Is it just us, or do you also notice your pups shedding more than normal this year? There’s a large correlation between diet and shedding, so if your pup seems to be losing hair excessively, or that their skin is dry and dandruff-y, take a look into what they’re eating! We’ve compiled some nutrition tips to keep your dog’s coat in top shape.
Look At Your Dog’s Food
What sort of diet is your dog on? Is it nutritionally dense and balanced? A healthy diet leads to stronger hair follicles which are in turn more resilient to breakage. Additionally, dogs with allergies can be more prone to increased shedding. It is always a good idea to rule out other causes such as parasites, skin infections, fungal infections, thyroid problems, and even Cushing’s disease. Sunburns and stress can contribute to hair loss as well! If you notice a drastic increase in shedding, or patches of hair loss it is best to book an appointment with your veterinarian.
Add In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are great for skin health, help calm irritated or inflamed skin, and decrease dandruff. Omega 3’s can be found in oils such as flaxseed or fish, and are also often available in capsule or powdered form. You can also add fish or fish skin into your pup’s diet but make sure to avoid any bones as these can splinter and cause blockages or perforations. If you’re not a big fan of smelly fish, you can also add healthybud’s air-dried cod skins as a tasty treat rich in Omega 3’s!
Increase Your Dog’s Water Intake
If your pup is dehydrated, their skin will also be drier which can lead to an increase in shedding. Along with always ensuring your bud has access to clean, fresh water, you can find fun ways to up their water intake especially in the warmer months. You can add broth to their food, add in some canned food, or create pupsicles with frozen broth or water.
Give Them Fresh Fruit And Veggies
These “human” foods are high in nutrients which keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, leading to less shedding. Apples (without the core or seeds), bananas, blueberries, cucumber, carrots, celery - the list goes on and on! There are many nutrient-rich dog safe fruits and vegetables out there that your dog can enjoy. Make sure to check with your veterinarian or online on the Pet Poison Helpline poison list or similar source to ensure what you are feeding is canine-friendly. Remember, all treats should be limited to 10% of your dog’s daily food intake, and some fruits in particular are high in sugar and should be given in moderation.
Along with these nutrition-based ideas, it’s important to make sure that you are using the right brush for your dog’s coat. A bristle brush can be used on a variety of different coats but a coarser coat usually needs stiffer bristles and a longer coat will do better with longer and wider spaced bristles. These sorts of brushes can be used on dogs with shorter coats, along with rubber-bristled brushes. If your dog has a curly or wooly coat, a wire-pin brush is a good bet. A slicker brush has fine bristles made of wire which work best for dematting, especially for longer coated dogs. If your dog has very long hair you may find that a rake works best. A rubber curry comb can be used on any type of coat to help massage their skin but work especially well on short-haired breeds. Use a shampoo designed specifically for dogs and not bathing too frequently will also help keep your pup’s coat in top form! Lastly, make sure any fleas or allergies are under control as itchiness can contribute to hair loss.
We hope that these tips help keep your dog’s locks luscious, and their shedding to a minimum!
The information presented here is not meant to replace your vet's advice or prescribed medications, but only to suggest additional options to explore, based on your dog's condition.