If you work to keep your hair healthy and shiny, you know what problems your particular hair color creates and what tricks you can use to maintain its individual hue. Your dog's coat has special needs, as well. White-coated dogs are particularly prone to unsightly stains, and black-coated dogs frequently sport visible dandruff. Here is what you can do to combat these seemingly unconquerable coat conditions.
Chasing the Bright, White Coat
If your dog is supposed to have a luminous white coat, you know how difficult achieving that goal actually is. Some breeds only come in white coats, like the West Highland White Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Samoyed, and Great Pyrenees. Other breeds come in several different colors including solid white, like the Poodle, Chihuahua, Bull Terrier, and Greyhound. Numerous factors complicate your attempts to maintain your dog's white coat. Still others have predominately white coats enhanced with special markings, like the Dalmatian, Bulldog, and Japanese Chin.
If you have a white dog, you have almost certainly noticed the discolored area stretching outward from your dog's inner eye. All the scrubbing in the world will not remove your dog's "racoon eyes," and your persistence will only serve to annoy your patient pet.
These stains are usually attributed to a condition called epiphora, or the over-production of tears. Disorders like ingrowing eyelashes, infections, and glaucoma can cause your dog's eyes to over-produce tears that stain the surrounding hair red or brown. More common reasons include dyes in food products and chemicals in plastic bowls that, when ingested by your pet, are then excreted through the tear ducts.
Have a veterinarian examine your pet for potential health problems; if none are found, consider switching to a higher-quality pet food and replace plastic bowls with glass or stainless steel ones.
Keeping Black Coats Vibrant
Some dogs, like the Scottish Terrier, Schipperke, Pug, and Labrador Retriever, are available in solid jet-black coats. Many dog breeds are born with black base coats accented with colored markings, like the Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Border Collie, and Miniature Pinscher.
Dandruff is one condition that is particularly apparent in dogs that are supposed to have midnight-black coats. Dandruff is simply excess dead skin cells flaked off of the skin; in large amounts, dandruff will cause itching and unsightly bald spots.
Before treating dandruff, have your veterinarian rule out potential health causes, like mites, infections, and allergies. If nothing serious is behind your pet's dandruff, switch to a higher-grade food and routinely bathe your dog with anti-dandruff pet-specific shampoo that contains either sulfur or salicylic acid. Also, if you live in a dry region, consider adding a humidifier to your home; your dog's skin will improve, and you might be improving your own health, too.
For more information about keeping your dog as healthy as possible, contact a company like Woodside Veterinary Hospital.