A shiny, soft coat indicates your dog is healthy. Besides, it's more pleasing to snuggle up to your pup if her fur is silky than if it is dry and coarse. If your dog is having bad hair days, consider adding supplements to her food to soften her hair.
Fatty Acids and Oils
Improving the condition of your dog's coat starts with adding fatty acids and other healthy oils to her diet. Fish oil supplements are available at pet supply stores and will not only improve the look and feel of her fur but will benefit her overall health, too. In addition to stocking up on omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, shop the health food store for seed oils such as flax seed, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed. Soybean and corn oils are other effective oil supplements that will soften your dog's coat.
Antioxidants and Vitamins
Antioxidants are another type of supplement valuable to your pooch's health and beneficial for a silky coat. They work to block free-radicals and pollutants from adversely affecting her system and tissues, keeping her heart healthier. Some vitamins are sources of antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, but some plants have antioxidants in them, too. You can get antioxidant supplements to feed your dog along with her quality kibble, or you can add antioxidants to her meals by including things like peas, carrots, broccoli, wheatgrass, alfalfa and selenium.
You might already be familiar with biotin as a vitamin that promotes healthy skin and hair tissue -- and that doesn't just apply to humans. Supplementing your dog's diet with biotin will improve the condition of her hair, too. VetInfo reports that biotin is most effective when used in combination with fatty acids, so if you're already giving your dog fish oil, adding biotin will increase the positive results. You can find biotin in a powder form or as a pill. Depending on how easily your dog takes pills, you may want to buy the powder and just sprinkle it on her food.
Consult Your Vet
If your dog's coat is brittle and chronically dry, it could be a symptom of an underlying health issue. It's always wise to consult your veterinarian if your dog develops any unusual condition. Even if it simply turns out to be dry hair and nothing more, the doctor is the best source to consult when administering any type of supplement or medication to ensure proper dosing and that your dog doesn't have a medical issue that may be agitated by the use of supplements.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.