How to Keep Your Pet Dog’s Coat Healthy

How to Keep Your Pet Dog’s Coat Healthy

Every pet dog needs a good grooming regimen. Ensure that your pet has a healthy skin and coat. This is an essential part of the upkeep of a healthy dog. The amount of care your pet needs will vary, but regular cleaning sessions are essential.

You can have this done by professionals. Seek out reputable groomers in your locality. Check with your veterinarian, your local pet specialty store or other pet owners. Experienced groomers are usually well trained and familiar with the needs of your particular breed of dog. In addition to fur care, they’ll also clean your dog’s ears and cut his nails.

On the other hand, you can also choose to groom your dog yourself, fully or in part. This is an excellent opportunity to spend time and the perfect bonding experience with your dog. Dogs love the attention of a good brushing.

Health and Appearance

A healthy dog will have a coat that is soft and relatively smooth even on short or wired hair breeds. The coat should not give out a strong odor and should be shiny without being greasy.

A dog with that has a unhealthy coat will have lots of loose hair and quite a lot dry and brittle hair in its coat. The coat, in general, may also be greasy or have a dusty appearance along with bald spots and an unpleasant oily smell.

Bathing Dogs

  • In general, dogs are content without a bath. The “Doggy Smell” is mostly caused by a buildup of bacteria and oil on a dog’s coat. Bathing will eliminate this.
  • Avoid “over-bathing, ” as it can lead to dry skin and irritation. Don’t bathe a dog more than once a month, unless your pet is particularly prone to getting dirty.
  • It’s not advisable to use shampoo designed for people. Baby shampoo might be gentle and won’t irritate the eyes, but is so mild that it won’t remove heavy grime or grease.
  • Purchasing cleaning products formulated for your particular breed is ideal.



Hair is mostly made of protein, and one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy coat is nutrition. The better your pet’s food, the better will be his coat. Foods rich in essential fatty acids are good for your dog’s fur coat. If your dog shows signs of trouble with his coat or skin, the problem might lie with his diet.

Taking Care of the Fur coat

Needless to say, brushing at regular intervals is the most important part of grooming a pet dog.

As dogs prone to shedding, their fur coat should be brushed once a week.

Long-haired breeds — such as Irish setters, border collies, shelties, and Pomeranians — need to be brushed twice a week.

Short-haired breeds benefit from regular grooming as well.

There are as many different types of brushes as there are types of coats on a dog. Brushing requires the appropriate tools. Ideally, you will require two brushes: a wide spaced teeth for the outer layer of the coat and a finer brush for the face.

Your local pet specialty store is sure to stock these. You can also ask your veterinarian or fellow dog owners for



Oral hygiene is essential for dogs as much as it is for us humans. In fact, it might actually be more critical for our four legged friends than us. This is due to the fact that unfortunately, dogs are more prone to oral infections and inflammations in the tooth and gum regions. Periodontal diseases occupy a lot of time in your vet’s schedule, with over 70% of pets getting it at some point within the first 3 years of their lives. Regular cleaning of the teeth, especially the region where the teeth meet the gums (also known as gingival sulcus) is essential to maintain your pet’s oral health and avoid potentially dangerous periodontal diseases.


Though vets and pet grooming professionals generally take care of these procedures as well, your dog’s oral hygiene can be easily achieved and maintained at home with some effort and training. Here is how to get it done at home:


  1. Get him/her used to the process: Dogs respond well to gradual and deliberate conditioning. They need to get used to your hands working on their mouth, teeth and gums. This will take time above anything else. So go about it gradually, rewarding them for allowing your hands to touch their teeth and gums while lying down. For starters, you might want to reward them for letting you lift their lips or opening their mouth. Getting them to keep still without getting excited is the key here. Use caution and plenty of positive reinforcement, since it is very easy to get bitten during this whole process, even if purely by accident.


  1. Get the right tools and training: if you plan on doing nothing more than brushing your pooch’s teeth and gums, getting a good brush from the pet supplies section is all the preparation you will need. Just remember to be gentle when wielding the brush! But if you want, you can go all professional on this and get a proper set of dental instruments for scaling and cleaning the gum line. After all, nothing is too much for your furball, is it? But professional tools means getting some level of formal training on handling these instruments. You can do more harm than good if your attempt to scale tartar and clean plaque without knowing how to properly use these instruments.


  1. You might want to knock them out: and by that we mean putting your pet under anesthesia. The best results can be achieved with professional dental instruments if you put them under anesthesia. But unfortunately, this is not an advisable practice for home use unless you have professional training in veterinary medicine. Best bet in this instance might be to head to your vet and get a comprehensive dental examination also done at the same time. An annual oral exam with dental x-rays is essential anyways.


So, unless you have the time and resources to commit to getting some formal training, stick to training your dog to sit still while you brush his/her teeth on a daily/regular basis. Head to your vet at least once a year for a comprehensive dental health checkup and professional oral cleaning session. If you are unable to spend time on brushing their teeth everyday, give your pets a healthy supply of rawhide chews infused with dental enzymes. These are easily available in pet stores and will help your dog keep his/her teeth and gums clean.




Okay, global warming or not, the summers aren’t getting any cooler. The heat is getting too much for us, and we don’t even have a thick coat of fur on our backs. So just imagine what our dearest four-legged friends must be going through in the sweltering summer heat! We all want the best for our darlings, so why not shave their fur off and help them cool off? It may seem like a no-brainer, but things are not that simple. Vets and grooming experts discourage the practice of completely shaving your dog’s fur. Let us take a closer look at why exactly.

Permanent Hair Loss: For starters, dog fur is NOT the same as human hair. It doesn’t grow back in the same way as ours do, nor at constant rates. In some cases, it may NEVER grow back. So think twice before taking that extreme step with your pooch. She might never be the same again. And it could cause lasting damage to her skin and health. The risk is acute for breeds with a thick double coat. For breeds with shorter single coats, like the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise, shaving can be a safe and often beneficial step. Always consult your Vet before taking any action.

A Natural Cooling System: A dog’s temperature regulation system is quite different from our own. When we look at a dog with a thick hairy coat, we often equate it to us wearing a thick winter coat. But that is the wrong analogy. Dog fur actually helps insulate their bodies from outside temperature and keeps them cool, much like a well-insulated home protects us from outside heat. Remove that coat and they are left exposed.

The risk of Sunburns and Allergies: And exposure to the sun is a strict no-no for a dog’s exposed skin. It is not as sturdy as ours and is not designed to handle direct sunlight. When you shave a dog, you are exposing its skin to the sun for the first time in its life probably. At times, even a few minutes out in the sun would be enough to give it a real bad sunburn.And a dog’s skin shorn of its protective coat is also very sensitive to dirt, pollen, mites, and allergens. Without its protective coating, the skin can fall prey to allergies and other potentially dangerous health issues.

Alternative and Tips for Beating the Heat

If you have a breed with a long fur coat,  getting some of that extra fur trimmed, preferably by a grooming expert could be a safer alternative. But in most cases, dogs usually shed excess fur on their own in summer months. Brushing their coats in these high-shedding periods will help a great deal in keeping them cool. If the mercury rises too high, a belly shave by an expert might help. That part of the body is seldom exposed to the sun, and it can be easily cooled by your dog lying down in a cool spot. Also, keep in mind the following things make summers less of a problem for your dog:

  • Don’t leave them outdoors for too long in the hot sun.
  • Keep them hydrated, with plenty of water around.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a vehicle in the middle of the day.
  • Take them out for walks and runs in mornings or evenings, not when the sun is up.