Every dog lover must admit that it's pleasurable to pet a dog, especially those adorned with lustrous fur and healthy skin. But some dogs suffer from lackluster coats and itchy, flaking skin. What can be done to restore their shiny coat in such cases?
Healthy fats play a vital role in keeping dogs’ coats in good condition. Fortunately, veterinarians don’t often see coat problems because it isn’t a common occurrence for dogs to develop a dull coat due to deficiencies in nutrition.
With the ready availability of quality pet foods, it is very hard for a pet to suffer from nutritional deficiencies of any kind.
Reputable commercial dog food companies, such as Avantis, typically put the utmost care in formulating and including enough nutrients, including essential fatty acids, to ensure that dogs maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin.
On the contrary, dogs fed on improperly balanced homemade diets or low-quality commercial dog foods may not get the required nutrients to maintain a healthy coat and skin A Dogfed purely on chicken, for example, will not have all it needs for their optimal health.
Low-fat diets are also risky. The more obvious coat problems that would arise from this deficiency would be a dull, dandruffy coat, typically from an omega-6 deficit.
The sign of a very low fat diet in puppies appears in the form of dry coarse, hair and skin lesions. These lesions become prone to infection and can be very painful and uncomfortable for them.
When it comes to a dull coat and irritated skin, however, diet isn't the only culprit. Dogs that are bathed too often or scratch themselves frequently can lose oil from their skin. Though these dogs don’t have a dietary deficiency, it is important to ensure that they are provided with dog food that covers all bases and especially puts into consideration the stage of life they are in. Supplements can also often remedy this problem.
Omega-6 for Dog Coat Care
Fortunately, most dog foods are very high in omega-6 fatty acids and can be very helpful in giving some lustre and a shine to the coat while helping replace the lost oils in the skin.
Vegetable oils, also a source of omega-6 fatty acids, are easily available in pet stores and can be stirred directly into the meal.
One point to note is that the oil should be fresh because when kept for too long, they can go rancid and lose efficacy.
The same applies to dog foods that contain essential fatty acids because they can oxidize when exposed to air.
Omega-3 for Dog Coat Care
Omega-3 fatty acids can also be curative for dogs with skin disorders because they have other beneficial effects for skin problems. They have very good anti-inflammatory effects for dogs with allergies or other inflammatory skin diseases.
Flaxseed oil and fish oil are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. To relieve itching or inflamed skin, supplements that contain EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) work wonders.
Supplements come in capsule or liquid form, with most vets giving preference to liquid form because of more flexibility in dosing. Capsules, however, protect oils from the oxidation that occurs due to exposure to air.
Some brands also have snip tops that allow dog owners to cut the capsule with ease and pour the oil directly onto the food.
One should be careful not to give excessive fatty acid supplements because they can be too rich and cause upset stomachs or vomiting. A dog’s skin and coat should be in perfect condition if the dog food manufacturer carefully blends all the ingredients.
So, what should you keep in mind When looking for dog food that will promote good skin and coat health ?
Premium pet food is specially formulated to be balanced and complete. That means it includes all the nutrients pets need. Premium pet food also has highly digestible ingredients, so a dog uses all the nutrients efficiently, keeping it healthy.
A Protein Based Diet
The best thing for a dog’s skin and coat health is feeding them high-quality protein packed dog food such as the Avantis range of dog food brands. Dogs are at their best when fed as carnivores. They thrive on a diet rich in animal-based protein sources. Because their hair is actually 95% protein, coat growth varies according to the breed but the combined growth of all their fur can add up to almost 100 feet per day in some dog breeds. This means that during some seasons, close to 30% of a dog's daily protein requirement is used up on coat growth only.
A healthy-looking dog has a glossy, healthy coat and is a reflection of their overall health. It is a good way to gauge what's going on not only outside but also inside their body.
Regular grooming does help take care of the outside by removing dirt and mites, loose hair and helps distribute skin oils. It also helps with taking a close look to catch any skin problems early, not to mention dogs love the attention!
The Bottom Line
Many factors can influence the overall health of a dog’s skin and coat: Diet and grooming, presence of parasites and hormonal or seasonal changes. The best way to keep dogs healthy, just like in humans, is to make sure that their health is taken care of from the inside out from an early age.
At Avantis, we know how important this is. That is why we have Avantispet Puppy and Pure adventure Puppy to take care of the needs of pregnant or lactating dogs as well as puppies. They are specially formulated with pure ingredients forming the basis of ideal growth and bone and muscle development. They improve the development of strong muscles and bones, due to the contribution of fresh proteins.