A healthy coat is a shiny, lustrous coat. You can help your dog feel like the prettiest pooch on the block by choosing a shampoo that will nourish his coat and bring out its luster. Proper grooming and the right diet are also essential for helping your dog's coat sparkle and shine.
When it comes to choosing a shampoo for your dog, no matter what, stick with a mild formulation that will not strip or dry out your dog's coat and skin. Ingredients such as sulfates, which are in essence, simply cheap detergents, provide "sudsy" action, but they can leave your dog's skin and coat feeling dry. Opt for a shampoo that is formulated with your dog's type of coat in mind. While your Bichon Frise may need a shampoo with a mild detangler, your Labrador may need an extra-moisturizing shampoo for his sometimes flaky coat.
You may think that same shampoo that you suds up with in the shower to wash your own lovely locks will work great for Max too! The shampoo that makes your hair lovely and lustrous may leave your buddy's dull and dry. This is because the pH of a human's scalp and skin falls somewhere between 5.2 to 6.2. Your dog's pH is between 5.5 to 7.5, which falls toward the alkaline end of the spectrum. A human shampoo on a dog is a recipe for dry skin, lot of scratching action, and even a setup for bacteria and parasites.
Aloe Vera provides soothing properties and lots of much-needed moisture. Vitamin E is excellent for hydrating and softening. Honey is a natural humectant that will hydrate and nourish while working to lock in moisture. Avoid synthetic fragrances (the words "added fragrance" are a giveaway), as these can be drying and may cause irritation to sensitive skin.
Depending on the breed of your dog, the maintenance and bathing needs of his coat will vary. For long-haired dogs, bathing will tend to tangle his coat. Bathing needs to be done occasionally, while brushing needs to be done on a regular basis to prevent matting. The ASPCA recommends bathing your dog at least once every three months. In between bathing, be sure to treat your buddy to a good old fashion brushing. This is a natural way to distribute his coat's natural oils throughout his coat and fur and make it sparkle with sheen. Beauty starts from within. Nourish your dog with a well-rounded diet complete with omega 3's and 6's. These essential fatty acids will help hydrate his skin from the inside out, resulting in a nourished, healthy coat.
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