If you have ever had dandruff yourself, then you are familiar with the itchy, dry and annoying feeling! Dogs can experience the same thing and we are here to help you, help them! Let's get your pups back to their best!
What Causes Dry Skin and Coat in Dogs?
Like people, dogs are dependent on certain nutritional elements in order to maintain health all the way around; including physical appearance. With that being said, lack of a well-rounded and balanced diet would have a profound effect on the condition of your dog’s coat and skin. Whether those requirements are met through homemade dog food or dog vitamins for skin and coat, the facts still stand. Lower-quality “commercial dog foods or improperly balanced homemade diets – [like only feeding chicken]” (Kam, N/A) may not provide enough nutritional value to keep a healthy skin and coat. Fats are in large part, responsible for skin and coat health. So, ensure that the requirements are being met!
Besides feeing a high quality diet, dogs are susceptible to other conditions, much like us, that can have a drastic effect on their skin. One of the most common reasons, is allergies! In the same way, that you and I start to sneeze when spring arrives, your dogs could be experiencing similar discomfort from their environment, food or even bathing products! Make sure to seek out hypoallergenic soaps whenever possible to avoid irritation and inflammation.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has Dry Skin
Have you ever had an itchy scalp? It’s hard not scratch and it can also be quite uncomfortable. Much the same can be said about dogs, especially ones with sensitive skin. Your pet will present with similar symptoms that you would, if they have dry skin, such as:
- Scabs/hair loss
- Bumps on the skin
These are some obvious symptoms that wouldn’t take much to point out, but when in doubt always just remember that “if your dog is constantly scratching their skin, something is wrong” (Dogdorable, N/A).
How to Improve Your Dog’s Coat
While extrinsic factors may be at play when considering the source for your dog’s dry skin and coat, diet can play a large role in helping to replenish and restore it. Like we had mentioned earlier in the article, fatty acids are very important in overall efforts for dog skin and coat care. Here are some tips to helping your pet reach their peak appearance.
1. Make sure that your dog’s diet is meeting all nutritional parameters ie. Sufficient amounts of oils and fatty acids. Vegetable oils are a great source of Omega-6 fatty acids, hence can be added into your dog’s regular meal.
2. Ensure that your dog food is not left open or exposed to the air as it will oxidize the essential fatty acids already inside
3. Supplement with omega-3 fatty acids as they have great anti-inflammatory properties however when fed in excess can have a negative effect causing an upset stomach and vomiting
4. Be conscious about the products you are using. Make sure to check if they are hypoallergenic as products that aren’t, could be causing inflammation and irritation
Is Coconut Oil Good For a Dog’s Coat?
“Coconuts are classified as a “functional food”, and their oil provides many benefits beyond its super healthy and nutritional content” (Khalsa, 2021). So, there you have it! Coconut oil is a fan favourite when it comes to dog coat and skin care, for the dogs and their owners, as it has the unique ability to decrease doggy must and have your furry pets smelling sweet. It has similar healing properties believe it or not to breast milk and is “nature’s most abundant source of lauric acid” (Khalsa, 2021).
Other oils that are good for skin and coat are Flaxseed, Safflower Oil and Omega-3 fish oils (such as wild alaskan salmon oil). Oil is debatably the best skin and coat supplement for dogs and that is because of their high fatty acid content. Add these oils as a topper to your pet’s food and notice how the shine starts to come back!
Best Dog Food for Shedding and Dry Skin
Home cooked or homemade dog food for skin and coat packed full of essential fatty acids is the best choice for helping your pups regain their shiny coat. Unlike heavily processed and commercialized food, options such as Kafka’s offers the best of ingredients, vitamins and additional nutritional value which makes us the best dog food for healthy skin and coat!
Make sure to check out our two new flavours: Chunky Chicken Bliss and Pork Potluck!
4 Toppers for Shiny Skin and Coat
If you are new to raw feeding, experts recommend feeding and incorporating these items slowly and working your way up to bigger amounts.
Eggs, still in their shell, are nearly a complete source of nutrition for your dog! Eggs are a great source of essential vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and fatty acids! Even something as simple as adding crushed eggs shells to your dog’s meals 2-3 times per week would work wonders!
Fresh vegetables and Fruits:
We all know the importance of fruits and veggies as part of our diet, but did you know that they are just as beneficial for your dog? The benefits of adding purred veggies and fruit is all in the elemental components; like antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. However, it is important to understand the way a dog’s digestive tract works. Unlike us, dogs cannot digest cellulose which makes adding chunking of whole fruit and veggies an addition that is likely to yield much benefit, instead opt for a food processer to break everything down to a form that is much easier to digest.
We can sit here forever and debate whether a pumpkin is a fruit or a vegetable but what it is for sure, is good on top of your dog’s food. Very high in soluble fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals pumpkin purée has been a popular supplement for a while! When shopping, make sure to check the ingredient labels to ensure the product you are buying is “pure pumpkin” and not pie mix, let’s not complicate things!
*If this is your first time trying this topping choice, start by adding 1TBS per every 10lbs of body weight and work your way up from there *
The benefits of bone broth far outnumber the outcome of not using it. Besides being great as a topper for dogs with an upset stomach, it is packed full of nutrients that help maintain proper gut health, not to mention it will help your dog's to continue rocking healthy coats