Dog Fur Can Tell You a Lot about a Dog’s Health
By Michael Sarko
A happy dog is a healthy dog, and a healthy dog has strong, shiny fur. Your dog’s coat is one of the best ways to gain insights into your dog’s condition, be it physical or emotional. It’s very important to get to know the ideal qualities of your furry friend’s breed and to set aside time to maintain his or her coat with regular brushing and washing.
The Right Food
A balanced diet with plenty of protein and amino acid content will help strengthen and replenish your dog’s coat by giving it the building blocks of the hair’s natural structure. Dog fur is made mostly of protein, so a coat that is dull or fragile can be an indication that your pooch isn’t getting the best nutrition. Do your research about the best kind of food and the right portions of it for your dog. If the diet needs an extra boost, you can talk to your vet about pet supplements.
The fur can be an inviting shelter for ticks, fleas, and other parasites that are very bad for your dog’s health. This is especially true in dirty, matted hair. Parasites can lead to infections and discomfort in your dog. Keeping the coat clean and brushed gets you up close and personal with your dog’s skin and hair, ensuring that parasites stay away or don’t get to set up shop for very long.
Bad News with Balding
Excessive hair loss or patches of baldness on your dog’s coat can be a sign of any number of problems. This can result from such things as hormonal problems and tumors, though it can also be a symptom of emotional problems, like stress or impulse control issues. Different breeds have different rates of shedding, especially as the seasons change, but extreme or unusual hair loss can be an indication of more serious concerns for your dog’s overall health.
That “New Dog” Smell
The look and feel of the fur aren’t the only ways to monitor your dog’s health through his or her coat. The fur should also smell fresh in between baths. A strong, musky, or foul odor on dry fur is often an indication of bacterial infection, fungus, fleas, or even dry skin. A coat that stays stinky even after a scrub is a sign that a visit to the vet may be in order.
Keeping your dog’s coat strong and shiny will teach you a lot about how to care for his or her health in general. It’s a great way to monitor nutrition, win the fight against parasites, and stay informed about your dog’s feelings. It’s also a wonderful way to bond. Regular brushing, baths, and petting are all part of the process, so show your dog love and attention for the good of his or her health as well as the good of your relationship with one another.