How to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy the natural way
No matter if you have a long-haired dog that needs a hair cut on a regular basis or a short-haired one, there are a few things you should know.
Some people believe dogs should not be bathed at all and others would put their dog in the shower every time they come back from a walk.
So how frequently should you wash and groom your dogs? What products should you use? Do dogs like grooming and how can you choose a good grooming salon?
Here are a few basic principles you can follow to make your dogs smell like a grassy meadow and sandy beach instead of smelling like dirty socks.
- Remember, the most important part of achieving a healthy coat and skin is the right nutrition. Processed food, poor quality and species inappropriate ingredients are the main reasons why some dogs do not smell exactly like roses. If your dog has a 'doggy smell' it is possibly a sign of cleansing or a nutritional imbalance. Natural, non-processed raw or cooked diets are the best way go. To learn more about raw diet sign up here for an upcoming course.
- Even the best organic wholesome food is likely to be deficient in at least some essential nutrients such as minerals, amino acids and omega oils. Soil depletion has led to depletion of the whole food chain and selecting premium essential supplements will make a huge difference in your dog’s life and health, including their skin. My dog Skai gets the following: GreenMin, FeelGood omega oil, probiotics and whole-food based vitamins.
- Some people do not realize that skin is permeable so toxins can readily penetrate it and accumulate in the body. Unlike our dogs’ ancestors, modern canines live in environments that are polluted and toxic. Environmental toxins are ever present and it is wise to wash your dog at least once a month and do a six-week liver detox every six months.
- I recommend always using simple products made of plant-based soaps and herbs. If your dog’s shampoo label contains chemicals and words that suggest artificial ingredients, exchange it for all-natural products that preserve natural oils.
- If your dog likes to swim in the ocean, a good rinse after will prevent their coat from bleaching out and getting dry and brittle. If your dog swims in fresh water, carefully evaluate the levels of possible pollution and rinse your dog when needed.
- Prevent the coat from staying damp due to slow drying. Briefly using a hairdryer after a walk will do the trick.
- Comb as often as possible, ideally on a daily basis, to promote energy flow in the skin and body. I strongly believe that regular combing promotes energy flow in the whole body, which invigorates the skin, spine, organs and every cell of the body, which prevents skin problems and hot spots.
- A careful selection of a grooming facility is the key to creating a positive experience for your dog. Not all groomers are the same and not all grooming places have facilities that provide a stress-free environment. Overheated and crowded cages, excessive noise, constant barking and stressed and hurried staff found at some facilities can often turn your dog’s visit into torture.
- If your dogs have a skin condition, remember that the primary problem may not be the skin.
I hope that you will read our blogs to learn more.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM