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Keeping your pet’s coat healthy and shiny

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A glossy coat helps your furry friend feel great. Ten of Australia's top groomers, veterinarians and pet publications share their pet grooming advice.
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person brushing puppy’s coat

We all love our dogs, and we work hard to keep them healthy and happy. We also want them to look as good as they feel, and taking care of their coat is a great way to start.

Whether you have a manicured poodle or a working dog, you can keep your dog’s hair looking shiny and healthy from the comfort of home. We spoke with some of Australia’s top groomers, veterinarians and pet publications for their grooming advice on how to keep your dog looking and feeling great.

McDowall Vets 

The team at McDowall Vets is passionate about providing an individualised regime of care for each pet that walks through their doors. They commit to developing an ongoing relationship with your pet, in order to provide a happy and positive veterinary experience.

Tip for a Glossy Coat

  • When bathing your dog, always use shampoo that is specifically for dogs to avoid drying out their skin and hair. ‘Shampoos that have an oatmeal base are particularly good for dogs with itchy or inflamed skin,’ advise McDowall Vets. If your dog spends too much time scratching behind the ears (or anywhere else), check the labels of your dog shampoo to see if it contains oatmeal. It could be an easy solution.

Pet Stylist Academy 

Pet Stylist Academy has been operating since 2010 to provide hands-on training in the art of pet grooming. They educate students of all levels, from beginners all the way up to advanced practitioners.

Tip for a Glossy Coat 

  • Incorporating fish or a fish oil, like cod liver oil, into your dog or cat's diet helps to maintain a healthy balance of omega-3 fatty acids. This boosts not only your pet's skin and coat, but it also contributes to joint health for a long, playful life.

DOGSlife

As the name suggests, this popular bi-monthly magazine focuses on all things dog, with the aim to help owners establish a long and happy life with their furry friends. Stay up-to-date on the latest in dog care with educational articles and heartfelt personal stories inside every issue.

Tips for a Glossy Coat 

  • Ask your vet for a recommendation for a specific shampoo for your unique dog breed. Each type of dog has a different fur texture and may need a different type of shampoo to yield the best results.
  • Be sure to wash your dog's face, particularly around the eyes and ears. Check these areas thoroughly while cleaning, to ensure there are no injuries or infections in these sensitive areas.

Some Thoughts About Dogs 

The passionate author behind the popular dog blog, Tegan Whalan, focuses her attention on the political and scientific issues that relate to man’s best friend. As an owner of four dogs, a cat and six chickens she’s an advocate for animal well-being in all areas.

Tips for a Glossy Coat

  • Whalan recommends acclimating puppies to going to the groomers or being bathed at home early on in life. This will make the process significantly easier as the puppy grows into adulthood.
  • Brush your dog often with a simple dog comb to remove tangles. This will not only keep your dog's coat looking smooth and shiny, but it will also help to reduce your dog's discomfort that can arise from having matted fur.

All Natural Vet Care 

In addition to providing traditional pet dental and surgery services, All Natural Vet Care also offers integrative veterinary medicine, incorporating natural, alternative and complementary medical services. This involves creating individualised treatment plans for your pet that incorporate elements of both traditional and natural remedies.

Tips for a Glossy Coat 

  • Beware of over washing your pet. Not only can it dry out your little pet’s skin leading to a lacklustre coat, it also affects the skin’s function as a natural allergy barrier.
  • When you do wash your dog, the vet care professionals recommend including a full-body massage along with the bath to stimulate oil production and keep skin and fur soft. Brushing also helps release natural oils from the hair follicles.

Inner South Veterinary Centre 

This team of 25 professionals are trained to work not just with dogs and cats, but exotic animals as well. They say, ‘No animal is too strange or unusual for us!’ With such a variety of Earth’s creatures coming through their doors, the team constantly seeks new knowledge in the veterinary industry so that they can always provide the best care possible for your pet.

Tips for a Glossy Coat

  • When deciding what to feed your pet, pay close attention to changes in the condition of the skin and coat. Many pets have food sensitivities, so it is important to keep trying to find out what works best for your unique animal.
  • Regardless of whether your pet spends time indoors or out, all pet owners should engage in active flea control, as these critters can have a devastating effect on your pet's skin. Flea control reduces the risk of itching and irritation to your pet's skin and promotes healthy skin and hair growth.

Bentons Road Vet

The Bentons Road Veterinary Clinic specialises in natural pet care. They focus on limiting unnecessary medications and encouraging a well-balanced, natural diet to promote healthy living throughout your pet's life. Their location on the Mornington Peninsula is a hotbed for flea infestations and allergic skin disease, so they are well experienced in treating these conditions.

Tips for a Glossy Coat

  • Having a healthy coat begins with healthy nutrition. Fish oil supplements are great for dogs that have skin irritation, as they encourage healthy skin oil production to keep fur smooth and sleek.
  • Wash your dog only as often as needed to avoid excessive drying to the skin. Similarly, do not use medicated shampoos unless your dog is currently suffering from skin irritation. The medication can be overly harsh on the fur for regular use.

The Vet Shed 

The Vet Shed is an online pet store with over 10 years in the pet care industry. The site offers products not just for dogs and cats, but for birds, reptiles and other animals as well. The Vet Shed team includes both vets and vet nurses who are able to assist you with your purchases or any questions you may have.

Tips for a Glossy Coat 

  • Choose a pet shampoo that is pH-formulated for your type of pet. Never use human shampoo on your pet, as it can strip the skin of the essential oils it needs for healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
  • Over washing and using the wrong type of shampoo may also reduce or shorten the effectiveness of the flea treatment you have been applying. Do your research to make sure you find the right shampoo for your pet.

My Pet Warehouse

‘Our pack is made up of animal lovers,’ say My Pet Warehouse, ‘just like you.’ This pet supplier serves customers throughout Australia with their online and bricks-and-mortar stores. The focus is on premium products that are ethically produced, including accessories, food, treatments, toys, bedding and apparel.

Tips for a Glossy Coat

  • My Pet Warehouse explains why it’s not advisable to wash your dog too frequently, as this can deplete the natural oil production that is essential to the overall health and appearance of your dog’s hair. However, sometimes more frequent washing will be necessary. If this is the case for your pet, look for naturally soothing products that won’t irritate the skin.

Life on Four Legs

Dr. Julie Ashton, owner of Life on Four Legs, specialises in behavioural issues in dogs and works with the owners to find a solution that works for all involved. She prides herself on her individualised service and ability to calm even the most nervous of dogs. She says she is often contacted by owners whose pets have an intense dislike of grooming.

Tips for a Glossy Coat

  • When getting your pet used to clippers, hair dryers and other grooming tools, it is important to introduce them slowly and in a positive environment. Have plenty of treats ready to create a positive association with the grooming process or search for an app that simulates the sounds associated with grooming.
  • In the early stages of your puppy or kitten's life, get them used to being handled by people. This will help ease the stress of grooming and veterinary visits throughout your pet's life.

Help look after your dog’s skin with Advocate. Advocate® protects against more parasites than any other product, giving you the peace of mind of gold standard protection. Advocate works fast against fleas, stopping reinfesting adult fleas from biting within 3-5 minutes and killing them within an hour. Advocate also kills larvae in your dog’s surroundings and is water resistant.*

*See product label

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