The skin and the fur are a faithful reflection of the health of our pet and the first element with which we come into contact both visually and tactically. It is not pleasant to see a dog or a cat with bald areas or with dirty and tarnished hair.
We will offer some guidelines that will provide us with healthy and shiny hair for our faithful friend.
Tips for taking care of a pet’s skin and hair
The quality of the coat is given by several factors , among which we can highlight:
- Adequate grooming and absence of diseases that can affect the mantle.
As for the first, we will say that, obviously, the better hair the parents have, so much will happen with their offspring . And this not only in terms of quality but also in terms of quantity and length of hair. It is obvious that it will be very difficult to obtain a long-haired animal if we cross two with short hair. This is well known by breeders, but not the owners of many dogs and cats that cram them to vitamins in order to obtain a longer hair length. Let’s make it clear that a hair is not growing indefinitely except in some racesLike the Poodle, the Bedlington Terrier and some American cockers, it goes through a series of stages and eventually dies and falls, leaving a new hair in its place. The length that our hair will reach is genetically determined and that we cannot vary as much as we strive.
On the other hand we must bear in mind that dogs have two annual molts in which all the hair falls and comes out again . These molts almost always occur in autumn and early spring, but are influenced by factors such as temperature, the number of daily hours of light, food, etc. There are many dogs that are changing their hair throughout the year because they spend a lot of time inside the house with more hours of light than what would naturally correspond, or due to low humidity in houses with high heating, for very frequent baths with products not indicated for dogs, or even by excessive drying after bathing.
When it comes to nutrition, healthy hair always indicates proper nutrition. The hairs are basically made up of a protein called keratin and, as such, it needs a correct supply of amino acids to be synthesized. In addition to this, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals also play a very important role. There are many nutritional anomalies such as abrupt changes in diet, giving excessive viscera, homemade diets that are generally poor in fatty acids, giving raw or overcooked cereals or legumes, which will cause an imbalance such that our animal will not have enough ingredients. To produce healthy hair, therefore we will have an animal with dull and ugly hair.
In this regard we will not get tired of remembering that the best food for both dog and cat are those marketed for this purpose, either in the form of feed or canned and that they have all the necessary components to keep the fur of the animal in good health. our animal Let’s forget the advice of the grandmother who tells us the person we crossed when we walk down the dog and always consult with a professional about the most appropriate nutrition for our friend.
Cleaning and care factors
As for the hair cleaning, each breed has special care depending on the type of coat . We cannot mention the specific care that each one of them takes, but we can dictate general rules for all.
We will start talking about the bathroom : we must use water at body temperature and a special dog shampoo. We will rub back and forth with a brush and then rinse thoroughly so that no soap remains, which will cause rapid skin irritation. Take care that no water or soap gets into the eyes and ears. The hair should grind when we finish the bath. After it, we will dry the short-haired dogs with a towel in which they will remain wrapped a while later, the long-haired ones will also dry them with a dryer while we brush them. All animals should be protected from cooling during bathing and several hours later until they are dry.
As for the frequency of bathing, it varies by race:
- Long hair with sub -hair (German shepherd with long hair, Samoyedos, Huskys, Malamutes): Twice a year (spring and autumn). In winter it should be preserved with a daily brushing.
- Silky hair (Cocker, Yorshire Terrier, Pequineses, etc.): They need more frequent baths to prevent tangles and skin irritation. Sometimes they also require the use of oils to keep hair without knots. We recommend a monthly bath and daily brushing.
- Shaggy or curly hair that does not change (poodles, etc)
- Straight hair (Dobermann, Boxer, Dalmatians): They bathe only in case of dirt since this type of hair is very easily maintained with a dog glove, hands or even using a towel.
- Rough or hard hair (Fox terrier with hard hair, Schnauzer).
- Hair cordoned off (Spaniel): These dogs should never be combed or stripped, nor should they be washed often and if so, always with shampoo previously diluted in water and squeeze the hair without rubbing it, then rinse with large amounts of warm water under pressure and dries without brushing.
On the other hand it is not true that a dog smells when it is not washed , the smell of the dog comes from the mouth, ears, feet and anus. In the rest of the body they do not have sweat glands and therefore do not generate odor. To avoid the smell we will clean these areas with diluted ammonia water (1 to 2 teaspoons of homemade ammonia in 1 liter of water), but do not constantly bathe it as well as increasing the smell, we will cause a loss of fat in the skin that will result in subsequent infections
As for cats, the bath should be practically non-existent except in cases of excessive dirt in which we will bathe them with a mild shampoo especially suitable for cats, those of dogs are not useful, especially those that carry insecticide. After the bath we will dry them with a dryer and brush. In cats, daily brushing is extremely important because, due to their extreme cleanliness, if we do not remove dead hair every day, they will ingest them by licking and form the famous hairballs that cause serious intestinal obstructions.
In any case, and depending on the species and race we have, let’s ask a professional hairdresser or our veterinarian who will be the one who will best advise us on the subject.