Every dog owner wants their canine companion to look their best. However, many inexperienced owners are surprised to learn that the general appearance of their dog’s coat can also be the first indicator of any underlying health problems.
Coat quality and your dog’s health
Dogs can’t speak to us in a language that we can easily understand. Instead, they rely on their owners being observant and noticing any changes which could suggest that they aren’t as healthy or happy as they could be. Sometimes these changes are behavioural while others, like changes to their coat, are physical.
Signs of poor coat quality include:
- Dull, lacklustre look to your dog’s coat
- Dryness and brittleness when you feel their coat
- The appearance of flaking/dandruff
- Your dog is frequently itching, scratching, licking or biting themselves
- There is a foul smell coming from their skin and coat
There are quite a wide range of potential reasons why your dog’s coat seems in poor condition. They include, but aren’t limited to:
Poor diet. Your dog is what they eat and a poor diet that lacks certain nutrients could contribute to issues with their coat.
Lack of grooming. Failing to groom your canine pal often enough will nearly always result in a dry, matted and dull-looking coat.
Illness. Some of the doggy diseases which are known to affect coat quality include thyroid disorders, diabetes, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances and cancer.
Dogs with allergies
You are probably familiar with dogs causing allergies in some people, but you might be surprised to learn that dogs can actually suffer with allergies themselves. There are many potential allergy triggers for dogs, most of which are the same as those experienced by humans – pollen, insects/parasites, dust and mould. If your furbaby seems to experience coat-related problems at certain times of year, it’s likely that a seasonal allergy is behind it. Nevertheless, if you are struggling to pinpoint why your dog’s coat isn’t in great condition, it could be that allergies are to blame. Speak to your vet for more advice on how you can help your furry friend.
Tips to improve the quality of your dog’s coat
The good news is that, if there isn’t an underlying health problem affecting the condition and appearance of your dog’s coat, there are some things you can do to help keep your canine’s coat feeling soft and smooth and looking glossy.
Make some changes to your dog’s diet
First, it’s important to know that any changes to your dog’s diet should be carried out gradually to prevent them from suffering from an upset stomach. However, adding plenty of Omega-3 fatty oils to your dog’s diet will help support various aspects of their health, from their joint to their skin and coat. Incorporate some oily fish such as tuna and salmon with your dog’s usual feed to boost their Omega-3 intake. If you can’t get them to eat the foods whole, consider hiding a supplement in their food.
Brush your dog regularly
Brushing is the single most important part of any grooming routine and something that you should be doing at home as often as your dog needs it. Short-haired dogs can usually be brushed just once each week, with longer-haired waggy-tailed friends needing daily brushing to remove dead skin, loose fur and debris. Brushing also stimulates your dog’s skin and hair follicles to produce more oil, which will help keep their coat shiny and glossy. The Groom Professional and Curved Slicker Brushes are a perfect choice for keeping your dogs coat well brushed.
Use the right shampoos
If you bath your dog at home, the type of shampoo you use to clean them is very important. Dog and human skin have very different pH levels, and while human varieties are designed to work on ours, they can be far too harsh for your four-legged friend’s, stripping away the skin barrier and leaving them at high risk of irritation and skin problems. Always use bathing product that are approved for canine skin to maximise the health and condition of their skin and coat. If you're new to exploring our wide range of shampoos a popular choice is our , which leaves your furbaby smelling like fresh baby powder!
After washing with shampoo for extra shine you could also use thefor extra effect!
Visit your vet for advice
If you’ve tried the suggestions we’ve listed above, it’s probably time to refer to a veterinarian. As a specialist animal doctor, your vet will be able to assess the condition of your dog’s coat and run tests to check for any underlying problems or illness that could be contributing towards their lacklustre coat.
We also have a pet health section, where you can explore our wide range of products designed to keep your dog looking and feeling the best.