Typically, owners will find that a poorly conditioned coat is symptomatic of other health issues. Often a dog’s coat is an indicator of his, or her, general health. Subsequently, it is advisable for all owners to note any differences in a dog’s coat and investigate the possible causes.
Below you will find nine tips on how to improve the condition of your dog’s coat.
1. Ensure that your dog is getting a balanced diet, which includes all of the necessary nutrients. To achieve the right balance of nutrients, dogs need to have the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, a good quality dog food usually means a more expensive brand. However, it is worth remembering that it may prove to be less expensive than coping with health problems caused by dietary deficiency.
2. If your dog has a dull coat, it may be improved with an increase in fatty acids. Therefore, some owners choose to add, sunflower or olive oil to their dog’s food. This can be provided with a couple of spoonfuls mixed in with the dog’s usual food. Alternately, some owners dip a slice of bread in oil and offer it with the dog’s meal.
3. Ensure that your dog has regular trips to the vet. Of course, no dog enjoys visiting the veterinarian, but, as far as a dog’s coat is concerned, it is crucial to make sure that your pet is not home to parasites, such as fleas and ticks.
4. Additionally, regularly veterinary checks will help to diagnose potential health problems early, which means that they are generally easier to treat.
5. One of the most important factors in improving coat condition is to regularly brush your dog. Some owners erroneously believe that short haired dogs do not shed as much as long haired dogs. In fact, the difference is that short haired dogs are constantly shedding and if they are not brushed daily, these hairs will be deposited on your furniture.
6. It is equally important that dogs are bathed regularly. This can be an unpleasant chore, especially if your dog is specifically resistant to the idea of a bath. However, regular baths (two or three times a month) will ensure that your dog’s coat is always in immaculate condition.
7. If your dog’s poorly conditioned coat is due to a skin condition, such as an allergy or dermatitis, you may find it necessary to bathe your dog more frequently. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on how to care for your dog’s specific needs.
8. As mentioned above, poor health can be the cause of a dull, dry or patchy coat. However, it is not necessarily indicative of a physical health problem. In other words, a lack of coat condition may be the result of stress, anxiety or grief. If your dog has experienced a recent sudden change in circumstances, such as moving home, the death of a companion (human or animal) or an addition in the family, it is wise to offer him, or her, as much reassurance and affection as possible. With luck, the anxiety will pass in a short period.
9. If, however, the problem does not subside, it is a good idea to pay a visit to your veterinarian who may be able to prescribe treatment or refer you to a professional animal trainer.
Remember, your dog’s coat is a good indicator of his, or her, general health. Therefore, it is wise to notice any changes that could have been symptomatic of a serious issue. If in any doubt about the cause of your dog’s poorly conditioned coat, visit a veterinarian.