A thick and shiny fur coat on your puppy isn’t just a sign that he or she looks good, but a key indicator that your pet is fit and healthy. Most dogs naturally try to keep themselves groomed to at least a basic level, but there is always something you can do to help them achieve that perfect shine.
A well-balanced diet
By taking some time to understand the ideal nutrition for dogs, you can ensure your fluffy friend gets everything he or she needs to stay healthy. Buy your pet’s food based on the size and age of your dog. For instance, puppies have more growing to do than adult dogs, so their food is higher in protein, while big dogs are likely to suffer from skeletal problems as they grow so many large breed diets contain functional ingredients to help joint maintenance.
There are key ingredients you should look out for in dog foods which stimulate hair growth and healthy skin. Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in salmon, sardines, tuna and coconut oil are all very good, as are some herbal ingredients, like horsetail or spirulina. James Wellbeloved includes omega-3 and omega-6 in all its dog diets.
It’s important to remember, dog foods are carefully balanced to suit specific breeds and ages so they get all the nutrients they need, and it is possible to give your dog too much of something. If you are considering adding new food to your puppy’s diet, consult your vet to get the balance just right.
A bathing routine
Regularly brush and groom your puppy to keep their fur neat and full, and help remove any dead skin or shed hair. It’s recommended to brush your dog fully once a week, but if they have a long coat it’s best to brush them every day.
Every few months, give them a proper bath with dog shampoo. Many are made with aloe vera and oatmeal to prevent itching while also stimulating a shining coat. If your puppy is happy being groomed and bathed it makes the whole process easier. Make bathing a positive experience by keeping it calm with lots of rewards and affection throughout.
If you keep your dog outside on a regular basis but would like to see him or her sport a healthier-looking coat, try bringing them inside a little more often. Frequent exposure to the elements is very damaging to fur and will cause it to dry and crack – plus your puppy will appreciate spending some more intimate time with you.
Treat skin and health issues
How often your dog grooms themselves is very dependent on the breed and personality of your companion, but if you notice your puppy has stopped grooming altogether, he or she might be feeling under the weather, so it’s time for a quick health check-up.
Check for greasy skin or dandruff. Such conditions might be solved with more regular bathing, but it could be a sign your dog’s skin is producing too much oil. While you’re checking their skin, fur and under the ears, look for fleas and ticks, and use medicated shampoo to get rid of any unwanted visitors if you find them. Your vet should also check for internal worms and parasites which might be robbing your dog of all the healthy nutrients he or she needs to maintain that shiny coat.
Finally, keep an eye out for signs of arthritis, especially in large or older dogs. It might seem like an odd connection, but a dog that cannot bend its joints properly might have trouble getting into certain positions to groom itself thoroughly.