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Four-legged animals are the apple of many pet owners’ minds. We care for them, take the best care we can and want to provide them with everything they need to live a healthy and happy life. The appearance of a dog’s coat is not always an indication of its health, but an ugly, matted and broken coat should give the guardian food for thought. See what factors have a positive and negative effect on a dog’s coat

External parasites, ringworm and allergies

If your dog is losing hair excessively in specific areas, scratching and gnawing at bald spots on his body, it’s a sign that there’s something wrong with his skin. Baldness in specific areas, scratching and gnawing the fur, for example, may be a symptom of fleas, lice, a fungal disease or a food allergy in your dog. Whenever you notice such symptoms, go with your dog to the veterinarian.

Inadequate coat care

A factor that has a big impact on the appearance of your dog’s coat is proper grooming. Dogs should be washed every 3 to 4 months, more frequent washing can damage the natural lipid barrier on the skin and lead to serious skin problems and dryness and breakage of the coat. Dogs should only be washed with shampoos designed for coat care. Human soaps and shampoos are not adapted to dog skin, so they can cause irritation, dandruff, and symptoms similar to atopic dermatitis. If you don’t know which shampoo to choose, a dog groomer can definitely recommend the right product

Brushing also makes the coat shine and accelerates its growth. Brushing your dog gets rid of dead hair that accumulates on the skin and blocks the growth of new hair, massages the skin, thus providing better blood circulation and relaxation for your dog. Brushing also helps to close the hair cuticles, which makes the coat shinier

photo: Dominika Roseclay/Pexels

Improper nutrition

The basis of your pet’s good-looking coat is its health. If the condition of your dog’s coat and skin has visibly deteriorated, it’s a sign that it’s time to visit your veterinarian and get blood work done. The key to your dog’s health and good blood work is proper nutrition. Dry dog food should always be grain-free. The starch in grains is harmful in the long run to your dog’s digestive system, which is not designed to digest gluten in large quantities. Your dog should eat both dry and wet food. Diet dog foods should primarily be low in fat and free of cloggers, which can cause food allergies and skin reactions in addition to obesity. A healthy, well-fed dog has a beautiful, soft and shiny coat

Depression, separation anxiety in a dog

The poor condition of a dog’s coat and skin, can also be affected by mental and behavioral problems. A dog suffering from depression may self-mutilate by tearing its skin or biting its fur, most often on its paws and tail. Self-mutilation may also be a coping strategy for stress in separation anxiety, for example. When a dog is left alone in the house, the solitude alone can become a huge stress factor for the dog. This can be compounded by, for example, noises and smells from nearby homes or views from outside the window. Reactive dog, which can not cope with his emotions alone, may resort to self-aggression. In these cases, it is always necessary for a zoopsychologist to intervene and show the dog various coping strategies to deal with difficult emotions or anxiety, such as biting, chewing, tearing, licking or sniffing. Behavioral problems are a very serious matter, unfortunately, awareness about zoopsychology is still too low

A beautiful and shiny coat of a dog is a sign that the animal is well groomed and healthy. The good or bad appearance of a dog’s coat depends on many factors that can be influenced by the owner. The coat is an indicator of your dog’s health and shows that the grooming is properly selected and carried out. Remember that the coat is not only about pa’s appearance, but also about his comfort and the health of his skin, so take care of it regularly!

Photo Dominic Buccilli/Pexels

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Lilliana Ross

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