How do I know if my pets coat is healthy?
Pets with a healthy coat will have a soft smooth coat. It should be shiny but not greasy and there should be no real smell or dandruff. Pets with an unhealthy coat will have brittle hair which falls out easily and may have a dandruff or a greasy coat.
How can I improve my pet’s coat?
Some animals will have an underlying skin condition. If you’re pet has a very dry or greasy coat or scratches a lot then seek Veterinary help. Prescription shampoos and special diets can help a lot with this.
Make sure you feed your pet a really good quality food. The better your pet’s food the better their coat will be. Foods that are rich in essential fatty acids are especially good for your pet's coat. Groom your pet regularly at least once to twice a week for long haired breeds. Check their fur every day especially in the summer for burs which have got caught in their coat and parasites.
Dogs with heavy under coats may need grooming daily during the moulting season. There are now very good brushes designed specifically for removing the undercoat for example the Furminator. Some brushes such as the Zoomgroom for cats will massage and groom at the same time. Good to slowly introduce to cats who don't like being brushed. Start with a very short session and build up slowly as your cat gains trust and starts enjoying it.
Bathing your pet
You can bath your pet up to once a month if needed. If done more than this, except for veterinary reasons, it can lead to drying and irritation as shampoo will strip some essential oils from the skin. Don’t use human shampoo for dogs as the pH of our skin varies. Use shampoo specifically designed for pets and for the condition which you want to treat. For example a pet with slight dandruff may benefit from a conditioning shampoo. If your pet has very sensitive skin then try the shampoo on a small patch first. Most cats and some dogs will not tolerate bathing.
Ticks and Mites
Checking your pet for fleas or ticks should form a regular part of your weekly grooming sessions. Part the fur at the base of the tail and check for flea dirt. It will look like small black specs and will turn red if placed on a damp piece of cotton wool. Better still use a preventative flea and tick treatment regularly to prevent an infestation in the first place. Ticks can be found anywhere on your pet and will often not be seen until they have fed on your pets blood for a few days so prevention is better to ensure that they do not attach in the first place.