How to Make Your Dog's Coat Glossyby Tammy Dray
"My hair is as glossy as Mommy's!"
A shiny coat is a sign of good health. If your pooch's coat leaves much to be desired, the best approach is one that combines external care -- the equivalent to a visit to the spa and hair salon -- with a change in diet and maybe a visit to the vet. By taking care of all possible reasons why your pup's coat is not shiny right now, you'll ensure that it will look its best down the road.
Switch to a high-quality dog food. Premium food has a type of meat listed as the first ingredient -- if yours has corn, soy or rice listed as the first ingredient in the list, it's time to try something else. Protein is essential to a healthy coat, according to the website DogTime, so look for a food with a high content of fish, chicken or beef.
Add a teaspoon of vegetable or fish oil on top of your dog's food once a day. Or try some fish oil supplements. Lack of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in Rover's diet could be the reason his coat is not shiny.
Groom, groom and then groom some more. If you have a long-haired dog, you might need to brush him daily to avoid tangles and keep the hair soft and healthy. Grooming doesn't mean washing, though -- dogs' coats have natural oils that keep them from getting too dry. If you bathe your dog too often, you might end up stripping those oils and causing the hair to look dry and dull. Unless Doggie is stinky for some reason, the ASPCA recommends not bathing your dog too often -- once every three months or so might be enough.
Switch to a two-in-one doggie shampoo, which comes with added conditioners. Just like you use conditioners in your own hair to improve its softness and shine, Rover's hair might need the same care. When giving him a bath, remember to rinse well -- if there are remnants of shampoo on the hair, it can make it look dull and dry.
Take Rover to the vet if nothing you do seems to help. A weak immune system, skin parasites or infections can affect the look and health of the coat. Treating the issue with medication will eventually make the coat shinier and healthier.
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- High-quality dog food
- Vegetable or fish oil
- Talk to your vet before feeding your dog supplements or changing his diet.