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Skin & Coat Care In Dogs

The coat and skin often reflect the general health of your dog. A healthy dog has few skin and coat problems.
Clean surroundings for your dog prevents many skin and coat problems. Outside kennels should kept clean, and bedding should be changed regularly. Internal and external parasites, such as hookworms and fleas, can have a great effect on the skin and coat. Follow your doctor's suggestions for parasite control.

Proper nutrition plays an important role in general health, including that of the skin and coat. An excess or deficiency of certain nutrients can cause problems. Discuss your dog's diet with the doctor. Any suggested changes can prevent future problems.

Routine grooming not only prevents skin and/or coat problems, but also enables you to detect problems before they become extensive.

Bathing should be done as often as necessary to keep your dog clean. However, bathing softens the coats of breeds whose coats should be hard and wiry, may remove natural oils, and may dull the coat. Long-coated breeds should be brushed thoroughly before bathing, as matted and tangled hair will tighten after bathing and drying. Products are available to restore coat oils after bathing to keep hair more manageable. Consult the doctor about proper shampoos and rinses for your dog.

Depending on the breed, grooming the hair may involve both cutting and combing. Some breeds have special style patterns. Generally these dogs are trimmed and groomed by professional groomers. If you wish to undertake this project yourself, consult your library or bookstore for grooming information. Dead hair and mats should be removed regularly to prevent skin disorders. If you wish to groom and trim your pet instead of enlisting a professional groomer, some important "do's" and "don'ts" are ...

1. Do provide the proper facilities and equipment necessary for grooming. A room with few distractions is best. A solid table or bench is needed. Proper tools make the task much easier and the results far better. Familiarize yourself with the equipment needed for your dog's breed, and buy good quality products.
2. Do groom you dog frequently and regularly. Train you pet to accept the grooming procedure. Be firm, but make the experience as pleasant as possible. Many dogs enjoy the attention they get during grooming.

3. Do trim your dog's nails, check the teeth for tarter, and examine the ears, eyes, anal region and skin while grooming your dog. If you find problems, consult with your doctor without delay.

4. Do consult the doctor about a bland eye ointment to keep soap from irritating your pet's eyes during bathing.

5. Do place cotton in your dog's ears while bathing.

1. Don't lose your patience while grooming. If the task becomes trying, stop and try again later.
2. Don't neglect mats in your dog's coat. Gently tease and comb them out. If not, they will become larger. Special combs are available to help remove mats. If you trim the mats out with scissors, be very careful not to cut the skin. If an animal is badly matter, clipping the entire coat may be necessary.

The information on this site was obtained from Whisker Watch at www.wpvq.com