Last updated on: July 5th, 2018
Caring for the health of your dog is an essential routine and things have to be done keeping in mind the minute detail for full benefits. It is not very difficult to take care of your dog’s hygiene.
Usually, you could take a look over your pets and can easily tell if the dog is suffering from some ailment. Other times you have to inspect deeply for hidden things. One of the easiest ways to ensure the good health of your pet is by taking a look at the dog’s coat. A shiny and soft coat indicates that the dog is healthy and is generally in good condition.
Advantages of Good Coat
Dog coats are good protection against cold and keep the dog warm during winter. Even short-haired coats provide adequate protection against the cruelties of the elements and help to keep the dog active and vibrant. That’s why it is necessary to take good care of your dog’s coat.
Effect on Dog Health
The skin is the most visible part of the body and its cells are rapidly regenerating. Virtually, every dog would have some kind of hair or furs covering the entire body. These hairs usually shed at regular intervals automatically, which makes sure that the dog’s body is developing correctly. A good nutritious and proper diet would ensure a healthy development of the dog. It should contain all the necessary proteins, mineral, vitamins, fats, and carbohydrates.
If your dog is not getting adequate amount of nutrients from food or he is suffering from any illness or stress, then probably the first signs of such conditions would be visible on the pet’s coat. Specifically, its luster and texture would slowly fade. When under stress, many dogs might shed their hairs excessively.
It might not always be just limited to diseases or stress. In case the pet is suffering from hormone imbalances or digestive problems, his coat would be affected. In addition to that, there might fleas and dandruff inside the hair if left unchecked for a long time, which would cause itching.
If the ailing dog is given proper care and medication then skin health and quality of the coat would get better.
Hot sports are also known as acute moist dermatitis which are formed when a substance that irritates the skin causes the dog to scratch or lick that place. They can grow at alarming rate since dogs tend to repeatedly scratch the surface for getting relief. Hot spots can be caused by several reasons. Allergic reaction, flea bites, lack of grooming, mites, insect, or skin infection may be one of the causes.
If the dogs often play out in the rain and mud, then chances of them having matted and dirty coats might increase. Some diseases like anal sac disease can cause dogs to lick the skin at the hind end which might cause hot spots in those regions. Compared to short-haired breed, dogs that have long hairs and thick fur are more effected because of these problems since it might not be easily visible at the first glance, and only a thorough inspection would reveal the underlying causes.
Shedding of Dog’s Coat
It is natural for dogs to lose old and damaged hair through shedding and have them replaced by new hairs. The amount and frequency of losing hairs differ from dog to dog. It usually depends on their health and breed. For some dogs, developing a thick coat might be a way of protecting themselves against winter and when the season changes, they begin to lose that thickness. For pet dogs who are mostly indoors, shedding may not be very frequent and they would keep fairly same thickness all around the year.
More often than not, hairs shed by dogs might get stuck in the fur coat. To avoid those cases, it is best advised to brush your dog regularly. It is also necessary to understand what type of brush would be best for your dog’s hairs. A professional groomer will also do an excellent job in cleaning your dog’s coat.
There also cases of excessive shedding when dogs loose more than normal amount of hairs. It can be the result of medical problems, poor nutrition or stress. It would be best to consult your veterinarian if you are not sure whether the shedding is part of the natural process or is due to some diseases. Excessive shedding might be caused by on of the following reasons:
- Fleas bites or other parasites
- Fungal diseases
- Food or medication related allergies
- Kidney and liver diseases
- Excessive licking by dog
- Extreme sunburn
- Touching things that might cause irritations
Vacuuming is also a suitable option for removing excess hairs. However, before starting that you have to make sure that your dog is not easily startled by the sound of vacuum cleaner or they way it would sanction the hairs out. It is better to prepare your dogs by giving them training since vacuuming could make things much easier and especially prevent your dog from spreading hairs all over the place.
An unhealthy dog coat can be the first sign of a diseased dog. A coat should be smooth and shiny, and if the hairs on the coat have become brittle or are breaking constantly then perhaps you would need to take a closer look at that. A clean coat would also smell good.
If the pet dog is being washed regularly, the coat is dry and well cleaned, then there would not be any bed smell at all. Dogs produce natural oil on the skin which takes care of that on its own.
In case there are any problems (medical or otherwise) that could cause disruption in the spread of these essential oils, the dog would start smelling weird and will often be prone to more diseases. Dry skin, hot spots or skin infection may cause such problems.
It has to be noted that since every dog is different, their level of sensitivity would also differ. Some dogs might be more suited to a sensitive shampoo for their skin. An appropriate shampoo will keep away health problems and ensure that your dog is suited for keeping around other people.
However, it is advisable to avoid washing your dogs too frequently since it might cause rashes or dry skin. Similarly, over grooming might do more harm than good. It might result in the loss of natural oils from skin.
It is a good idea to incorporate omega fatty acids in your dog’s diet. A nutritious diet is the first step in ensuring that your dog’s coat remains in the best of conditions. But if there are problems that you cannot deal with, you must take your dog to your veterinarian and have him inspected closely.