A happy dog is a healthy dog, and a healthy dog has strong, shiny fur. Your dog’s coat is one of the best indicators of his or her health – be it physical or emotional. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse. Health and nutrition influence the lustre and texture of your pet’s coat from the inside, regular grooming and skin care on the outside will help keep your dog’s coat clean and free of tangles.
Pack them full of protein!
A lacklustre and dull coat is often the result of a poor diet or poor quality food. Like human hair, a dog’s coat is made out of mainly protein. If your dog’s diet is low in protein hair quality will suffer.
When buying dog food, choose food that has a protein source as the first ingredient – not something that has grains, preservatives or animal by-products as the first or main ingredient.
Choose something that has chicken, turkey or lamb as the first ingredient instead of chicken meal, corn, soy or wheat.
Omega-3 is your dogs best friend.
Omegas have very good anti-inflammatory effects and can be beneficial for other skin problems your dog may experience.
Look for dog food that contains omega-3 fatty acids or research Omega-3 fatty acid supplements – like fish oils or flaxseed oil. Always approach supplements with caution, too much could upset your dog’s stomach! Many pet owners prefer to add fresh of raw or cooked fish to their dog’s diets once a week. Salmon, tuna or sardines are some of the tastiest options! Results aren’t immediate but you should see an improvement in their coat and skin in 6 weeks.
A lack of Omega-6 fatty acids can lead to dry skin, hair loss and overall irritation. Vegetable oils are rich in omega 6 – adding a teaspoon of fresh sunflower oil, safflower oil or rapeseed oil per meal is easy to add into your daily feeding routine. The rough guideline is one teaspoon for a small dog and one tablespoon for a large dog.
Keep their food fresh.
Good quality dog food should include the above fatty acids… If, they are stored correctly! Food that is left open and exposed to air will lose nutritional value! So, make sure you’re following the storage instructions, and not leaving their food out – routine meal times are a must!
Keep fungal and bacterial problems at bay with regular baths – but resist bathing them too often, as too much bathing can strip the skin of natural oils that keep the coat shiny – based on your dog’s breed and personal needs, they may need a different bathing schedule than other dogs. Some dogs have skin that can only be shampooed and bathed once every few months. Other dogs need weekly baths, especially if they are prone to rolling in the mud! Always ask your groomer or vet if you have any questions. We offer a wide range of grooming services, carried out by our international, award winning team. We also offer a wash and go service which is really popular with our regular customers. This service enables customers to have their dog quickly washed while they wait without the hassle and mess of doing it at home. Find out about our wash and go service here.
Choose the correct shampoo.
Use a moisturising shampoo and organic conditioner to prevent skin irritation. Products that have vitamin E will be soothing for your dog’s hair and skin. If your dog has dry skin, consider using shampoos with aloe vera or oatmeal in them. There are also hypoallergenic options and varieties of doggy shampoo made for certain skin and fur types. ONLY use dog shampoo because even gentle baby shampoo and pH balanced shampoos for humans can be too strong for the thin skin that dogs have. Strong shampoo can irritate and damage the soft skin and hair follicles, creating lesions or other issues. As always seek out advice from your dog groomer or vet if you have any questions.
Regularly brush and de-shed your dog’s coat.
Regardless of whether your dog has long or short hair, your dog will shed on a regular basis, and many have coats that are affected seasonally. Make sure to regularly maintain your dog’s coat and undercoat in order to keep it clean and remove dead skin and hair. Brushing encourages your dog to produce skin oils that energise the skin to promote hair growth, as well as allowing you precious bonding time!
Coconut Oil is not just good for you!
A lot of the benefits that coconut oil has for humans applies to dogs as well! Add to your dog’s diet to help with digestive health and to prevent infection. A couple of drops to their coat will keep it healthy and add shine!
Oatmeal makes bathtime luxurious.
You can buy oatmeal varieties of doggy shampoo, but a DIY oatmeal bath is not only cheap for you, but it can also help significantly with your dog’s skin and coat health. Oatmeal soothes and moisturizes skin and is highly recommended to dogs with allergies or skin problems.
There are hundreds of herbal remedies and tablets on the market that promise to keep your dog’s coat in tip-top condition, such as:
Kelp to encourage a thicker coat growth,
Horsetail for healthy skin, bones and fur,
Spirulina to support healthy skin.
Be sure to check with your vet on dosage if you’re considering using herbal remedies.