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Published: Jun 29, 2012

You may sit and admire the beauty of your dog's coat, whether you have a radiant golden retriever or a poodle covered with curly locks. While dog breeds have different coats, there are certain aspects of a dog's coat that indicate its well-being, according to the Times Herald Record. Here's what to look for next time you are petting your canine companion.

If your dog's coat is healthy, shiny and soft, it usually is a sign of good health. The opposite is also true - coarse, dry hair may indicate a lack of certain nutrients in your dog's diet, skin problems or an internal illness such as Cushing's disease in dogs, the news outlet reports. If you are concerned about the state of your dog's coat, discuss it with your vet. You may be able to solve the problem at home by additional dog grooming or adding more fatty acids into your dog's diet, but you also might need to get the dog treatment for a skin infection or allergies in dogs.

If you have noticed your dog itching or there are small scabs present on the skin, these may be further indicators that something is wrong. A coarse or dull coat can also indicate a thyroid or adrenal gland malfunction that needs veterinary attention. So, if you notice your dog's coat looks less radiant than normal, make an appointment at the vet rather than the groomer.