We love our dogs no matter how they look, but that doesn’t mean that a healthy, shiny coat isn’t important. Beyond looking bad, a dull coat can be a sign of skin problems or other health issues. To give your pet’s coat a healthy sheen, try some healthful diet changes and a little TLC.
Love Starts on the Inside
Image via Flickr by @orre
Your dog’s diet can significantly affect its coat. Feed your pup healthful food to help give it a shiny, healthy coat. For starters, your dog needs plenty of protein and amino acids. You might also want to add foods high in omega-3 fatty acids — different types of fish or fish oil can give your pet the vitamins it needs.
Brush Your Dog Regularly
Most dogs need regular brushing, but none more than longhaired and shedding breeds. If you own a long-haired dog, such as a golden retriever, remember to brush its fur every other day. Not only will you help improve the state of your dog’s coat, but you’ll also help cut down on shedding around the house. The decrease in allergens could help your own health as well as your dog’s.
Bathe for Health
Regular baths can help keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny. But if normal baths don’t seem to do the trick, then you might want to try oatmeal baths. Sometimes a dull coat can be a sign of skin problems, which oatmeal baths sometimes alleviate.
However, take care not to bathe your pup too often. Overbathing can dry out the skin, worsening a coat problem.
Rethink Your Pet’s Environment
Your dog’s environment could affect the condition of its coat. If your dog spends much time outside, then its coat might be affected by mud, dirt, or damp conditions. What’s more, if your dog is outside in cold weather, consider upgrading your pet’s outdoor facilities to help it stay warm during the winter months.
If your dog has fleas or ticks, on the other hand, the difference you’re seeing might be a sign of irritated skin. You want to improve your pet’s health, but you also want to keep your pet healthy. Don’t stop at treating your pet’s symptoms — do some digging to find out whether altering your pet’s living environment could provide a long-term solution.
Get to the Source of the Problem
When your dog’s coat is dull, don’t waste any time finding out what’s wrong. However, regardless of whether you need to rethink your pet’s diet or alter its environment, don’t forget that a dull coat can also be a sign of a health issue.
Although in some cases the condition of your dog’s coat might rest with its diet or the health of its skin, if your pet’s coat seems especially dull, and if brushing and bathing don’t seem to help, then it’s time to ask an expert. Instead of loading your pet into the car for a trip to the vet, however, try a service such as Kuddly to speak to a veterinarian online about how you can help your pet. Your dog will thank you for it!