Just like with humans and their hair, dog’s coat reveals a lot about his physical and emotional health. A dog that is optimally healthy and happy will generally have beautiful shiny coat. So, in other words, taking care of his health is the same thing as taking care of his coat and vice versa.
If you want your dog to glow and have a shiny, thick coat, you have to feed him properly, you must eliminate all parasites or other disease that effect his health, make sure to give him appropriate grooming and last, but not least- spend enough time with your furry friend and make him feel loved and secure in your home.
Every veterinarian will tell you that poor nutrition is the main reason why some dogs have dull coats. Your furry little companion needs regular, healthy, balanced meals, with lots of fresh meat and proteins, and as little as possible of processed foods, foods that contains grains, wheat, soy, by products, preservatives or substances that cause allergies.
Of course, another main cause of dull coat is disease. If you are sure that your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs and still has problems with his coat, it is definitively a sign it is time to take him to a vet, for health checkup. There are many conditions that contribute coat end skin problems. Those include various infections, fleas, hormonal issues or certain diseases that affects some of dog’s internal organs. Also, all kind of parasites, such as tapeworms, hookworms or roundworms may deplete your dog of the nutrientsthat are important for his optimal health.
Once you have eliminated all the health conditions that may be the cause of a dull coat, the only thing left to focus on is nutrition. So here are some tips:
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can do miracles for your dog's coat. Great source of omega acids are: salmon, tuna and sardines. You can add very small amounts of them to your dog’s food and it will visibly improve his coat. They are also very tasty, so most dogs will eat them with pleasure.Quality protein is a must! Dog’s coat is made of 90 % of proteins, so if there aren’t enough of proteins in his nutrition, his coat and nails suffer. Make sure to give your dog foods that have a protein source as the first ingredient. Those include chicken, salmon, turkey and lamb. You also want to avoid food with high amounts of animal byproducts and grains.Olive oil or any other vegetable oil, such as sunflower, flaxseed, olive, coconut and safflower is very good for the coat. All you have to do is add one tablespoon of oil into your dog’s meal and it will prevent dry and dull coat. If you have very small dog, make it one teaspoon, because too much oil can cause diarrhea. Coconut oil also does miracles for numerous skin problems.
There are also a few herbal remedies for bad coat. Spirulina and horsetail are great for healthy and strong skin, bones, and fur. However, they must be properly dosed, so you probably should consult your veterinarian on how much of those remedies you can give to your dog.
1. Regular bathing is not only a matter of hygiene, but it is also necessaryfor healthy coat. Bathing your dog once a month is enough to keep him clean. You may feel tempted to do it more often, but bathing him too frequently would strip his skin and coat of the essential oils and make his hair dull. It is recommendable that you use moisturizing shampoo that doesn’t cause skin irritations. You can also use some dog conditioner with vitamin E after the bath.
2. Regular brushing is also very important. You should brush your dog once every two or three days, but for French Bulldogs, who have very short hair, once a week will do. It is important because it removes the dead coat, it stimulates hair follicles and production of the essential oils that make coat glossy and shiny.
3. Oatmeal bath is one more trick you can use. If your dog’s dull coat is caused by the skin problems, this recipe is supposed to sooth the skin, relieve itching, and make the coat soft and shiny. You make it by grinding oatmeal in your blender until you get a powder like mass, then fill your sink or a tub with lukewarm water, add the powder and stir until the water goes cloudy. Then put your dog in the bath and massage his coat (avoid the eyes area) for 10 to 15 minutes. Finally rinse him off, dry him and enjoy his clean, shiny and fluffy coat!