If your dog’s coat is dry and brittle, chances are that there is something wrong with his nutrition. Apart from nutrition though, many other factors can lead to dry, dull and itchy coats. An unhealthy coat often means excess shedding or hair loss. While some amount of shedding is normal in medium and long haired dog breeds; excess shedding is an indication that there is an underlying problem. Pet owners must never overlook signs such as itching, dandruff, and dry or dull coat as these often indicate parasitic infections or endocrine issues. Playing in the dust bowl, a bad haircut as well as systemic problems can also cause dull, thin and poor canine coats. So let us study some easy ways to give your dog a shinier and healthier coat.
1. Fish oil supplements
Fish oil or omega 3 essential fatty acids for dogs are the most important among all shiny dog coat supplements. They reduce inflammation and also prevent arthritis. Moreover, they are necessary for healthy skin and hair.
2. Groom your dog regularly
Medium and long haired pets need to be groomed regularly. Apart from bathing with vet approved shampoos, also use a conditioner. Dry the dog’s coat thoroughly and run a comb through it to trap loose hairs. This will reduce your work of vacuuming around the house. Even if your dog rarely sheds, it is still important that you practice good grooming habits.
3. Use proper grooming equipment
Chamois cloth, rubber brush or bristle brushes are very useful in removing dead skin and hair. A chamois cloth also brings out the shine of your dog’s coat. For short coats, you can use slicker or bristle brushes. For long haired dogs, go for a pin brush, slicker brush, scissors along with pet combs.
4. Choose a good dog shampoo
Avoid using human shampoos on your pet as they lead to ph imbalance and dull coats. Always use vet approved shampoos. It is best to bathe the dog once every fortnight, though some dogs might need frequent bathing depending on the weather and their activity levels. Many good quality shampoos are available for dogs these days. They are ph balanced and do not strip the coats’ natural oils. As a rule, the more frequently you bathe your dog, the milder the shampoo should be. Whitening and clarifying shampoos are harsh and are designed to reduce buildup of products. They allow more light to be reflected off your dog’s coat. If your dog is allergenic or sensitive (or in case of puppies), it is best to use shampoos that are mild and hypoallergenic.
5. Give oatmeal baths
Oatmeal is soothing to the skin and alleviates common dog skin problems like dandruff, itchiness etc. Grind a cup of oats and add it to a tub of warm water. Allow your pet to soak in it. Massage the pet for a few minutes before rinsing off. Oatmeal shampoos are also available.
6. Use a damp wash cloth from time to time
For pets with short coats, it is not necessary to bathe too often. Examples of these breeds include Doberman and greyhounds. You can simply use a damp washcloth on the pets along with some self rinse shampoo. This is enough to restore shine to the coat after a day in the park. It will also reduce the need for bathing and can keep your dog smelling fresh.
7. Coconut oil for shiny coat
This is an easy remedy to ensure that your dog has a shiny healthy coat all year round. Feed your pet a bit of coconut oil regularly mixed with its dog food. Coconut oil gives a shiny coat and also prevents bad breath. Instead of coconut oil, you can also use olive oil, salmon oil or vegetable oil to give your pet a healthier coat. Many pet owners also apply coconut oil topically to dog’s coat. The lauric acid in the coconut oil along with other compounds prevents dandruff and other skin issues.
The easiest way to give dogs a shiny coat is to feed them eggs regularly. Eggs contain selenium and biotin along with many other vitamins and minerals that are necessary for strong, healthy hair. Serve eggs standalone as treats or mix them (fried/boiled/scrambled or poached) with dog food. If your dog is very active, it is best to feed whole eggs. For senior dogs, it is better to feed egg whites since yolks contain high amounts of cholesterol. It is best to speak to your vet before you feeding eggs. Also, some dogs are known to have an egg allergy. If symptoms like hair loss, itchiness or vomiting occur, discontinue eggs. Never feed egg shells to dogs.
9. Feed them the best dog food for healthy coat
Each dog has individual dietary requirements which change from life stage to life stage. Dogs cannot survive on meat alone and they need vegetables too. A nutritious and well balanced dog food for healthy coat will contain vitamins, minerals and omega 3 essential fatty acids. Carbohydrates are also necessary for healthy coat. They provide fiber which ensures good bowel movements.
10. Give vitamins
Dogs rarely suffer from deficiencies, especially if you feed them the best dog food for healthy coat. However, if your pet’s coat is looking dull, do consider supplements. You can talk to your vet about giving vitamin pills as treats. Many biotin and omega 3 based chewable pills for dogs are readily available in the market.
Herbs like spirulina contain many amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Talk to your vet about using this superfood for dog healthy coat.
12. Protect against the harsh elements
Sweaters and rain-proof jackets are not merely fashion accessories; they also keep your pet warm and dry. Use good quality protection for your pet in cold or wet weather. Also keep your dog cool in the hot summer months. This is essential to give your puppy a healthy coat. Wipe the coat thoroughly after getting wet in the rain to prevent fungal infections.
13. Watch out for allergies
Certain dog breeds are known to be allergic to foods like wheat/gluten, eggs, beef, etc. These allergies could manifest in many different ways such as a dull, itchy coat, vomiting, diarrhea etc. If your dog is having these symptoms, try eliminating these offending foods one at a time. Keep a food journal or talk to your vet. Eliminating these foods strictly can prevent further harm and restore your pet’s healthy coat in no time.
We hope these easy ways can give your dog a shinier and healthier coat in no time.