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Many dogs can suffer from skin or coat issues at some point in their lifetime. But, certain breeds seem to be more prone to them.
German Shepherds, for example, are predisposed to food and environmental allergies, while Golden Retrievers are known to suffer from canine atopic dermatitis caused by allergies to food and environmental irritants as well as fleas.
For dogs, skin health manifests in the coat, which could shed, present hotspots (bald spots), or become dull. If your dog is suffering from skin and coat issues, or simply has lackluster hair, talk to your veterinarian about adding supplements to their diet.
Skin and coat supplements provide vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that support skin health and encourage healthy coat growth in all dogs.
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What to Look for in a Supplement for Dog Coat Growth
Certain vitamins and nutrients are proven effective in supporting coat growth. When choosing supplements for dog coat growth, make sure you look for the following:
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are commonly found in fish oil, although they can also be found in non-animal sources like flaxseeds and nuts.
These play a variety of essential roles in your dog’s health. They help the body absorb crucial fat-soluble vitamins, strengthen the immune system, control hormones, and support cellular growth. Because of all this, they are vital to controlling inflammation within the body.
In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids are scarce in the typical canine diet. Unless they’re fed high-quality fish-based dog food, they probably don’t get enough Omega-3s. So, taking it in supplement form is incredibly beneficial.
Vitamin A is essential to the proper function of a dog’s skin and coat. In fact, skin and coat issues are often the first noticeable sign of canine vitamin A deficiency.
Over time, a chronic lack of vitamin A can also lead to poor eye health and deteriorating vision.
In fact, it is one of the most common causes of night blindness in dogs. Additionally, this vitamin plays a huge role in muscle and nerve health.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects your dog’s body from free radical damage. So, it supports cell reproduction, minimizes the risk of cancer, and slows down the natural aging process.
Although it offers a host of benefits to the body, it is most often given as a supplement to dogs that are prone to allergies or have itchy and dry skin.
When the problem is localized, vitamin E oil can be applied topically, but oral supplements are better for widespread cases or for prevention.
As early as 1989, a study had scientifically proven that biotin is useful in improving a variety of fur and skin conditions in dogs.
In that study, 91% showed an improvement in their conditions, where 60% were completely cured within five weeks.
What’s even more interesting is that biotin supplementation was found to be especially beneficial for German Shepherds since all of the participants improved, and almost 50% were completely cured.
Zinc is essential to cellular regeneration and so affects organ health as well as that of the skin, nails, and coat. Additionally, it plays a vital role in sustaining a healthy immune system.
Typically, a zinc deficiency starts with digestive distress along with shedding and coat dullness. It could also lead to crusty skin around the muzzle, eyes, and groin.
Thankfully, dogs usually show significant improvement within 3-6 weeks.
Best Choices for Skin & Coat Supplements that Promote Growth
If you’re interested in giving your dog some supplements to help support their coat health, check out these three brands which are most popular because of their content, quality, and palatability:
Zesty Paws – Omega Bites
The Omega Bites by Zesty Paws boasts the AlaskOmega premium fish oil formulation. It also contains vitamins C and E, biotin, and zinc, making it an excellent supplement for dog coat growth and shine.
Additionally, it helps boost your dog’s immune system and support their hip and joint health.
This skin and coat supplement is an excellent choice for dogs with allergies or food sensitivities because it doesn’t contain any ingredients derived from grains, soy, or corn. Neither is it formulated with any artificial flavorings or preservatives.
Depending on your dog’s weight, they might need anywhere from 1 to 3 chews per day. Dogs tend to love this because they come as bite-sized, chicken-flavored chews that resemble high-value treats.
Amazing Nutritionals – Omega 3 Chews
The Omega 3 Chews by Amazing Nutritionals contains naturally derived omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. Its Omega 3 content comes from fish oil, while the Omega 6 comes from sunflower oil.
The Omega 9, although not an essential fatty acid, comes from primrose oil, which is especially beneficial for dogs with dull and dry coats.
Given its complete fatty acid profile, the Omega 3 chews by Amazing Nutritionals doesn’t just support healthy coat growth, but it also supports bone, joint, brain, and heart health.
These chews are small in size, and dogs should generally be given three chewable tablets daily. They come in a bacon and liver flavor, which most dogs seem to love and enjoy as a treat.
The Missing Link – The Original Superfood Supplement
Unlike most skin and coat supplements that are meant to be given to dogs like treats, the Original Superfood Supplement by The Missing Link comes in powder form.
It is added by the spoonful onto your dog’s food to boost the nutritional profile of their meals.
This supplement harnesses the power of known superfoods like flaxseeds and kelp to support optimum skin health and manage issues like itchiness, dryness, and shedding.
Additionally, it is formulated with phytonutrients and dietary fiber to aid proper digestion.
The Missing Link has always been known to provide wholly healthy products, and the Original Superfood Supplement is no exception.
Its ingredients are cold-pressed to avoid the need for artificial preservatives. Plus, it doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or GMOs.
Even if your dog isn’t currently suffering from any specific skin conditions, taking supplements for dog coat growth will give them longer, thicker, and shinier coats. And, they’ll be less prone to itching and shedding.
The skin and coat also form a large part of your dog’s immune system. Taking these supplements will not only make their coats look more lush and beautiful; They will also be healthier and less prone to illness.
For German Shepherds, in particular, the Omega fatty acids in these supplements will also minimize the risk of hip dysplasia and joint inflammation.
Apart from supplementation, you might want to consider switching to grain-free dog food. High-quality kibble that uses alternative grains is excellent for dogs that have skin and coat issues, including allergies, shedding, itching, and dull fur.
Have you noticed a difference in your dog’s fur after giving them a dog supplement for healthy coat? Let me know in the comments.