Most dog owners will notice that the condition of their pets’ coats is often symptomatic of the animal’s overall well-being and health. Therefore, a poorly conditioned coat may be cause for a veterinary consultation. However, the good news is that there are many ways to boost your dog’s health and the condition of his, or her, coat.
Here are seven tips that a concerned dog owner should follow if his, or her, pet’s coat has become dull and/or patchy.
1. Assess your dog’s diet.
The key to a well-conditioned coat is a good diet, subsequently, it is wise to make sure that your dog is getting the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in his, or her, diet. Typically, you will find that better quality foods come at a higher price. However, it is worth considering that your dog’s health is at stake, which could cost infinitely more in veterinary bills.
2. Does your dog need more fatty acids?
It is widely acknowledged that a poorly conditioned coat can be the result of a lack of fatty acids in a dog’s diet. Fortunately, there are easy ways to introduce more fatty acids into his, or her, diet. One such way is to soak a slice of bread in some olive or sunflower oil and feed it to your dog with its meal. Some owners, on the other hand, prefer to mix a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil into the dog’s food.
3. Regular veterinary check-ups are important.
Very few dogs relish the thought of visiting the vet. However, it is important for their overall health and the condition of their coat. Parasites, such as fleas and ticks, can have a profound effect on a dog’s coat. Additionally, conditions such as dermatitis or skin allergies can be diagnosed and treated quickly to avoid unnecessary suffering for your animal.
4. All dogs need regular grooming and brushing.
Some dog owners are under the impression that it is only longhaired dogs that need to be regularly brushed. However, shorthaired dogs shed just as much as longhaired dogs. So if you want to avoid the wealth of shed hairs on your furniture and carpet it is advisable to brush your dog daily. In turn, this will improve the general quality of his, or her, coat.
5. Don’t mention the B-A-T-H.
Yes, most dogs hate it, but it is crucial to bathe your pet regularly. Typically, it is wise to aim for at least two or three baths per month. However, if your dog has skin problems, it may be necessary to bathe him, or her, more frequently.
6. Stress or anxiety can be the cause of a poorly conditioned coat.
As well as being an indicator of your dog’s general health, the coat quality can also be symptomatic of mental distress, such as grief or anxiety. If your pet has recently undergone an upheaval, such as a move, a loss or a new addition to the family, he, or she, may just need some extra love and reassurance during the transition period.
7. If symptoms persist…
If your dog’s dull coat continues or you are worried about the cause of your dog’s poorly conditioned fur, it is wise to seek the assistance of a veterinarian. Depending on the problem, a veterinarian may be able to prescribe medication or put you in touch with an animal trainer or behaviorist who can help to cure your dog.
It is wise for any dog owner to keep an eye on the condition of his, or her, coat and note any changes, as these can suggest a serious health problem, which should be looked at immediately.