Shiny coats aren’t just for frou frou little Yorkies or retro Afghans. Sure, a shiny coat is beautiful and nice to stroke, but it’s also a sign of a healthy dog. What is your dog’s coat telling you about her health?
Here are some top tips on giving your dog a healthy coat:
Nutrition – A shiny coat starts with good nutrition, so feed your dog a high-quality dog food, especially one with essential fatty acids.
Omega 3 – Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid found in oils from fish and some plants. Without enough Omega 3, your dog may experience a dull and dry coat. To make your dog shine, try giving her an Omega 3 supplement.
Exercise – Just as we humans benefit from healthier hair and skin if we exercise regularly, so do dogs. Exercise will stimulate blood and oxygen flow, bringing your dog’s coat the nutrients it needs to shine.
Bathing – Some dogs require baths more often than others depending on their breed, type of coat, level of activity and environment (for example, a dog who walks through a damp forest daily will get dirtier than a dog who spends the majority of time in an apartment). Bathing your dog will obviously remove dirt and make your dog’s coat shiny and clean, but be sure to use a high-quality shampoo so you do not strip your dog’s coat of its healthy natural oils, which also contribute to shine.
Conditioner – You have a bottle of dog shampoo in your cupboard, but what about canine conditioner? It does exist, and may really help your dog’s coat shine and stay soft. Look for a dog conditioner that is tear free, so if it gets in your dog’s eyes it won’t hurt.
Don’t share – Sure your shampoo keeps your hair silky and shiny, but make sure to purchase a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs.
Grooming – Brushing and grooming your dog’s coat stimulate production of the natural oils that keep your dog’s fur healthy and shiny. Check regularly for dirt, burs and other muck that may be caught in the fur.
Massage – Not only will it relax her, make her feel good and provide a great way to bond, but a massage will improve your dog’s blood circulation, bringing nutrients to her coat.
If your dog’s coat continues to have a dull luster, talk to your groomer or vet, whose expertise may be able to give you some insight.