How to Improve the Color on a Black Dog's Coat

Please help me get my shine back.

Please help me get my shine back.

If your sleek and shiny black pooch is looking a little dull and dingy, it may be time to give her a makeover from the inside out. Your dog’s coat depends on proper care and nutrition, so you need to examine everything from her food to your grooming methods.

Evaluate the dog food your pooch is eating. While she may enjoy it, it may not be providing the right nutrients for her body. The first ingredients listed should be a meat source, such as chicken, lamb or beef. Avoid foods where corn or grain products are the first ingredients. For skin and coat health, your dog’s diet should contain essential fatty acids, specifically omega-3 and omega-6. Look for these listed in her food. Speak with your veterinarian about the possible need for fatty acid supplements.

Bathe your dog with a shampoo formulated for dogs once a month. A dog’s pH is different from humans and your shampoo may dry out her skin. Rinse out the shampoo thoroughly and apply a conditioner, following the instructions on the bottle. Some require rinsing while others are leave-in. Dry her with a towel. Make sure she is completely dry before letting her out as wet hair attracts and holds dirt.

Brush your dog with a brush designed for her particular coat at least once a week. If she has short fine hair, a bristle brush works well. For dogs with long or thick hair, choose a slicker brush. Regular brushing will help remove dead hair as well as dust and dirt that the hair picks up. Removing these will help keep her looking fresh and clean.

Wipe her down with hypoallergenic baby wipes in between baths. Black hair picks up and shows dust and dirt. A quick wipe will help remove that dust and return her shine.

Items you will need

  • High protein dog food with omega-3 and omega-6
  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog conditioner
  • Towel
  • Dog brush
  • Wet wipes


  • According to veterinarian Dawn Logas, sunflower or safflower oil provide a good source of omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy coat. Logas suggests adding one teaspoon of oil to a small dog’s meal and one tablespoon for a large dog.


  • Consult a veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet. If dry skin is contributing to her lackluster appearance, rule out any allergies or underlying conditions and treat as needed.

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About the Author

Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.

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