We all love our pets, and we work hard to keep them healthy and happy. Beyond that, we want them to look as good as they feel and a big part of this is taking care of their coat. From manicured show poodles to working dogs, there are a number of things you can do at home to keep your pet's fur looking shiny and healthy. Our friends at Bayer chatted with 10 of Australia's top groomers, veterinarians and pet publications for their grooming advice to keep your furry friend looking and feeling great.
Tips for a glossy coat
- When bathing your dog, always use shampoo that is specifically for dogs to avoid drying out their skin and hair. Shampoos that have an oatmeal base are particularly good for dogs with itchy or inflamed skin. If your dog spends too much time scratching behind the ears (or anywhere else), check the labels of your dog shampoo to see if it contains oatmeal. It could be an easy solution.
- Incorporating fish or a fish oil, like cod liver oil, into your dog or cat's diet helps to maintain a healthy balance of omega-3 fatty acids. This boosts not only your pet's skin and coat, but it also contributes to joint health for a long, playful life.
- Brush your dog often with a simple dog comb to remove tangles. This will not only keep your dog's coat looking smooth and shiny, but it will also help to reduce your dog's discomfort that can arise from having matted fur.
- Beware of over washing your pet. Not only can it dry out your little pet’s skin leading to a lacklustre coat, it also affects the skin’s function as a natural allergy barrier.
- When you do wash your dog, the vet care professionals recommend including a full-body massage along with the bath to stimulate oil production and keep skin and fur soft. Brushing also helps release natural oils from the hair follicles.
- Ask your vet for a recommendation for a specific shampoo for your unique dog breed. Each type of dog has a different fur texture and may need a different type of shampoo to yield the best results.
- Be sure to wash your dog's face, particularly around the eyes and ears. Check these areas thoroughly while cleaning, to ensure there are no injuries or infections in these sensitive areas.
- When deciding what to feed your pet, pay close attention to changes in the condition of the skin and coat. Many pets have food sensitivities, so it is important to keep trying to find out what works best for your unique animal.
- Regardless of whether your pet spends time indoors or out, all pet owners should engage in active flea control, as these critters can have a devastating effect on your pet's skin. Flea control reduces the risk of itching and irritation to your pet's skin and promotes healthy skin and hair growth.
- Having a healthy coat begins with healthy nutrition. Fish oil supplements are great for dogs that have skin irritation, as they encourage healthy skin oil production to keep fur smooth and sleek.
- Wash your dog only as often as needed to avoid excessive drying to the skin. Similarly, do not use medicated shampoos unless your dog is currently suffering from skin irritation. The medication can be overly harsh on the fur for regular use.
- Choose a pet shampoo that is pH-formulated for your type of pet. Never use human shampoo on your pet, as it can strip the skin of the essential oils it needs for healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
- Over washing and using the wrong type of shampoo may also reduce or shorten the effectiveness of the flea treatment you have been applying. Do your research to make sure you find the right shampoo for your pet.
- When getting your pet used to clippers, hair dryers and other grooming tools, it is important to introduce them slowly and in a positive environment. Have plenty of treats ready to create a positive association with the grooming process or search for an app that simulates the sounds associated with grooming.
- In the early stages of your puppy or kitten's life, get them used to being handled by people. This will help ease the stress of grooming and veterinary visits throughout your pet's life.
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