One of the main features of a dog is its hair. In most cases, this is the part that will distinguish one breed from the other. When you get home, and your dog runs to you, it is likely that you will start rubbing the fur on its body as a way of giving back the love.
Apart from having an aesthetic value, there is also a health aspect to it as a dull hair could be an indicator of a disease or allergy. Alternatively, the hair could become dull due to non-disease factors such as poor grooming or Diet.
This article aims to give you a deeper understanding of dog hair and how to get it to be soft if it ever becomes dull.
How To Tell That the Coat is Unhealthy
If your dog is going through some illness, the coat may lose its natural shiny look and instead develop a dull and dry appearance. It may also develop a rough texture, and if the coat used to be dark, it would establish a dark grey appearance.
What Makes Dog Hair Dull?
There is a wide range of reasons as to why your dog has a dull coat. Some of them are avoidable while some are just out of our reach and we may have to do some damage control.
Let us briefly go through these reasons.
Just like human beings, the dog’s body is likely to develop an allergic reaction towards several factors, including dust, smell, and food. For this article, we shall focus on the allergies that affect the skin.
Whenever your dog develops an allergic reaction that affects the skin, it is likely to create some irritation that will lead to persistent scratching and chewing of the affected zone. As a result, there will be massive hair loss and an unattractive coat left behind.
How to Detect Skin Allergy
In most cases, the dog develops an allergic reaction to the food contents. Therefore, you can use a home allergy test kit to find the root of the problem. It is affordable, easy to use, and you will wait for a short while before getting results from the lab.
Pets and Parasites
Parasites will turn your dog’s skin into their eternal home. They will feed on the skin and reproduce, and in the end, your dog will develop a parasitic infection. These parasites are often transmitted between different pets whenever they interact.
Note that there are external and internal parasites as well. The external parasites, which include ticks and fleas, are the ones that lead to irritated skin irritation, which results in scratching and biting. This causes much more damage to the fur.
Internal parasites are much more, and they may lead to malnutrition, which is a significant cause of hair loss. These parasites may also cause weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Use of Poor Quality/Wrong Shampoo
The use of the wrong kind of shampoo may have devastating effects on the dog’s fur. One common mistake many people make is using shampoo meant for human hair for cleaning the dog. The human shampoo is more acidic and will only lead to more irritation and scratching by the dog.
When selecting the shampoo from the shop, always check for the correct pH balance, which should lie between 6 and 7.
For a dog to have a healthy and shiny coat, it needs a constant, highly nutritious diet, the primary nutrient being omega-3 fatty acid. This is because it is responsible for organizing and producing skin cells in the body.
Lack of this nutrient tends to cause skin irritations and infections which end up damaging the fur as a result of the biting and scratching.
Regular grooming is vital for the health and appearance of any dog’s hair. It will help you remove any foreign particles in the body and also pushes the skin to produce natural oils which are necessary for healthy skin.
Additionally, regular brushing will help you detect any issues with the skin or fur and let you deal with it before things get out of hand.
How to Make Your Dog’s Coat Soft/Shiny
There are various simple methods that we shall recommend you use to give your dog’s fur that shiny look and comfort that it deserves.
Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids
The Omega acids are known to have anti-irritation and anti-inflammatory effects, and this helps in contributing to healthy skin and fur. You can find them in Tuna, salmon, and Sardines, which are not only cheap but are tasty to the dog.
Add protein to the Diet
A significant content of the dog’s hair is protein, so it is vital to ensure that a lot of it is in the Diet to give it sufficient content for building shiny and softer hair.
Regular Grooming/ Brushing
When you brush your dog’s hair regularly, you get to remove the dead skin and hair and will stimulate the secretion of natural oils that are necessary to make the hair shiny.
Also, it gives you the chance to check for external parasites and any other condition developing on the skin.
The number of times that you bathe your dog generally depends on the length of its hair. You should, however, be careful not to overdo it as you may end up washing off the essential oils necessary for a soft and shiny fur.
Always use the correct shampoo to avoid skin irritation. You may use some coconut oil before bathing to relax the skin or some natural conditioner with vitamin E after bathing to soothe the skin.
Give It an Oatmeal Bath
For the dog with a dull coat, it often develops skin problems as well. So, an oatmeal bath would act as a soother and will lead to soft and shiny skin. Mix it in lukewarm water and pour it on the back and head, while being careful to avoid the eyes. Then massage for between ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing and drying.
Go for Professional Advice
Sometimes, you may need an expert to diagnose why your dog is experiencing dull or dry skin. This may be so in the case of internal parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms, and infections such as kidney and thyroid infections.
We hope that this article has boosted your knowledge concerning your dog’s fur, why it may be dull and how to make it shiny and maintain it that way. If you tick all your boxes and the dull coat persists, then this would be the right time to consult the help of a veterinary doctor.