Keeping your pet’s coat smooth and soft is an important part of making sure your pet is happy and healthy. By using a consistent health and diet regimen for your dog or cat, keeping their coat healthy becomes an easy, effortless part of their routines. Some pet owners prefer taking their pet to a private pet groomer, which can be recommended by your veterinarian or the local specialty pet store.
Part of the grooming process can be done yourself, which is a great bonding experience for owners and pets. Groomers will also make sure that your pet’s ears are cleaned and nails are clipped. However, it’s important to know that aside from the every-so-often grooming session, there are many things pet owners can do to give their furry friends the best care.
While the right amount of care varies between different breeds of dogs and cats, it is important to make sure your dog is regularly groomed – brushed, bathed, and well fed. Proper attention and care will make for a happy pet!
What makes a healthy coat?
Many factors determine whether your dog’s coat is healthy, but paying attention to the condition of your pet’s coat can tell you where you’ll need to start first. A healthy coat is shiny and smooth, rather than dull and patchy. It shouldn’t have an unpleasant oily smell (sometimes referred to as “doggy smell”). This unpleasant odor is caused by buildup of bacteria and oil. Other signs of unhealthy coats include dry, brittle, or loose hairs. These problems can easily be fixed with a few of our tips below.
Properly Brushing Your Pet
Regular brushing is essential for any pet, whether they are a long-haired or short-haired breed. If you plan to brush your pet yourself, it is recommended to purchase two brushes: one with widely-spaced teeth for combing the outer layer of the coat, and another finer-spaced brush to brush around the face.
Long-haired breeds need daily attention in areas that tangle frequently. Brushing out the hairs at the base of the ears, under the armpits, and near the back side of the legs will prevent tangling. Short-haired pets are typically prone to shedding, so it is recommended to brush them about once a week – but no more! The purpose of this is to simply remove the hair that has fallen out, preventing buildup that may result in bad smells with infrequent bathing.
Bathing Your Pet
You’ll want to bathe your pet regularly, but not too much. A good rule of thumb would be no more than once a month – over bathing your pet may strip his coat of essential oils that keep his fur moisturized and sleek.
Use a moisturizing dog shampoo that won’t irritate the skin, and nourish with a natural conditioner that contains Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a natural softener found in oatmeal and coconut oil. For these reasons, some owners like to put coconut milk on their pet’s fur prior to bathing, or use an oatmeal bath with ground oatmeal water. This will give your pet a soft and shiny coat surface without any unnatural added ingredients, which will soothe the skin and tame any itching as well.
Choosing the Right Foods for Your Pet
Good food is the most important indicator of a good coat! If your pet is well-fed, it will show. Foods and supplements that are rich in essential fatty acids and proteins are great for any dogs and cats. Fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon are great options for pets because not only are they tasty, but they also have omega-3 fatty acids that are super foods for both humans and our four-legged furry friends. Some owners put a teaspoon or tablespoon of vegetable oil to mix in their pets’ foods to keep the coat healthy as well. Sunflower, coconut, olive, or flaxseed oils are also all viable options.