It’s only natural that you want your pet’s coat to be clean and glossy, but having a nice coat is about more than just looks when it comes to your pet. In fact, having a beautiful coat is a sign that your pet is in good health. Continue reading to learn how to determine if your pet’s coat is healthy, and to find out what you can do to improve the condition of your pet’s coat.
Understanding Your Pet’s Coat
Before you can evaluate the condition of your pet’s coat, it’s important to understand what type of coat your pet has. For dogs and cats, double-coats are very common. These coats have a soft undercoat covered by a second coat with coarse guard hairs. Single coats are also common, which consist of a single layer of short hairs. Pets with double coats will be more prone to matting and other issues related to their coats. Curly coats are also found in both dogs and cats—it is a common misconception that pets with curly coats do not shed. The truth is that these pets do shed, but the hair that they shed can become caught in the curls, so they require regular brushing to remove these shed hairs and prevent mats.
Checking for Signs of an Unhealthy Coat
You should check your pet’s coat periodically to ensure that it is healthy. For dogs, you should do this after your pet has had a bath so that the coat will be clean. Your cat should be able to keep herself clean—if that is not the case, schedule a check-up with your veterinarian right away; a lack of self-grooming can be a sign of pain or other health concerns in cats. Signs of coat problems in both dogs and cats include mats and tangles, a dull appearance, bald patches, and flakey or irritated skin.
Improving the Condition of Your Pet’s Coat
The first step to improving your pet’s coat is implementing a regular grooming routine. Both dogs and cats should be brushed on a regular basis to remove hair that has been shed from their coats. In addition, dogs should be bathed every six to eight weeks to keep their skin and coats clean. If you have a dog with long hair, you may also want to schedule professional grooming sessions to keep his coat short and manageable. If you still notice signs of an unhealthy coat, talk to your vet about your pet’s nutrition. The vet may be able to offer advice or supplements to help improve the condition of your pet’s coat.
Are you concerned about your pet’s health? Schedule an appointment at Horizon Animal Hospital. Our Scottsdale vet clinic offers a range of veterinary and pet care services, including regular check-ups, laser surgery, and pet boarding. You can reach us at (480) 614-9500 to get started.