How to Keep Your Dog’s Coat Shiny & Healthy
If you care about your own beauty routines, then have you ever paused to consider the skin and haircare needs of your favourite four-legged companion? You’re probably well aware that if you ate junk food all day, didn’t shower or brush your hair, and perhaps felt anxious or depressed, then your complexion and hair health would likely suffer as a result. In much the same way, it’s important to keep your dog’s coat looking healthy, shiny and lustrous. Whilst you may want your silky pooch to be the envy of the dog park for aesthetic reasons, it’s worth remembering that your pup’s coat is also a crucial indicator of their overall health. A healthy coat is a good outward signal of inward well-being and vitality.
Our ethos at Be:Loved is all things pet wellness. Powerful, plant-based, and eco-friendly, we are passionate about natural solutions when it comes to pet pampering. The path to a shiny coat doesn’t need to be overly complicated or involve harsh chemicals. In fact, the key is really in some of the simplest things: diet, exercise, and regular grooming.
As a responsible pet parent, you’re probably constantly on the lookout for solutions to keep your dog’s coat healthy. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to make your pup’s coat shinier. From outward grooming to a more holistic approach that considers all aspects of your dog’s health, this is your go-to guide for the most gorgeous doggy coat in town!
What Does a Dull Dog Coat Look Like?
A dull dog coat can look untidy, matted, patchy, greasy, or thin. The gleaming shine on a dog’s coat usually comes from a healthy balance of skin oils which naturally reflect the light.
Now, we should point out that some types of dog fur are always going to be less shiny, and there’s not all that much that can be done about it. For example, wire-haired or curly breeds may never develop that long-haired lustrous shine, however much you shampoo and condition. Also, dogs that are moulting or need their fur stripped will have dead hairs that naturally lead to a duller appearance.
Whilst a dull coat can usually be corrected fairly painlessly by following the simple tips listed below, some illnesses can also cause a dog coat to appear flat and lifeless. It’s important to note that your pup’s coat health starts at the skin level. Recognising the signs of irritation, allergies, and inflammation is a good way to help nip any coat issues in the bud before they become bigger problems.
Take care to regularly check your dog over, and pay particular attention to any signs of flaky skin, redness, scabbing, hair loss, or clear signs of irritation (this can also include an unpleasant odour). There are many causes of skin issues; these could range from allergies to parasites, or even digestive issues. If you’re at all concerned or your dog’s coat is looking much more dishevelled than normal, then get a second opinion from your local vet to be on the safe side.
8 Home Remedies for a Shiny Dog Coat
So without any further ado, let’s take a look at how you can up the ante for luscious doggy locks! From pure pampering to quality nutrition, these are all tips that you can try out at home.
And remember – don’t expect miracles or instantaneous results – you’ll want to build consistent routines to allow for your pup’s coat to really showcase the benefits. Stay positive and have faith in the process!
- Groom with a brush regularly
We may be stating the obvious here, but more often than not, a lack-lustre coat will improve tenfold with a good old brush! To keep a well-maintained coat, it’s helpful to have a regular pet grooming regime for your pup (especially if they have a longer coat which is prone to tangles and mats). Just make sure that you desensitise your pup to being brushed from a young age, and invest in the right kind of brush for the needs of your particular breed’s coat.
Brushing – preferably daily, but at least a couple of times a week – helps to remove dirt, dust, and grime. It will also move the skin oils from the follicle to the tip to produce that natural, radiant shine.
If your dog is shedding their thick winter coat, then use a de-shedding brush first to remove any dead or loose hairs. You can then follow up with a detangling tool before sweeping over them with a soft brush. Finishing with a soft brush will work best for producing the glossiest results.
- Bathe once or twice a month
You need to strike a delicate balance when bathing your dog. Whilst you’ll want to clean and condition their coat fairly regularly – especially in winter with inevitable muddy paws – you also don’t want to bathe your pup too frequently. Just like with your own hair, cleaning too often can actually have the opposite intended effect and end up stripping oils from the skin. This can cause irritation, skin sensitivity, and yep, you guessed it, a dull coat.
As a general rule of thumb, bathing should be kept to a minimum. Once or twice a month is usually more than sufficient for most breeds, although do judge by what feels seasonally appropriate. For example, in the winter months, more frequent baths may be a necessity, whereas your pooch may go shower-free for a lot of the summer.
When looking for a gentle yet thoroughly nourishing shampoo, we’ve got you covered with our all-natural and zero-waste pet shampoo bars. Not only are thry good for your pooch – they’re good for the planet, too!
Each handmade bar is packed full of conditioning ingredients, and is formulated to maintain the natural pH balance of your dog’s skin whilst soothing, calming, and cleansing. If you’re not sure where to start, why not opt for our Be:Set Shampoo Stack, and see which of our three gorgeous bars produces the best results? Oh, and for fuss-free bath times, don’t forget to train your puppy to love time spent in the tub!
- Use natural oils
Coconut oil can be a great addition to keeping your dog’s skin and fur soft and conditioned. It can be used either internally or externally. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to their dinner or massage a little into their fur after a bath with your fingers. However, just be careful not to apply too liberally as it can cause moisture build-up and irritated skin in high doses.
Here at Be:Loved, we’re obsessed with the plant-based power of essential oils and have formulated our own blend of natural oils for use on your pet’s skin. Encased in a gorgeous green glass bottle, Be:Silky is our enriching and conditioning skin and coat oil. For improved circulation and those all-important sleek, replenished locks, your pup can’t help but look and smell divine after a bath time pamper session!
Simply warm a few drops in the palm of your hands and then work into your pooch’s skin and coat. This heavenly mix of grape seed, sweet almond, rose, lavender, and Vitamin E is everything your pup’s coat has been asking for, we guarantee!
- Protect against parasites
Nasty critters like skin mites, fleas, and ticks can all have a negative impact on your dog’s fur, as well as causing a whole host of other concerning health conditions. It’s essential to prevent against parasites, as they could even be life-threatening for your pup if not treated quickly and efficiently.
Check your pup over regularly for any signs of unwanted pests clinging onto their fur or embedded in their skin. You’ll likely notice an increase in your poor pooch scratching, biting, or clawing at themselves if they are having issues with bugs, which only causes more damage to their coat.
You can take preventative steps to reduce the risk of fleas and ticks by using our Be:Gone DEET-free bug repellent, as well as our specially-formulated critter-deterring shampoo bar. Our Be:Fresh Natural Prebiotic Spray will further help to kill germs and maintain a clean, healthy environment. For essential reading on this topic, check out this article here.
- Feed a high-quality diet
There are plenty of health-related reasons why you’ll want to ensure your dog receives the right nutrition. However, as a bonus side-effect, a complete and balanced diet will also lead to a healthy, shiny coat. Win-win!
Make sure that you are feeding your dog appropriately for their breed, age, and size. Their diet should be nutrient-dense and generally consist of plenty of grains, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Fillers and irritating ingredients can be lurking in some cheaper pet foods, so don’t skimp on quality. Similarly, expensive food is no use if your pup finds it difficult to digest (you’ll be able to tell if messy poops are the norm!).
To find a food that works best for your pup, speak to a qualified vet. They can help you to make the transition safely and effectively.
- Supplement with Omega 3 & 6
If it’s not already an ingredient in your pup’s daily food, consider supplementing their diet with Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids for optimum skin health. This can help to combat hair loss, dry skin, and more generalised irritation.
Omega supplements can come from either a fish or plant source, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil. However, there is evidence that they may be more easily absorbed through animal sources. If your pooch is particularly partial to fresh fish (show us a dog that isn’t!), then a small amount of sardines or tuna will be a tasty treat that also does them good.
Remember not to go overboard with dietary oils as they may upset your dog’s tummy – just stick to one teaspoon. To boost the omega benefits, you could also consider adding a small amount of vegetable or sunflower oil to their diet.
- Get regular physical & mental exercise
Last but by no means least, poor mental or physical health could be the cause of a dull coat. Adequate physical exercise for your dog’s breed is an essential requirement, every single day.
Exercise keeps multiple health issues at bay, including obesity and joint problems. And when these kinds of health issues can have a direct impact on the quality of your dog’s coat (as well as leading to longer-term chronic conditions), it’s vital that you get outside with your pup regularly. Walks are also brilliant for improving your pooch’s circulation and helping blood to carry important nutrients to the skin – improving the overall health of their coat.
Where a bored pup may engage in self-destructive behaviours like hair-pulling and scratching, a mentally stimulated one will be happy, healthy, and snoozy.
Alongside the benefits to your pet’s coat, exercise will boost your dog’s mood as well as your own. Daily strolling with your pup has been proven to have numerous health benefits. So what are you waiting for? Grab your poo bags and get out of doors, ASAP!
A Healthy Coat Equals a Healthy Pup
As with your own hair and skin, remember that a healthy appearance is dependent on multiple factors. A dog that is happy and healthy on the inside can’t help but appear radiant on the outside, too.
Brushing, grooming, and bathing your pup regularly will no doubt contribute to a clean, shiny coat. We have plenty of gorgeous plant-based products to help inspire natural wellness that your pup will absolutely love, so don’t forget to check out our sustainable range of products here.
Remember that wellness also comes from the inside, too. Ensuring your pooch is eating a nutrient-dense diet full of high-quality food, getting enough mental and physical exercise with plenty of stimulating walks and training, plus supplementing where necessary with healthy oils, will also do wonders for a glossy coat.
As with most things in life, it’s best to incorporate long-term healthy habits rather than looking for miracle fixes. So, be consistent and give these solutions some time to work – we promise the results will be worth it!