I know how difficult is sometimes to maintain your dog’s coat shiny and silky. No matter what is the breed of the dog it’s often mission impossible.
If you are an owner of a Bearded Collie, Bolognese, Pekingese, Yorkshire Terrier, and all other breeds with long coats, please, guys, tell us how you manage the coat to look so good?
I am here today to give you all the information I got to know through the years, all the experience I have gained and to make your life easier a bit.
Dogs need nutrients to function properly. And how they can get that nutrition? Yes, you are right about food. Today, I am going to share with you all foods for shiny dog coats that I know.
You can check our article for the best products for shiny hair coats for dogs. (link)
And now let’s start with the needed nutrients and foods for shiny dog coats.
Nutrients For Healthy Skin And Coat
Shiny coats and healthy skins are signs of the proper amount of nutrition, good maintenance, and healthy dogs.
The most essential macronutrient for dogs is protein. The protein is needed first of all for the proper function of a dog’s body. Then the amino acids that dogs get from the protein are contributing to healthy skin and shiny hair. Protein is needed to maintain and repair cells and other tissues like hair, skin, muscle, etc.
Dogs need to be fed high-quality protein so it’s easier for them to digest it and because of the high quality, they will get more nutritional value. Examples of this high-quality protein are fish, eggs, lamb, and chicken.
Tip: When you are choosing food for your dog, check the label for protein content and what is the main source of protein (chicken, lamb, etc). It should be as a first ingredient.
Dog’s coat has 90% protein. That means if dogs get less protein, the coat won’t be looking that much healthy.
Fat is the needed component for energy. If a dog consumes too much fat and calories it can lead to weight gain. But if a dog doesn’t get enough fat then the skin can get dry and itchy, and the coat to be dull.
Fats and oils play a huge role in the skin and coat of your dog.
Foods containing good amounts of fats are chicken, fish oil, beef, salmon oil, canola oil, mineral oil, flaxseed, and corn oil.
Vitamin A is needed for every dog as it helps the proper function of skin, coat, muscles, and nerves.
If dogs don’t get enough vitamin A you can notice that by unhealthy skin and coat and also they may suffer from night blindness.
Vitamin A is also needed for a healthy vision of your pooch.
This vitamin can be found in foods like liver, fish, egg yolks, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
A very important antioxidant, helping cognitive aging and reducing inflammation. It’s also known that vitamin C can provide some relief to dogs that are suffering from urinary tract infections.
Stress can reduce a lot of the content of vitamin C in dogs. Stress can be in any form like growth, vaccinations, illness, lactation, injuries, etc.
Vitamin E helps to neutralize the free radicals in dogs’ bodies as they cause oxidative stress. Vitamin E’s main function is to promote and help promote a healthy heart, immune system, liver, cell functions, shiny coat, and skin. This vitamin is used by the dog’s body to form collagen fibers.
Vitamin E also keeps dog food fresh, as it’s a natural preservative.
Foods high in vitamin E are:
- Sunflower oil;
Biotin or vitamin B7 is a vitamin from the B complex group. It metabolizes proteins and fatty acids, improves the energy level, and helps the normal function of the reproductive tract.
Larger breeds and puppies that grow rather quickly can become Biotin deficient. Biotin deficiency in dogs appears as the skin gets dry, flaky, and crusty, while hair gets brittle and dry and falls a lot. A reason for biotin deficiency is eating raw eggs. That’s why eggs should be given only when they are cooked.
Riboflavin is part of the collection of B vitamins. Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2. The main functions of riboflavin are supporting the digestive system and supporting growth and healing. It helps the enzymes in the dog’s body to break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and turn them into energy.
You can find vitamin B2 in foods like eggs, beef, and spinach.
The copper that dogs get from their food is helping the process of producing red blood cells and helps for absorbing iron. Prevents anemia. It’s also playing part in the formation of skin, hair pigmentation, and connective tissue.
Copper deficiencies are rare but they can cause muscular and skeletal problems.
Zinc is a mineral that hugely affects many substances such as enzymes, hormones, and proteins. It’s important for the proper function of the immune system and thyroid.
Zinc deficiency results in a slow development of cells that results in slowly wound healing, and the replacement of skin cells, hair, and nails also lacks. Dogs with zinc deficiency are open to many infections as the immune system gets weak.
Best Foods For Shiny Dog Coats
You can mainly judge the way the coat looks by the food they are eating. You will ask probably why. It’s easy – if they don’t get enough nutrients their skin and coats can’t look healthy. All of us want soft, smooth, and shiny coats for our dogs. Then we should pay a lot of attention and go through a lot of research when choosing their food.
The next factor for judging coat situations is if dogs get regular grooming, be sure that you brush their coats every day.
But you shouldn’t be worried because I have already done my research first of all for myself and now I am ready to share with you everything I learned.
All dry and canned foods I am going to share are recommended by many vets. I am telling which are the first ingredients because they are the most concentrated and telling the calories as some dogs need fewer calories such as senior ones and others like puppies need more.
1. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula Dry Dog Food
The first five ingredients of Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula dry dog food are salmon, fish meal, potatoes, lentils, and peas. This food contains also kale, chia seeds, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, coconut, spinach, and many more veggies and fruits. Dogs can get so many vitamins and minerals out of this dry food. It also features omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.
408 kcals per cup. Each serving includes species-specific K9 strain proprietary probiotics, plus antioxidants and prebiotics to help support healthy digestion, immune system health, and overall wellness.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food
The most concentrated ingredients of Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food are chicken, chicken meal, yellow peas, cracked pearled barley, and brown rice.
This food isn’t recommended for pregnant and nursing dogs.
It is crafted with beet pulp, which is a nourishing prebiotic fiber. Highly digestible to help support optimal nutrient absorption. This dry food contains vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
It has 394 kcals per cup.
3. Go! Solutions Skin + Coat Care Dry Dog Food
It has 427 kcal per cup. This dog food is rich in omega fatty acids from real salmon and whole ground flaxseed to support healthy, hydrated skin and a shiny coat, and help keep your dog looking and feeling their best. Probiotics and prebiotic fiber from dried chicory root support healthy gut bacteria and good digestion.
4. Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Natural Skin & Coat Care Adult Dry Dog Food
The most concentrated ingredients in Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Natural Skin & Coat Care Adult Dry Food are deboned salmon, salmon meal, oatmeal, brown rice, and barley.
Blue buffalo guarantee that the salmon is of high quality and there are also peas, pumpkin, blueberries, and cranberries. Fruits and veggies that are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
This food is made especially for dogs with sensitive skin, as they say: “Our Perfect Coat adult dog food is made with omega 3 & 6 fatty acids clinically proven to support healthy skin and shiny coat.”
363 kcals per cup.
This dry dog food is made without corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, artificial flavors, or preservatives. So you can feel calm if your dog has any allergies to these ingredients.
5. Pedigree Choice Cuts Canned Dog Food
There are two different flavors of Pedigree Choice Cuts Canned Dog Food.
In the first flavor Prime Rib, Rice & Vegetable Flavor in gravy first ingredients are a sufficient amount of water for processing, chicken, meat by-products, wheat flour, wheat gluten, and beef. Calories per gravy are 332.
In the second flavor Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor in gravy most concentrated ingredients are a sufficient amount of water for processing, chicken, meat by-products, wheat flour, and wheat gluten. Calories per gravy are 332.
The food texture of both flavors is ground.
You can use it as a complete meal or serve as a topper for your best friend’s kibble. Serve at room temperature and refrigerate after opening (up to 3 days).
6. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food
There are two natural recipes in this pack of Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food that are very nutritious for your dog.
In the turkey & venison recipe, the most concentrated ingredients are poultry broth, turkey, chicken, wheat gluten, and liver. Calories per can are 387.
In chicken & duck, the most concentrated ingredients are chicken broth, chicken, liver, wheat gluten, and soy flour. Calories per can are 391.
This canned dog food provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs with antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system.
Both of the natural recipes feature real poultry along with other high-quality ingredients you can feel good about giving to your canine companion.
1. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Wet Puppy Food
The first ingredients of this canned food are chicken, liver, meat by-products, salmon, and rice.
With 23 essential vitamins and minerals, this Purina Pro Plan puppy food provides 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition for puppies up to 1 year old. Nourishing your furry friend’s healthy skin and soft coat while helping support the healthy immune system.
There are 475 calories per can.
2. Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food Variety Packs
In these packs of Cesar Gourmet Wet Food, there are 4 flavors.
The first ingredients of duck flavor are duck, chicken liver, beef lung, chicken broth, and water. Just 90 kcals per tray.
The first ingredients of grilled chicken are chicken, chicken liver, beef lung, chicken broth, and water. 105 kcals per tray.
The first ingredients of oven-roasted chicken flavor are the same as grilled chicken. There are 105 kcals per tray.
The last flavor is turkey and the first ingredients of it are turkey, chicken liver, beef lung, chicken broth, and water. 90 calories per tray.
These mouth-watering flavors and textures are irresistible even for the pickiest eaters. These formulas are enhanced with vitamins and minerals, which means every single-serve tray is part of a balanced and complete diet.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Small Bites, Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe
Science Diet Chicken Meal and Barley is one of the 6 dry puppy recipes of Hill’s Science Diet.
The first ingredients are chicken meal, cracked pearled parsley, pork meal, whole grain wheat, and whole grain corn. This dry food contains broccoli, apples, carrots, cranberries, and green peas.
It’s best for small and medium-breed puppies. This dry food has natural DHA from high-quality fish oil and it supports the development of a healthy brain, eyes, and skeleton. Antioxidants and vitamins E and C blend work together to help support a healthy immune system. 374 kcals per cup.
This food, made in the USA, is a complete and balanced diet for puppies up to 1-year-old.
It’s suitable for pregnant and nursing dogs.
4. Purina ONE Natural, High Protein Dry Puppy Food, +Plus Healthy Puppy Formula
The first ingredients of Purina One Natural are chicken, rice flour, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal (source of Glucosamine), and whole grain corn. There are also dried carrots and dried peas.
DHA, a nutrient found in mothers’ milk, helps support your puppy’s vision and brain development, while calcium helps maintain their strong teeth. Four antioxidant sources help keep up your furry pal’s strong immune system, while omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals nourish his healthy skin and soft coat.
Per cup, there are 397 kcals.
5. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Puppy Dry Dog Food
The first ingredients of this dry dog food are brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten, and corn gluten meal.
Puppy dog food is tailor-made for puppies from 2 to 10 months old with an expected adult weight of 9-22 lb. Exclusive small kibble size designed for little dogs with small jaws and picky appetites.
The highly digestible proteins and prebiotic ingredients in this puppy formula are easy on sensitive digestive systems and provide optimal stool quality.
This dry food is suitable for small and extra-small breeds.
354 kcals per cup.
Best Human Foods For Shiny Hair Coat For Dogs
Some human food can be given safely to dogs. Do dogs need them? Dogs don’t need our food as their main food but it can be included as treats or as a part of their food.
Why? It’s simple. All veggies and fruits are rich in different kinds of vitamins and minerals. The same goes for fish, meat, and nuts.
But as not everything is safe for them, I made this list of safe human foods and the most beneficial for the healthy skin and shiny coats of our dogs.
Chia seeds are a superfood full of many minerals and vitamins. Entirely safe for dogs if given properly: overnight soaked chia seeds in water.
Chia seeds are rich in protein, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and so much more. They are full of antioxidants, too.
Chia is a very good source of dietary fiber too. Dog’s menu should include enough of this fiber otherwise your dog will have problems such as constipation, bloating, etc.
How to give chia seeds to my dog?
The best option is when you give them as a chia pudding, leave them overnight in water, and in the morning give them or store them in the fridge and mix them with food later. If your dog doesn’t like the taste you can mix chia seeds with almond milk and when you are about to serve it, sprinkle the pudding with cinnamon.
The first association of eggs is the protein they are rich in. But the protein is of high quality. They are also sources of linoleic acid and fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A. This combination does wonders for a dog’s skin and coat.
You should be careful with eggs, though. Dogs mustn’t eat raw eggs, cooked eggs are the best option. As raw eggs carry the risk of salmonella poisoning or biotin deficiency. You can give your dog boiled, scrambled, or sunny-side-up cooked eggs.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that improves dogs’ health. Deficiency can be seen as dogs’ hair start to fall a lot and gets very dry and brittle, and skin gets dry, forming flakes.
Coconut And Coconut Oil
We know that many dog recipes contain coconut oil. So let’s see some of its benefits and why I am including it as a part of the best foods for a shiny coat for dogs.
As you got to know already dogs need fats but coconut oil shouldn’t be given frequently and in big amounts, just 1-2 drops are enough.
While coconut oil isn’t the healthiest option, there we have the coconut meat. It contains a substance known as lauric acid.
What is lauric acid and why do dogs need it?
That is a saturated fatty acid that helps the body to absorb the molecules and uses them as a source of energy. This acid can reduce the swelling in dogs caused by some allergies.
Coconut is packed with antioxidants that support the immune system. Here we go to the most important benefit of this article and that’s the benefit for skin and hair. If your dog has some irritation or already it had turned into a wound feel free to put a bit of coconut oil on it. Coconut oil will act as a shield against parasites. You can add it to the dog’s shampoo too for a softer and shinier coat.
Use coconut meat and coconut oil and they will help the healing process from both inside and out.
What is carob?
Carob is known as a chocolate substitute, but it is a flowering evergreen tree cultivated for its edible pods. The carob tree is native to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East.
As you should know chocolate isn’t safe for dogs. Didn’t you know that? Then check our chocolate article to find out why. So, carob is coming to save the dogs.
Carob doesn’t contain the toxic ingredient theobromine as chocolate does. It doesn’t contain caffeine too. So it’s great for dogs when you want to make chocolate-like treats.
What are the benefits of carob?
Carob contains vitamins known as fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin D. Water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C, vitamins B2, B6, and B12, niacin, and folic acid. Carob is rich in protein and low in fat. Amino acids that dogs get from protein contribute to healthy skin and coat, but also the development of muscles.
Carob contains up to 39.8% dietary fiber and 20% polyphenols which are really important antioxidants for dogs’ health.
Let’s be honest, oats aren’t the kind of food that will come in first or second thoughts about human food that dogs can eat. But oats and oatmeal are actually something that dogs love or at least mine is mad after them.
I prepare them in a very simple way. Let one tablespoon soak in boiling water until oats get soft, add 2 slices of banana or apples, or strawberries. In very rare cases I add very little peanut butter. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of the oatmeal and it is ready. Easy, fast, and tasty treat.
Benefits of oats:
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which is unlike other sources of carbohydrates of this kind. This kind of fiber regulates the digestive system and makes sure to prevent irregular bowel movements.
Rich in vitamin B that is helping the maintenance of a shiny coat.
Omega-6 fatty acids make sure that the skin is healthy and in good condition.
Oats can reduce health risks like high cholesterol, and unregulated blood pressure and even decrease the risk of getting cancer.
Home remedy for itchy skin
Grind the oatmeal to powder and mix it with water. Apply it on hot spots as a drying agent.
If your dog loves taking baths, you can put the oatmeal powder in warm water and let your four-legged friend soak there for 5-10 minutes.
Fish and fish oil
Any kind of fish that you want to give your dog should be cooked. I am sorry but no raw fish, that’s why sushi isn’t the best option for fish treats.
Then after you know that you start to wonder if all kinds of fish are safe for dogs. Unfortunately, no. There are many kinds of fish that aren’t safe. Fish such as tilefish, swordfish, shark, king mackerel, etc.
Fishes that are high in mercury aren’t safe for dogs.
Larger fishes aren’t recommended for dogs as they may have internal organs, harbor parasites in their skin, or muscle tissue
But you don’t have to worry. There is a long list of fish that are safe for dogs:
- Light tuna fish(canned).
Benefits of fish for dogs:
- Natural source of omega-3 fatty acids – vital for healthy skin and coat.
- Fish skin is a source of collagen – very important for the bones and skin of dogs.
- Rich in protein that is great for a healthy lifestyle.
Cooked fish and particularly well-cooked fish is the best for dogs. But as usual, you should be careful how you will cook it.
Dogs mustn’t eat fry food.
The best ways of cooking it are steaming, grilling, baking, and poaching. You should avoid adding any salt, oil, or seasonings such as onion or garlic. They can cause an upset stomach.
Smoked fish isn’t good as there is still a chance of parasites.
According to American Kennel Club, fish oil is one of the best supplements to add to your dog’s diet. Fish oil supports your canine companion’s heart health, promotes a silky coat, reduces itchy and flaky skin, and can help relieve allergies and joint pain.
Dogs can eat both fresh and dried cranberries. 1 cup of raw cranberries contains about 0 grams of fat but 12 grams of carbohydrates and 2 milligrams of sodium. For one cup of dried cranberries, we get to have roughly 25 grams of carbohydrates but of course much more sugar than raw ones.
As you already know Vitamin A and Vitamin E are fat-soluble vitamins and Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. These vitamins plus Vitamin K are present in cranberries. This makes it a perfect vitamin bomb. But that’s not all, there are so many minerals too.
Cranberries are rich in copper, calcium, and manganese. We already know that these are some of the key nutrients dogs need for a shiny and healthy coat.
Sweet potatoes are safe for dogs when they are given in the right amount, everything is good when in small amounts. But you need to be careful when giving your dog sweet potatoes because they are high in starch.
Nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes:
- The good amount of dietary fiber in sweet potatoes keeps the digestive system happy;
- Rich in minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium which are excellent for bone growth and development;
- A range of vitamins such as Vitamin A, B, and C, helps in strengthening the immune system, provides antioxidants, and supports red blood cell functionality.
The vitamin C in sweet potatoes helps to speed up the healing process and support collagen production.
Big amounts of sweet potatoes can cause yeast infections.
Signs of yeast infection after having carb-rich diets, for example, could include the following:
- Ear infections;
- Licking paws;
- Black skin;
- Hair loss;
- Rust coloration around genitals;
- Developing bad smell.
With all this information maybe you will be like she is saying sweet potatoes are safe, but all the time talking about the risks. That is only because I want you to pay attention that if you give sweet potatoes in small amounts there will be no risk, but I also want you to know that there are consequences for big amounts.
The most favorite and popular fruit of humans during autumn is the pumpkin. Dogs love pumpkin too and it’s great because they are very good for their overall health.
Pumpkin is very rich in beta-carotene. Then it’s rich in Vitamin A too. Beta-carotene transforms into vitamin A, which is needed for good vision, healthy skin, and a strong immune system.
Pumpkin is a nutritional super food for dogs. Due to its high soluble fiber content, pumpkin is very good for your dog’s digestive system.
Dogs can eat cooked pumpkin. Cooked and smashed pumpkin without salt can help to settle down the upset stomach, to prevent the build-up of hairballs, and improve digestion. Canned pumpkin is more nutritious than baked one because baked pumpkin contains more water.
If there is enough daily intake of chicken and I don’t mean only by giving it as a treat but also in the main dog’s food, it can increase muscle repair and help promote bone health.
Chicken is high in lean protein, B3 and B6 vitamins, phosphorous, and selenium.
Vitamin B3 lowers cholesterol, boosts cognitive function, and eases arthritis. Dogs suffering from Vitamin B3 deficiency may exhibit diminished appetite, bloody diarrhea, or inflamed gums. Vitamin B6 helps the body to produce insulin, hemoglobin, and red blood cells. Vitamin B6 deficiencies could lead to anemia or the development of skin lesions on the dog’s body. Selenium is important for its antioxidant function, and its role in thyroid metabolism, synthesis of DNA, or reproduction.
Some Final Tips to Maintain Good-Looking Skin and Hair
1. Pamper your dog
- Give your dog regular grooming appointments.
- Brush your dog every day. Brushing helps for promoting hair follicle growth and reduces skin oil production.
- Give baths to your dog once a week with organic pet shampoo as you are avoiding the eyes area.
2. Give massages with coconut oil
Coconut oil prevents skin infections and is the best home remedy for dehydrated skin and hair.
3. Oatmeal bath for dry and itchy skin
As I have mentioned above it will soothe irritated skin and will make the coat soft.
4. Pest protection
Always make sure after walks or playtime outside that your dog is inspected thoroughly for insects and pests.
I can go on and talk about it all day, but I guess I have given you guys a lot of information already. Now, it’s time to implement these, share with your friends, and let me know if there’s anything else that you use for shiny coats.