a flea or tick problem? Unwashed, matted fur is a great hiding place for these little critters. These insects are bad for our dogs’ health. This is another reason we should keep our dogs bathed and brushed, as well as use proper flea and tick control.
I prefer a Seresto Collar for my three mutts. A single collar lasts for 8 months! There are other flea and tick control options you can explore if you don’t prefer to use a collar, such as topicals, pills and shampoos. Read more here to find out which option is right for your pet!
Nobody wants a stinky dog! If we are bathing our dogs monthly, they should not smell much in between their baths unless they have rolled in something gross. In the past, my Annie and Skeeter have both rolled in mounds of dog poop while at the dog park. They were covered from head to toe. That was a very unpleasant experience. It took a few baths to get them clean and it was pretty disgusting even with my strong stomach.
If your dog smells, it could be a sign of an infection, an infestation or a sign of poor nutrition. Give your dog a good bath, checking for fleas and ticks. If the smell does not go away after bathing, it may be time to take a trip to the vet to see if there is a fungal or bacterial infection of which you should be aware.
Check out Zymox’s Shampoo and Conditioning Rinse with Vitamin D3.
Dry, Flaky and Itchy Coat
Does your dog have dandruff? Does his coat feel dry or brittle? Even wire haired dogs should have a relatively smooth and soft coat.
If we want our dogs to stop scratching, we should consider bathing them more often, with a moisturizing shampoo like the Zymox I already mentioned. Read more about reasons your dog may be scratching.
A dry coat and itching may also be a sign of a nutritional deficiency in our dogs’ diets, such as lack of protein and essential amino acids. Did you know that a dog’s fur is made up mostly of protein? We need to make sure our dogs are getting the right kind of protein and enough of it at mealtimes.
Let’s make sure we are feeding our dogs a proper diet! Your local Hollywood Feed sales associate can help you pick out the perfect food for your pet. Read more about proper pet nutrition and what we should all consider when choosing a food for our dogs.
Supplements like Prudence Complete Skin and Coat, which contains Krill Oil and Omega 3, 6 and 9 Fatty Acids can also help with filling in gaps in nutrition. Prudence is so easy to use and highly beneficial. However, picking the right food for our pets is the most important step we can take to maintaining overall health.
Remember: A Healthy Dog Has a Healthy Coat
- Feed the right food
- Use flea and tick protection
- Brush and bathe
It seems pretty simple, and it really is simple once we know what we should be doing to maintain a beautiful, shiny, soft and clean fur coat on our dogs. These are simple steps that we can all take to create a healthier pup from the inside out, to make sure that we provide the best quality of life possible, and to encourage our dogs to live as long as they can as our sweet, clean, good-smelling companions!
- Jessie Isbell