Depending on the breed, some dogs have a low-maintenance coat (e.g. does not need frequent brushing/bathing) while others require frequent brushing, bathing and visits to a professional groomer.
Benefits of brushing
Brushing your dog’s hair coat has several benefits for your dog’s physical and emotional health.
- Brushing removes loose hair and trapped debris
- Brushing keeps your dog’s coat free of tangles and mats
- Brushing massages your dog’s skin, releasing the skin’s natural oil
- Brushing gives you an opportunity to get to know your dog’s body
- Brushing gives you the time to examine your pet for ticks, fleas, dandruff, presence of flakes and other skin abnormalities (lumps, bumps, bald patches, darkening of the skin, etc.)
Have your pet examined by your veterinarian in Broken Arrow if you notice any skin and hair coat problem so your vet can give the appropriate treatment.
How to brush your dog’s hair
To make sure that brushing becomes a regular event, it is important for your dog to enjoy the brushing experience. You can do this by starting early; introduce brushing while they are still puppies and in a positive manner. Have the puppy lie comfortably on your lap or on the table and lightly stroke once or twice with the brush. Only do this a few times in the beginning and slowly increase the number of brush strokes as your puppy’s tolerance level builds.
Other things to remember in brushing your dog:
- Choose the right kind of brush or comb for your dog
- Be extra careful in brushing the hair of your dog’s face, underbelly, and ears
- Brush your dog regularly—once a week for short-haired dogs and twice a week for long-haired dogs.
As to how frequent you need to bathe your dog depends on the dog’s breed and lifestyle. Certain dog breeds require less frequent bathing while others need frequent bathing. Also, if your dog is always running around, playing in the mud or outside the house in Broken Arrow then he really needs to be bathed frequently. Brushing the hair coat, if done regularly, can sometimes eliminate the need for bathing.
Too much bathing should be avoided because this will cause your pet’s skin to become dry. Use only veterinarian-approved dog shampoos and do not bathe your dog outside if the weather is cold. Also, puppies should not be bathed until they are 4 weeks old.
Nutrition for the hair coat
Good nutrition is important to having healthy skin and coat. Nutritional deficiencies can result in a dull hair coat. Feed your dog with a nutritionally balanced diet (i.e. contains right amount of protein, vitamins and minerals and fat) at adequate amounts. Essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, are important for maintaining the health of your dog’s skin and haircoat and can be given to dogs as a supplement. But before giving any supplement, make sure to ask your veterinarian in Broken Arrow for proper use and dosage.
For more information, call Village Vet Animal Animal Clinic your veterinarian in Broken Arrow at phone (918) 258-0040.
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