Dogs are inherently messy creatures. This is something that owners cannot escape from, and as soon as you let your dog outside they will almost certainly find something muddy, dusty or otherwise dirty to jump in, roll around in or rub themselves against. Even kept indoors, your dog will almost certainly find some way to mess up their fur.
In addition, canine fur can get brittle and thin if certain needs aren’t being met, particularly as your dog gets older. If you want your pet’s coat to stay healthy, clean and glossy, you will have to take action.
If there is anything specifically wrong with your dog’s coat, besides dirt, then the issue may be a dietary one. If your pet’s fur is patchy, falling out or just thin and lifeless, it could be because they are not getting the nutrients they need.
First and foremost, your pooch needs protein. You might think that this is something already in their diet, what with all the meaty dog food they consume, but in actuality they might be surprisingly short of the nutrient in their system.
Standard tinned dog food is often bulked out with grains, meaning your pet gets less protein and more carbohydrates that they find harder to digest. This low-quality food also often contains meat byproducts rather than actual meat, further reducing the useful nutrients your dog will receive.
Instead of this, you might be better served giving your pet actual meat from the butchers. Many people have opted for the BARF diet, which involves giving dogs meat, fruit and vegetables and bones, with few carbohydrates. If that sounds like a pain, you can always buy frozen, BARF-friendly dog food so your pet gets the nutrients they need.
Once you have sorted out your dog’s diet, their coat should start to look stronger, glossier and healthier. However, without your help it will not look any cleaner. For that, you will need to start grooming your dog on a regular basis.
It is best if you start a grooming regimen when your dog is a puppy, so they get used to it and learn to enjoy it. If your dog is older, and reluctant to be bathed and brushed, you should be able to use the gentle touch and plenty of treats to convince them there is nothing to worry about.
Start grooming just by petting your dog, using your fingers to untangle any particularly nasty knots. Then brush their fur. You will need a different type of brush depending on the type of fur your dog has, be it long, curly or wiry, so research this beforehand.
Now your dog will need a bath. Most of the time, your dog will only need to bathe once every four to six months. Any more than this and their coat can dry out and lose its glossiness. However, feel free to give them an emergency bath if they get particularly mucky.
Use lukewarm water up to around your dog’s knee level, and a special dog shampoo. Be sure not to use human shampoo, as this can be harmful! Simply lather up your dog’s fur, then rinse them off thoroughly. Dry your dog with a towel, or a hair dryer if they have a particularly long coat.
This should be all that is needed to keep your dog’s coat healthy. Make sure they have a good diet, and give them a regular groom, and you will have them looking glossy and healthy all year round.
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