If you feed your dog a premium diet, chances are you won't need to provide any supplements to get a healthy coat. After all, you believe the statement on the label that says the dog food is complete and balanced, don't you? Well in the event that food alone doesn't perk up your pup's haircoat, plenty of supplements seem to be formulated for beautiful coats, including:
i Omega-3 fatty acids: These substances usually come from fish oils or flaxseed. They appear to have a positive effect on the coat, but too much of them is not a good thing. In extreme cases, they can reduce the ability of your dog's blood to form clots. Keep these fats below 5 percent of your dog's dietary intake of fat.
i Omega-6 fatty acids: These substances are normally found in meat and vegetable fats. Several types are available, but all are good for coats.
i Linatone, Mirra-coat, Missing Link and similar supplements: These supplements are blends of fats, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that are supposed to make your dog's coat more beautiful. I've never used them, but I've heard pet owners and breeders swear by many of them, so they're worth a try if your dog's coat is looking icky.
i Raw egg (or cooked egg): A daily dose of an egg is said to improve your dog's coat.
I don't recommend using raw eggs because of the chance of exposing your dog to salmonella; however, a cooked egg doesn't hurt — unless your dog's allergic to them.
i Vegetable or meat oils: Giving your medium-sized dog a teaspoon of vegetable oil (oil from meat works too) every day is a simple and cheap way to add Omega-6 fatty acids to his diet. Reduce the amount for smaller dogs; increase it for larger ones.
All supplements add calories to your dog's diet. Fat is the most nutrient-dense at 9 kilocalories (standard calories) per gram. Protein and carbohydrates have 4 kilocalories per gram by comparison. So take these calories into account in your dog's diet to avoid having a roly-poly pup with a great haircoat.
Adding extras to your dog's diet can cause dietary imbalances that can actually do more harm than good. Some additives can even be toxic in excessive amounts. However, the amounts that I recommend won't cause any problems.
Don't expect the change in your dog's coat to happen overnight. Give the supplement at least six weeks to determine whether it's going to help.
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Choosing the right kind of dog food you provide is probably the most critical decision you'll ever make for your dog- puppy or senior. Dog food nutrition without delay impacts every facet of your dog's life. Aspects such as how pups grow, their behavior practices, health, overall well-being and physical appearance are all tightly linked to the nutrition dog owners provide. Needless to say, this is an enormous responsibility.