Your dog’s coat is distinctive. It illustrates your dog’s breed and shows how well you care for your pup. A matted, overgrown coat is a visible sign of neglect, while a well-maintained, shiny, healthy coat identifies an attentive and proud owner.
Sometimes despite your best efforts, shampoo, and lots of money, your dog’s coat won’t shine. Go beyond grooming and look at other causes. Diet and exercise can influence your dog’s coat more than you could imagine.
Use these tips to keep your dog’s coat shiny and strong without the need for expensive shampoos and excessive time commitments.
Feed your dog Omega fatty acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are critical parts of any mammals’ diet, humans, and dogs alike. They are responsible for creating cell membrane walls and helping the heart function more efficiently. They also get nutrients to your dog’s coat, which makes it healthy and thus shiny and strong
Add foods high in Omega fatty acids, like fish, into your dog’s. Adding two tablespoons of cooked tuna or salmon once a week can help prevent hair loss. You also could add a blend of vegetable oil and flax seeds, or you could add a product like Ultra Oil, a blend of omega-3, 7 and 9 fatty acids from hemp oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oil from sardines and anchovies, to your dog’s food.
For a more integrated approach, feed your pup food that already includes added Omega fatty acids. Be sure to read the label to make sure the food doesn’t contain any unnecessary additives.
Feed your dog protein
Surprisingly, protein is a significant component for healthy hair. The strands are 90 percent protein content, so a protein-rich diet is essential for a glossy coat. Many dog foods are chicken- or meat-rich, but ensuring that the food isn’t high in grains, corn, and wheat instead is imperative.
The FDA recently released a report listing dog food brands linked to heart disease, and most of them are grain-free. The foods flagged by the FDA contained legumes such as peas or lentils, other legume seeds, potatoes or sweet potatoes as primary ingredients.
When in doubt about what to feed your dog, consult your veterinarian.
Brush it out
Brushing your dog’s hair removes tangles and improves the health of the skin and coat. Removing excess dog hair reduces shedding and ensure that nutrients arrive correctly to the follicle. While it might seem like a pain to clean up every day, quickly vacuuming the area eliminates the problem.
Brushing stimulates hair strands, which strengthens them and makes your dog’s look thick and full. It also helps create oil, which keeps the skin moisturized. Additionally, brushing pulls the oil from the skin to the strands, which makes them glossy. Brushing daily might seem like overkill, but it should be an essential part of your dog’s grooming routine.
Selecting the right brush for your dog’s coat is as important as brushing it. Some dogs with shorter hair that rarely shed, like poodles, need a metal brush that removes dander and kinks. Longer-haired pooches, like Golden Retrievers, need a gentle brush, so you don’t tear the ends of the strands or cause pain. A rubber friction brush is perfect for this.
Choose the right products
What you put on your dog’s coat also affects how it looks. Just like with human hair, low-quality shampoos will take a toll over time, and finding the right one for your dog’s hair type is a key to health.
Bathing your dog might seem like a daunting task, but maintaining control of the situation and staying calm will help your pet enjoy it.
Longer-haired dogs need a shampoo with conditioner in it, while dogs with dry skin or other conditions can benefit from natural topical oils, like CBD oil. While CBD is growing in popularity for many canine uses, such as anxiety and pain, it can also be used topically. The Omegas in it help moisturize the skin and strengthen the hair follicle. It also stimulates oil generation naturally, which helps keep your dog’s coat shiny.
Shiny, beautiful, healthy
Caring for your dog’s coat may seem daunting because it’s so different from human hair. But if you follow these easy-to-incorporate tips, it’ll become a part of your routine in no time.
Madison Adams is a beauty and lifestyle blogger who is just as focused on her next lavender latte as she is on writing. Using her psychology degree, she likes to draw on human insights to make her writing (and life) more impactful. When she’s not writing, Madison can be found being walked by her giant labradoodle, Grover.