Whether your dog’s fur is long or short, curly or straight, you want to make sure your dog’s skin and coat remain shiny and healthy. Several factors play a part in how healthy your dog’s coat can be, and believe it or not, most of these involve what your dog eats. Proper diet and nutrition, as well as certain supplements, can make a big difference in your dog’s outward appearance. Read on for nutrition tips that can help bring out the best in your dog’s coat.
Feed High Quality Food
The single most important determinant for skin and coat health is the food your dog eats. Most dog owners feed some type of processed kibble or wet food, which means most of your dog’s nutrition comes from one single source. Feeding processed food is okay, but you do need to be mindful of food quality. Check the labels of the food you feed. Make sure the first ingredient is some type of meat product. Dogs are carnivores, and they should eat mostly meat. If corn or wheat is the number one ingredient, that is the hallmark of an inferior quality food. In fact, corn and wheat are known allergens that are the primary cause of skin problems in some dogs. If you currently feed a dog food that contains these items, try switching to a food with barley or other whole grains instead, or even go grain free. You should start to see a difference in just a few weeks.
Try Coconut Oil
Natural oils in your dog’s skin are what give its coat that beautiful luster and sheen. Coconut oil can be fed as a supplement to your dog’s regular meals, and the healthy fats it contains will show through in your dog’s skin and fur. In the past, this oil gained a poor reputation because it was one of only a few plant-based oils that contain saturated fats. However, the scientific community has found that the type of fat contained in coconut oil, lauric acid, does not interfere with the ratio of good and bad cholesterol, and may have additional health benefits as well. Make sure you use virgin coconut oil that has not been processed.
Avoid Feeding Table Scraps
Dogs are great beggars, and it can be difficult to resist those soulful eyes when you’re sitting at the table. If you’re concerned about your dog’s coat, though, try to resist feeding table scraps to your dog. Some processed foods contain unhealthy chemicals and preservatives. Also, some foods that are acceptable for humans can be dangerous or difficult to digest for dogs. Inner digestive trouble will, over time, project in your dog’s outward appearance.
If your dog’s coat is not as soft and shiny as you would like it to be, try some of these tips for a few weeks. You should see positive results within a few weeks. If you notice skin redness, irritation, or hair loss, please seek veterinary attention.