Whether you own a show horse, a lap dog or one of each, you want your animals to have a shiny healthy coat. The health of your animal is reflected in the sheen of their coat, and making a few simple changes can mean a world of difference.
Regular grooming is one of the best ways to bring out the natural shine in your horse or dog's hair coat. Grooming your horse every day with a rubber curry or stiff bristle brush will stimulate the hair follicles and distribute the oil throughout the coat. Brushing your dog's coat with a quality brush will do much the same, stimulating the growth of healthy hair, reducing shedding and making vacuuming the rugs easier.
The diet you feed your animal can also make a huge difference in the appearance of your horse or your dog. Foods rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are good for the skin and coat, so choose your dog food and horse feed accordingly.
Foods rich in oils and proteins can also improve the appearance of your animal's coat and hair. Choosing the highest quality foods you can will make a huge difference in how your pet looks and feels.
Commercial skin and coat supplements can be helpful, but always read the list of ingredients carefully. A proper diet is the foundation - and the supplements should be used to provide that little extra.
You should bathe your horses and dogs regularly, as doing so can remove dead skin, loose hair and accumulated dirt. Avoid constant bathing, however, since the shampoo can strip the natural oils out of the skin and actually leave the coat looking duller than before. Giving your horse a bath before every show and rinsing the animal down afterwards is good for the coat - bathing every day is overkill.
When you do bathe your dog or horse, always use the gentlest shampoos and conditioners that do the job. You may need to experiment with several different formulas until you find the one that works best for your animal. Adding a gentle skin and coat protector after every bath will aid in repelling dirt and dust and reduce the amount of bathing you need to do to keep your dog or horse clean.
Use your regular grooming schedule to check your pet for skin abnormalities. Check your pet for bumps, rashes, discolorations, flakes and scabs. These could be the first warning signs of allergies or skin problems, and you should consult your vet if you find any.
Also be on the lookout for unusual odors or a greasy feel when you groom your horse or your dog. Always check for fleas and ticks as well - you may need to adjust your pest control schedule if you find any creepy crawlies.
If your pet has sensitive skin, an oatmeal bath can be very soothing and can help keep skin problems at bay. An oatmeal bath can tame itching and leave the coat and skin feeling soft and shiny. Oatmeal contains vitamin E, which is known to be a natural softener.
Last but not least, regular exercise is good for both dogs and horses. Whether you trail ride your horse or run with your dog, regular exercise stimulates the hair follicles and improves the health of your pet - and its coat.
Your pet’s skin and coat are a good indicator of health and good grooming. Ensure proper diet and grooming to keep your animal looking and feeling it’s best!