A dog’s health goes far beyond the surface, but you can tell a lot about a pup by their coat. And if you want to improve the shine and health of their coat, you have a variety of options available at your disposal.
The Importance of Healthy Skin and Coat for Your Dog
You might assume that your dog’s coat is all about appearances, but it actually serves a number of functional purposes, including:
- Protecting the bones and internal organs from a variety of external dangers, including chemicals, foreign objects, and extreme temperatures.
- Holding the right amount of water to keep your dog hydrated and healthy. Dogs don’t have sweat glands, so excess water loss is dangerous and could negatively impact energy levels, metabolism, and other key aspects of health.
- Storing nutrients – By one estimate, 35 percent of your dog’s daily protein intake is used to maintain a healthy coat. Your pup also stores up fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to keep a supple coat.
Of course, physical appearance and beauty matters, too! By taking care of your dog’s coat, you get to enjoy a vibrant and happy pup that you’re proud to call your own!
4 Ways to Improve your Dog’s Coat
A beautiful coat sounds great, but where do you start?
We have a few simple tips that you can start using this week to keep your dog’s coat shiny and healthy:
1. Bathe Your Dog Regularly
Your dog doesn’t need a daily bath like you, but you should consider bathing him at least once per month. If your dog is particularly active, you might want to try once every two weeks. Here are a few helpful tips:
- A dog with an oily coat – such as a basset hound – might need to be bathed as frequently as once per week. Breeds with water-repellant coats – like golden retrievers and Great Pyrenees – should actually be bathed less often so as to prevent the natural oils in their skin.
- Brush your dog before bathing. This prevents matted hair from holding water, which can leave your pup with irritated skin.
- Always use lukewarm water. Dogs are much more susceptible to burning than humans are.
- Use dog shampoo. The human shampoo will dry out a dog’s skin.
- Always rinse well after lathering with soap. Any soap that’s left in could irritate the skin after drying.
- Always follow up a bath with a treat. You want to develop a positive correlation with regular bathing.
If you don’t have the time, space, or resources to bathe your dog, take him to a groomer! Not only can they bathe your dog, but they’ll also clip nails and do all of the things you don’t want to do (like express anal sacs).
2. Provide High-Quality Food
Just as a healthy, balanced diet is important for us as humans, your dog needs a nutritious diet in order to enjoy a healthy and vibrant coat of hair. Always pay attention to ingredients when buying food and avoid options that include lots of fillers and additives.
Tip: Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to your dog’s food to add some glow to his coat!
3. Give Your Dog Essential Fatty Acids
You’re aware of the fact that you need to consume polyunsaturated fats in order to stay healthy, but what about your dog? Yes, he needs omega 3 fatty acids, too.
Omega 3 fatty acids provide numerous benefits to your dog, including a shinier coat and better-conditioned skin. They also lessen the severity of shedding, reduce dandruff, and leave your dog with a healthier coat.
4. Prevent Fleas and Ticks
If your dog is constantly itching, gnawing, and rubbing up against furniture, rugs, trees, and posts, there’s a good chance they have some sort of underlying condition or irritant such as fleas or ticks. Thankfully, you can prevent an infestation with annual protection, both on your pet and in your yard/home.
If your dog already has fleas or ticks, there are numerous over the counter products, you can use to get rid of them.
Adding it All Up
No two dogs are the same. For example, a golden retriever and a dachshund have very different needs – as do a husky and a French bulldog. So you’ll have to do your research and consult with your veterinarian to find out the best course of action. However, with the right attention to detail, you can ensure any dog has a healthy and shiny coat for years to come.