It goes without saying that the most important member of the family is not the man of the house, but man’s best friend. If you want to pamper your pet and make sure the dog days are long and healthy, consider that your pet’s nutrition is just as important as your own.
Certain things Fido needs are regular walks, lots of fresh water, and the constant refrain of whosagoodboyyouare! He may also need some special extra support. If you are looking for signs of whether or not you should let sleeping dogs lie, or add some extra oomph to his diet, first start with his coat. When your dog’s fur is dull and limp, it is probably damaged or unhealthy. A dog with smooth and shiny fur (even if it is naturally wiry or curly) is most likely bright eyed and bushy tailed.
If you want a Westminster worthy coat, one good way to show your puppy love is to brush him out regularly. Whether he has short or long hair, brushing will stimulate the hair follicles, which will cause the skin to produce oils and make the coat shiny. A soft, wide bristle brush is best to use on the body. Bathing your dirty dog should be done sparingly so you don’t dry his skin out. Try once a month, barring any skunk or mud fiascos. If Fido has eczema or other skin conditions, try adding some oatmeal to ease his itching and scratching. There are plenty of special shampoos and conditioners for itchy dogs that will help to soothe his irritated hide.
If good grooming isn’t doing wonders for Rover’s ruff, then you may have to consider other concerns. If you bathe your dog and he still has that doggy smell, it may be a sign that it isn’t what he’s rolling in - he may have some issues within.
Since a nutritional deficiency is often to blame for a dull coat, what you are feeding him can be the difference between an animal with a radiant and majestic pelt of fluff, or a poor creature who is sick as a dog. Just as you pay attention to the labels and ingredients for your own sustenance, be conscious of what chow you are feeding your Chow. When there are meat-by-products and fillers masquerading as food, then poor Fido isn’t getting a nutritious meal. Meat should be the main ingredient with vegetables as the runner-up. Avoid artificial flavors and colors and anything with corn or soy. Talk to your vet to see what types of dietary needs are specific to your favorite fur baby.
Even high-quality food may not deliver enough nutrients to your four-legged friend. According to the Pet Health Network, your dog may need to load up on Omega-3s to treat to enhance immune health, skin health and general cardiovascular and brain health. Just like you, our animal friends need omega-3 fats to enhance and maintain their health.
The best sources of omega-3 are fish and fish oil. You can give your pup a treat of tuna, sardine, or salmon too if he has a taste for chicken of the sea. However, unless you and your hound are living on the dock of the bay, or sailing the high seas, you may not be able to feed him enough fish that would give him all the essential omega-3 fatty acids he needs to get his daily dose of DHA and EPA. Another great way to supply your canine companion with these nutrients is a daily dab of fish oil in his food bowl to address immune health and stamina, according to the Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Group.
Fish oil, according to the American Kennel Club, is a good way to quickly get your pet some omega fatty acids in his system, since it’s near impossible for our furry friends to get their nutrients from their kibble. Adding a fish oil may be the perfect way for your pooch to get the extra fatty acids he needs whether long-term or for a temporary boost to balance his diet.
It is always best to ask your vet how much they recommend as a proper dose for your pet. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, pets with allergies may benefit from a slightly higher dose of fish oil. For safety and quality always use a high strength, human grade of fish oil for your pets such as SFH Pet oils.
You may not notice any changes to your pet’s health for approximately six to eight weeks, so be patient because results may take place in dog years.