Split ends and dull hair can affect us humans, but have you ever considered whether your four-legged friend has the same issues? While yours may be just a case of hat hair or an overdue haircut, when you notice a dry and brittle coat on your dog, you should take note. A shiny, healthy coat is an indicator of good health, so dryness and breakage are more than just aesthetic issues. 

Why do dogs’ coats get dry and brittle?

If your dog’s coat is dry and brittle, there could be myriad reasons: environmental, medical, or dietary factors can all change the texture and appearance. Environmental factors like cold air or seasonal allergies dry out the skin and fur, causing your pup to scratch and further exacerbate the issue. 


Medical issues like skin conditions, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances also take a toll on the coat: thinning patches, breakage, and excessive shedding are often signs that something internal needs to be addressed. Anxiety can cause over-grooming, which then leads to excessive shedding.


Diet could also be to blame if your dog isn’t getting enough nutrients or is having a negative reaction to one of the ingredients in the current food. Processed diets are usually full of nutrient-devoid ingredients like fiber and lack the proper protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals that make up a balanced diet (and a healthy dog).


What can be done about it?

Regular washing and grooming

Before making more drastic changes like changing diet or visiting the vet, make sure you’re taking care of your dog’s fur by regularly washing with pet-safe shampoo and brushing frequently. Dogs should be bathed with shampoo about once a month; more frequently can dry out the fur too much. Between baths, a quick rinse or even pet-safe dry shampoo can keep your  dog looking and smelling fresh. Brushing every day or so is also important, no matter the breed. Some think that only long-haired dogs need brushing to detangle, but even short-haired breeds benefit from a good brushing, as it distributes oils and helps with shedding. If you implement a grooming routine and the problem persists, the next step would be to consider dietary changes. 

Best dog foods for shiny coats

Just like humans, dogs look and feel their best when they have a nutrient-rich diet. Also like humans, though, each dog is different, so your pup might not be getting everything he or she needs with your standard processed food. Rather than rolling the dice with random switches or additions, consulting a professional makes the change easier on your dog (and your wallet). Puppo’s nutrition consultation service will help identify the gaps in your dog’s diet, what foods he or she might be sensitive to, and what ingredients will work best for their stage of life. From there, a custom recipe is created, and the subscription plan makes it easy to keep a full stock of your tailor-made formula.

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Use skin and coat supplements

Depending on your dog’s nutritional needs, he or she may benefit from adding in supplements like Omega-6 or Omega-3. These fatty acids ease inflammation and build immunity, as well as making that coat shiny as a show dog’s. Your dog’s custom recipe may include some of these, but if you want to add more, check the skin and coat supplement section of your local pet supply store. 

Talk to a professional

If grooming and dietary changes don’t initiate an improvement, consult your veterinarian. A more serious medical issue may be to blame, and no matter what the condition, it’s important to get treatment sooner than later. 

A healthy coat isn’t just for show dogs

Whether you’ve got a pageant queen or a pup who loves to roll in the mud, a shiny coat isn’t just for looks: a healthy dog should have a beautiful coat to match. Purebred or mystery mixed breed, your dog deserves the very best, inside and out.

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