A healthy skin and coat is a good overall indicator of the dog’s health. A dog that has a dull coat and skin problems may have other underlying medical problems. Therefore, it is important that pet parents pay close attention to their dog’s coat and skin.
Types of Dog Coats
To begin proper care for a dog, the pet parent must first research their dog’s breed and become familiar with the best practices for maintaining the dog’s health. Regular grooming is essential for a healthy skin and coat for dogs. To begin a grooming regiment, the pet parent will first need to research their dog’s breed and become familiar with their health and grooming requirements.
There are thousands of dog breeds with various coat types. The following are a few general dog coat types:
- Short coat: Also known as smooth coats, dogs with this coat type are usually low maintenance. They have smooth, short fur that sheds throughout the year. Pet parents can use a shed glove or soft bristle brush to groom these breeds. Most dogs enjoy the attention and the glove or brush feels nice on their skin.
- Double coat: These breeds are built for cold weather with a dense outer coat and fluffy undercoat. The undercoat provides the dog with insulation. Twice a year, these dogs will “blow their coat,” meaning the undercoat will shed in chunks. During this time, pet parents will need to regularly brush their dogs to prevent their home from filling with fur. Pet parents may also want to take their dog to a professional groomer to remove as much of the undercoat as possible. It can take months for a dog to blow their undercoat if not properly groomed.
- Dense coat: Dog breeds with very dense coats are prone to getting hot spots. Also, moisture can easily get trapped in their fur and cause sores on their skin. Pet parents will need to frequently comb their dogs and make sure their fur is dry.
- Wire hair: Breeds with this type of coat have fur that feels more like bristly hair, and it continually grows. One great benefit of wired-hair coats is they don’t shed. However, regular grooming is required to prevent the hair from becoming tangled and matted.
- Long hair: There are many different coat types that have long hair and each one has different grooming requirements. In general, a long haired dog is going to need regular grooming. Some breeds will need professional grooming to properly cut their coat.
- Curly hair: Curly hair dog breeds don’t shed much and their coats are usually easy to maintain. However, pet parents should examine their dog after the dog has been outside to check for debris that can easily get caught in the dog’s thick curls.
High-Maintenance Dog Coats
All dogs need some form of regular grooming. However, the following breeds require a lot of coat maintenance.
- Afghan Hound: Very long hair that needs to be brushed daily and professionally groomed monthly.
- Poodle: Needs to be professionally groomed regularly and debris must be brushed out of their coats daily.
- Bichon Frise: The white hair needs to be washed frequently and groomed professionally.
- Great Pyrenees: These large dogs have thick coats and are prone to getting debris stuck in them.
- Shar-Peis: Shar-Peis as well as bulldogs have a lot of extra skin. Debris, moisture, and oil can get stuck in their skin folds, causing sores and infections. Pet parents must regularly check their dog’s skin folds and thoroughly clean them.
Skin and Coat Health for Dogs
There are many ways pet parents can ensure their dog's coat and skin stays healthy. First, they need to feed their dogs high-quality food. If a dog’s nutritional needs aren’t being met, their skin and coat will be dull and dingy. Pet parents can also add a high-quality dog skin and coat supplement, such as Welactin, to their dog’s diet to promote healthy skin and a luxurious coat.
Second, flea and tick prevention for dogs is important for maintaining healthy skin. Pet parents should have their dog on a parasite preventative to ward off fleas, ticks, and internal parasites.
A good quality shampoo and conditioner made with moisturizing and soothing ingredients like oatmeal promotes relief of dry, itchy, and sensitive skin. It can also restore luster and shine to the coat.
Finally, regular grooming will keep a dog’s coat and skin healthy while also providing a great opportunity for pet parents to bond with their dogs.
When to Call the Vet
If a pet parent notices their dog's coat and skin are not healthy despite taking all appropriate steps to maintain their dog's coat, there may be an underlying health problem. Pet parents can reach out to Fuzzy 24/7 through Fuzzy Vet Chat to discuss their dogs skin and coat needs.