What makes a dog's coat shiny?

What makes a dog’s coat shiny? Plus winter coat tips!

It’s winter – brrrr – which is the worst time for keeping our dog’s coats in good shape. Sometimes, the wintery months show skin conditions we didn’t notice before – which are very important to consider.

I say this to everyone – your dog’s coat is a reflection of their health.

With so many terrible commercial pet foods in Australia I see a lot of unhealthy dogs. If I see a dog in the park with a dull coat, I’ll casually ask the owner in conversation what they feed their dog (without being accusational).

I’m rarely surprised by the answer, which is almost always some kibble made of cereals or wheat.

So what makes a coat shiny? Diet is one important factor, but read on for more info!

I’ll also give you my best tips for keeping your dog’s coat shiny, healthy, and the envy of the other dog owners you meet!

Oh, and as it’s winter, I’ll focus on that!

How to keep your dog’s fur clean and fresh during winter

As the winter chill sets in, we cuddle up in sweaters and warm blankets. But, our dogs can have a tough time dealing with the cold weather.

It’s important for us to take extra care of our dogs during winter to make sure they’re comfortable.

Avoid letting your dog sleep on a cold floor. You can help them stay warm by providing their own dog bed, or just a small mat or blanket to lie down on.

Your dog’s fur is a natural sweater which helps moderate their body temperature. So, during winter months, don’t shave your dog’s fur!

Routine baths can be a bit of a hassle in winter making it difficult to bathe your dog as often as you would like, but it’s still worth a good bath every now and then.

Bathing a dog in organic shampoo for skin and shiny coat

Just note, if dogs are bathed too frequently it can dry out their skin and coat and may cause problems.

Only bathing when it is necessary should help to prevent the skin drying out due to excessive bathing, as the natural oils on the skin and coat won’t be stripped away too frequently.

Make sure you use a decent shampoo, preferably with natural ingredients and oils.

5 top tips for great coat health in winter (without bathing)

Follow these tips and your dog will benefit from a wonderful coat throughout the winter (and all year round!)

1. Fresh water

The first step in maintaining your dog’s fur health is to keep them well hydrated. Always make sure your dog (or cat) has access to plenty of water, or feed a food with moisture (shout out to Frontier Pets which is an excellent dog food!).

2. A good diet is everything

Your dog needs to be healthy on the inside to have shiny fur on the outside.

Providing your dog with a well-balanced and healthy diet is essential for overall health.

There are many terrible dog foods in Australia, and thankfully some excellent ones. I mentioned Frontier Pets earlier, but there are wonderful reviews on Pet Food Reviews with insight into ingredients and marketing.

Diet for skin and coat health in dogs
Frontier Pets is a great diet for wellbeing, skin, and coat.

Ensure to include foods rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to help keep their fur healthy and shiny.

3. A good old regular brush

Get into the habit of regularly brushing your dog’s fur.

Dogs with short coats generally require less brushing and grooming compared to dogs with medium to long haired coats as these longer coats can get tangles, mats and debris trapped in them more easily.

Some very short-haired dogs may not need traditional ‘brushing’ and for these dogs, owners may instead like to try a soft grooming glove to gently remove loose hair, occasionally.

As dog owners we should always monitor the condition of our dog’s coat, looking for any tangles/mats or dullness which indicates they might need a brush.

Grooming can take anything from a few minutes to several hours a week depending on your type of dog.

Not grooming your dog as often as required can have an influence on their health. Mats and knots can worsen and moisture that is trapped underneath a matted coat and lack of airflow can predispose towards skin irritation and infection.

Grooming is therefore a preventative activity! As is regularly brushing your dog’s coat!

4. Clean your dog’s “stuff”!

It’s so easy to forget, but we should regularly clean our dog’s “stuff”!

This includes their bed, their toys, their blankets. Clean them all!

Cleaning your dog’s stuff, particularly in dirtier winter months, will keep both your dog AND your house fresher and cleaner.

5. Use an oral omega oil blend

This is my best tip as it really helps our dogs stay healthy no matter what food they’re fed (kibble, wet, or raw). A healthy coat starts from the inside, and making sure our dog’s health and wellbeing is in check is the most important thing.

I’ll recommend Vet’s All Natural Omega Blend because it’s a well known and reputable Australian brand, and I’ve personally had great success with it (and their dog food).

Oral omega oil blend as a supplement for a dogs diet - great for a shiny coat
Vets all natural omega oil blend

It’s a mix of flaxseed oil, shark liver oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil, with vitamins A, D, and E. You won’t find any dog food in Australia which contains a range of oils like that, and most oils in dog foods are cheap alternatives.

Adding a little omega oil orally (best to add to their dinner) should go a long way to improving their coat, and a long way to improving their health in general.

Why would you not?

Why do dog’s shed in winter?

An important aspect of your dog’s winter coat or why they shed so much in winter is also worth considering, as it affects what makes a dog’s coat shiny.

I’ve covered this, with some great winter shedding and grooming tips, in this post.

Hopefully that answers the question “What makes a dog’s coat shiny”. If you have other tips, that’s why I have the comment section below! I always appreciate the input of other pet owners!

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