For Your Pets

Tips to make your dog’s coat shine

Take heed to these simple tips.

Unhealthy diets, poor grooming practices or health problems can make your precious dog’s fur dry and lackluster. If your dog’s coat has become rough, you can improve the condition with these easy tips.

Food

Food plays a significant role in keeping a dog’s coat shiny and healthy.

  • If you feed commercial food to your dog, ensure that you buy only the best quality brands. Select a brand that uses a formula with the perfect balance of fats and proteins. You can ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
  • If you feed a homemade diet to your pet, make sure it is not lacking in any essential nutrients. Include fewer grains and more animal protein. Chicken, turkey and occasional mutton are good sources of proteins for dogs. Cook meat properly to kill all parasites. Avoid feeding cooked bones to your precious one. Boiled eggs can also provide your dog with healthy fats needed for shiny fur. Feed chicken liver, eggs and fish like salmon and sardines in moderation. Boiled rice with cooked chicken can be a good homemade food options.
  • Lack of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can result in dull skin. Ask your veterinarian for supplements of these fatty acids that you can give to your pet. Some veterinarians recommend salmon oil supplements to improve the quality of the skin and coat in dogs. You can also feed fresh and cooked salmon instead of an oil supplement. But be cautious as uncooked or poorly cooked salmon can be very dangerous for your dog’s health and require immediate medical attention.
  • Your dog’s diet should include some fresh ingredients such as vegetables. Even if you feed commercial food, add some cooked or raw carrots, pumpkin and boiled sweet potato with at least one meal. These vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants that are needed for your pet’s good health. Some foods can cause allergies in dog. If your pet frequently develops skin allergies, consult a veterinarian to get to the bottom of this problem. Often, a simple diet change can ease the problem.
  • Many veterinarians now recommend feeding pure coconut oil to dogs for healthy coats. You can add 1 tsp of organic or any good brand’s coconut oil to your dog’s food. However, some dogs develop diarrhea after consuming coconut oil. So, if your pet’s constitution doesn’t support coconut oil, stop its usage immediately. You can also ask your vet about what oils you can include in your dog’s diet.

Ensure that you only buy dog food from a quality and trusted brand.

Grooming

Grooming and hygiene are important factors for your dog’s healthy fur.

  • Always use good quality cleaning products especially formulated for dogs. If you feel a particular brand of shampoo is not producing the desired results, you can always ask your veterinarian for recommendations. Bathe your dog as necessary only. Frequent baths can make the coat flaky. If your dog’s fur is long or thick, you can also use a conditioner after rinsing out the shampoo completely.
  • Consider applying coconut oil to your dog’s coat before a bath. Even if your pet can’t tolerate consuming coconut oil, topical application won’t cause tummy problems. After an hour or so, you can shampoo as usual but only after rinsing out the oil with warm water. Topical application of coconut oil can also heal any skin infection on your dog’s skin and add a nice layer of moisture to the coat.
  • Always brush your dog after a bath. For breeds with longer fur, removing all tangles from hair is necessary. Give the coat a nice brushing daily. This will remove any dust from the fur and also give your dog’s skin a nice massage. Brushing aids in natural oil production from their glands. If you brush your pet regularly, it can also keep oil glands on their skin in top working order.

Medical Care

Your dog’s fur can become dry and matted due to skin infections and other medical problems.

  • If you see any dandruff or oozing wounds on your pet’s skin, see a doctor about the problem. If your dog constantly scratches the skin, it could be indicative of an allergic condition or infection. 
  • Dogs with thyroid problems can shed excessively. If your precious one has this problem even with a good diet and grooming, an underlying thyroid problem can be the reason. A simple blood test helps to diagnose the condition.
  • Zinc and vitamin A deficiencies in dogs can also cause skin problems. But do not use any supplements without your veterinarian’s recommendations. Also, don’t feed foods high in zinc and vitamin A content in excess as it can be harmful to your dog’s health.

All dogs have different food needs depending on their breed and activity level. Consider your pet’s unique needs in terms of diet selection and supplement use.

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