Hair and skin health starts on the inside - that's what we learned in the human world. We found the important role that a proper diet, hyrdation and rest can play in our own skin health. The same is true for our dogs. If you're looking for ways to keep your dog's coat shiny and healthy, it starts with nutrition on the inside. What we put into their bodies has a huge impact on the appearance of their skin and coat on the outside, so if you're noticing dryness, patchiness, hot spots, itchiness, etc. nutrition is your first line of defense.
So how do you keep your dog's coat, hair and skin healthy? Here's your nutrition guide of the three main places to look in your dog's diet to have the biggest impact.
Take a look at your dog's food, particularly protein intake - A dog's coat is made up of about 65-95% protein where the amino acids found within protein make up the foundational building blocks of your dog's hair and skin tissue. If you're noticing patchiness on your dog's hair or dry, brittle hair, it might be a sign that your dog has a protein deficiency and is missing key nutritional building blocks. Common culprits into low-quality commercial dog foods which are lower in protein or use meat byproduct. Eating a clean, high protein diet rich in those sulfur-containing amino acids allows for proper regeneration of the cells of your dog's skin and coat.
Add in omega fatty acids - There are two types of omega fatty acids that you should have on your radar for your dog's coat health. Both should be familiar to you from the human nutrition world:
- Omega-6 fatty acids: Omega-6 fatty acids are more readily available in the food your dog is already eating. You can find Omega-6 fatty acids in poultry, pork and small amounts in beef fat. Your dog is likely consuming Omega-6 from the fats that are in whatever protein source they are used to eating.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are less readily available in your dog's diet, but have a huge impact on your dog's overall skin and coat health. You can find Omega-3's in fish oil or flax seed oil. You can use Omega-3 as a topper on your dog's regular diet by putting a teaspoon of fish oil onto their food or sprinkling on a tablespoon of flaxseed. The oils help boost your dog's hair shine and their anti-inflammatory properties keep skin healthy.
Coconut oil is supplement powerhouse - If you're looking for another nutrition powerhouse for a healthy coat, look no further than coconut oil. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory when injested thanks to the lauric acid found within it. If you go with a topical treatment of coconut oil, it's known for cleaning up skin issues like hot spots, damaged skin, allergies, itchiness, etc. It keeps your dog's coat glossy, shiny and healthy. If you're going to feed your dog small amounts of coconut oil as a topper, make sure you pick an unrefined coconut oil (virgin coconut oil) and put small quantities on top of his food.
Looking for some tailored advice? Text '411' to 29071 for a consult on how to keep your dog's hair and skin shiny and healthy.