Give Your Dog a Healthy Coat - From the Inside Out
For a major portion of the human race, a healthy head of hair is the crowning glory. And for those who are pet owners, a healthy coat on their four-legged friend is also ideal. Just like people, dogs can have a dull, dry hair along with flaky skin. So what’s the trick to giving your dog the healthiest coat possible? Pet experts recommend starting with a proper diet that includes essential nutrients that work from the inside out.
Proper Dog Diet
Feeding your dog a balanced diet helps ensure your furry friend receives the nourishment needed to grow and sustain a healthy and vibrant coat. But what is a proper diet for your best friend? Considering that today’s dog food market includes a smorgasbord of choices for age, size and breed of canines, selecting what’s proper for your pet can be a challenge. Research by the National Research Council supports a diet full backed by science and full of certain nutrients. Among the nutrients that contribute to a full and healthy coat include fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Essential Fatty Acids
It may not seem that fatty acids are necessary for a dog’s healthy diet; the fact is fatty acids are important for dogs to function and develop properly. An essential fatty acid important to development of healthy skin and coat is omega-3. With a deficit in this nutrient, you may notice that your dog develops coarse versus smooth hair and drier skin.
The good news is that most dog foods have the right amount of fatty acids adequate to meet nutritional needs. Should this not be the case for your pet food of choice, sources of good fatty acids that can be added to your pet’s meal include vegetable or sunflower oil. Fish oil is a good source of omega-3.
That being said, if your dog’s nutritional needs are being met, and the coat is lackluster at best, it may be time to consult with a vet to determine if there are any complications like infections or diseases that are preventing the development of a healthy looking coat.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Dog foods tend to have adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals needed for a proper diet. If you suspect a lackluster coat is due to vitamin or mineral deficiencies that can’t be made up with the proper diet, then it may be worth it to give your pet supplements. Key nutrients such as Vitamin A and Zinc are known to promote healthy skin and a healthy coat. Adding these supplements to your dog’s diet may just be what the doctor ordered.
A proper diet with supplements can help your pet develop a thick and healthy coat. But don’t overdo it. As many nutrients can be met with the proper dog food, adding extra vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids should be done with care. Work with a trusted pet care professional to determine the type and quantity of supplements your dog really needs.