A dull coat is never a good sign. It could be the result of a poor diet or improper grooming. As a pet owner, the condition of the dog's coat is determined by the level of care you provide.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are a wonderful way to make your dog's coat shiny and glossy. A good quality food will have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but you can also give your dog treats from time to time that are a great source. Salmon, tuna and sardines can be fed to your pet in small amounts (two tablespoons) to improve the dog's coat. Some dog foods are also made with salmon to give your dog a good source of fatty acids. A teaspoon of fish oil can also be added to the dog's food to increase fatty acids.
A dull coat is often the result of a poor quality food. When a dog doesn't get a good source of protein, the hair and nails can suffer. This is due to the fact that the dog's coat is made of 90 percent protein. Look for foods that have a protein source as the first ingredient. Examples include chicken, salmon, turkey or lamb. You never want to get a food that has a grain as the first ingredient. You also don't want animal byproducts, such as chicken meal.
You may be tempted to wash your dog weekly, but it can actually make the dog's coat dull. Bathing your dog too frequently can strip the essentials oils from the skin, leaving the coat dry. Another grooming tip to keep your dog's coat shiny and glossy is to brush her daily. You want to brush her for 5 minutes to remove dead hair. This will allow her skin to secrete essential oils, giving her a shinier coat.
Adding one tablespoon of olive oil to your dog's food can greatly improve a dry, dull coat. Again, it all boils down to omega fatty acids. The only problem with this option is that if you give your dog too much oil, it can cause diarrhea. If you have a small breed, you may want to start with a teaspoon of oil to prevent tummy trouble. Other oils you may want to consider include vegetable, sunflower and safflower oils. Whatever you do, don't use an infused oil, which may upset the dog's stomach.
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.