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by Team PetCareRx
11/28/2012 12:00:00 AM
A rich, healthy, gloriously shiny coat is a joy to behold. And no doubt you've admired a pit bull walking by with a caramel, chocolate or blue-black coat gleaming in the midday sun. Grooming a pit bull isn't exactly rocket science because the dog's hair is short and lies flat and tight against the body. Nonetheless, the pit bull must be groomed on a regular basis and fed a high-quality diet to keep the coat in glossy condition.
Good nutrition plays a vital role in the quality of your dog's coat. As dogs age, their coats can become dry and lackluster. By feeding your pit bull a high-quality diet rich in nutrients and essential fatty acids, especially vitamin E, omega-6 and omega-3, you ensure your dog is getting the optimal nutrition required for a healthy coat and nourished skin. Cooked eggs are also a good protein source for dogs. Most commercial dog foods are high in these nutrients so feeding your dog right is easy. Keep in mind that the older your dog gets, the less excess fat will get metabolized. Gaining too much weight is not healthy for any dog.
It may sound like a lot, especially for a breed that requires minimal grooming, but if you want to restore luster to your pit bull's coat, brush the coat every day with a rubber curry brush. Use a circular motion to stimulate the circulation and distribute the dog's natural oils through the coat. Brushing removes dead hair and flaky skin cells, which can dull the coat. You can also use a ribbed glove that fits over your hand to capture loose hair and make the coat sparkle.
The good news about the pit bull's short coat is that you don't have to bathe your dog frequently, but when you do, choose a natural shampoo free of chemicals or pesticides and rinse well. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends that you only use a shampoo formulated for dogs. Human shampoos may have fragrances or ingredients that can irritate your pit bull's coat and skin. Avoid using soaps with alcohol, coal tar or sulfur-based products. Enhance the shine of the coat by conditioning the fur after shampooing.
It's possible for even the short-haired pit bull to have a scruffy coat full of sores, scabs and hot spots. If your bully suffers from allergies due to food, fleas or environmental irritants, the coat will be dull and dry as your dog scratches and bites their own fur in an attempt to alleviate the intense itching that goes along with exposure to irritants. Dry, flaky skin and a poor hair coat can also indicate a systemic illness, such as immunodeficiency or Cushing's disease, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Always consult your veterinarian for advice and treatment of skin or coat conditions.
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