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There’s nothing better than spending time petting your dog. This is even more enjoyable when your furry friend has a soft, healthy coat. If your dog’s coat has been lackluster lately there are certain foods you can feed them to change this. While dry dog food is a necessity in your dog’s diet, there are certain human foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals that can supplement to make your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Today we will discuss the 15 best dog foods for a healthy and shiny coat.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods for both humans and dogs. They contain the highest amounts of bioavailable protein, which makes them a great single-ingredient skin and coat supplement for dogs. Eggs are widely considered to be the top food for hair, giving it luster and strength. Lutein is another key ingredient in eggs, and this works to keep your dog’s skin hydrated and helps with tissue repair. Zinc is important for dog coat health as it supports shiny hair and proper overall skin health. Other vitamins and minerals required for a healthy coat and skin contained in eggs are biotin, vitamin A, Omega-3s and Omega-6s.
Carrots are a great choice as a healthy supplement for dogs for several reasons. Not only do carrots act as soft chews that remove plaque from the teeth, but they also offer a great deal of fiber that’s needed to keep your dog’s stool healthy. Carrots also contain good amounts of beta-carotene which helps improve eyesight. Beta-carotene is also the precursor for vitamin A, which is known to help repair damage to cells and reduce dog skin irritation. Furthermore, vitamin A assists with boosting the immune system which is always a good thing!
Carob is called the perfect “survival food” because it lasts for long periods of time, does not require preparation, and doesn’t have to be stored in any certain way. Carob contains many key vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, silica, iron, protein, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, Vitamins A, B1, B2, and natural sugars. The best part is carob doesn’t contain theobromine or caffeine like chocolate, so it’s completely safe for your dog. It also doesn’t contain oxalic acid, so it won’t interfere with natural calcium absorption. The vitamin E present in carob supports healthy skin. It’s also known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties making it a real wonder food.
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as iron, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, protein, magnesium, and phosphorus. They contain a plant form of Omega-3s known as alphalinolenic acid or ALA, and they are also gluten-free. Essentially chia seeds will help nourish your dog’s skin from the inside, out. Omega-3s are known to help reduce inflammation in the skin. Chia is one of the easiest foods to mix with dog food, as you simply sprinkle it over your dog’s dry kibble. The other option is to make a “pudding” out of it using ⅓ cup of chia seeds and 2 cups of filtered water. You’ll mix it together and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Not only is peanut butter a favorite for many dogs, but it’s also a great source of protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, vitamin B, and niacin. You can stuff peanut butter into your dog’s Kong toy and keep your dog busy for a while. The best choice for peanut butter is one that’s unsalted and raw. Just be sure not to choose a “lite” or sugar-free version because they can contain sweeteners that are toxic for dogs.
Oatmeal is low in starch but high in minerals, especially phosphorus and potassium. Oats also contain B vitamins, calcium, iron, and magnesium. These key ingredients support healthy hair and skin by aiding your dog’s gastrointestinal system by helping rid the body of toxins. Oatmeal is also great relief if your dog suffers from itchy skin.
If you’re looking for an aid to give for dog skin allergy relief try liver. The type that comes from grass-fed animals is wonderful for enhancing skin health. Liver contains nutrients that include iron, calcium, niacin, copper, phosphorous, riboflavin, biotin, magnesium, thiamine, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and B12, among others. If you’re looking for a way to give your dog a boost of Omega-3s and Omega-6s opt for chicken livers.
Salmon provides dogs with a good dose of omega-3s which will help your dog’s skin and coat, but also support the immune system. Since salmon can be expensive you can substitute with fish oil or salmon oil supplements.
If you are looking for a superfood that can combat dog skin yeast infection then you may want to try sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are considered key foods for good skin health as they contain high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E. They also contain good amounts of iron, thiamine, calcium, copper, potassium, and folate. Vitamin C is especially important as it helps support the production of collagen and accelerates skin healing.
Coconut, when it is unsweetened and organic, is the perfect food to sprinkle on your dog’s dry kibble. It contains saturated fats that are turned into energy and contain anti-inflammatory properties that will decrease the growth of bacteria, inflammation, and irritation in your dog’s body. Studies have shown that eating raw coconut can reduce inflammation of the skin and the severity of bacterial skin infections.
Chicken is a great source of protein and other vitamins and minerals. The best part is your dog will love when you slip some into the bowl with regular kibble. Additionally, if you ever run out of dog food, this can be used anytime as a meal replacement.
Almonds are a great source of all types of vitamin E. They contain tocotrienols, tocopherols, and alpha-tocopherol which are all essential for healthy hair and skin. They offer many other vitamins and minerals such as copper, zinc, Omega-3s, manganese, and more.
Cranberries have long been used to treat many skin disorders such as eczema. This may be because they contain many bioactive components such as ellagic acid, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins. Each of these components are antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate a dog’s allergic reaction.
Cheese is another tasty treat that many dogs love. Just be sure your dog doesn’t suffer from lactose intolerance, which does affect a small percentage of dogs. Choose versions that are reduced-fat and remember to not overfeed this treat. Typically, the best choice for your dog is cottage cheese.
Yogurt, so long as it doesn’t use artificial sweeteners or added sugars, is a wonderful dog treat that is high in protein and calcium. Yogurt is filled with active bacteria that act as a probiotic to help keep your dog’s gastrointestinal tract healthy.
In the end, what you feed your dog really matters. Ensuring that your dog’s diet is complete and offers the right amount of essential vitamins and minerals is important for a dog’s skin and coat. There are many skin and coat supplements for dogs on the market, but the best way to make sure your dog gets what it needs is to add the foods we discussed here to their dry kibble as an added treat.