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During the summer, I see lots of dogs. LOTS OF DOGS. Summer in Western Washington is for the people who love dogs. There are loads of festivals and events where dog lovers gather to show off their pups and hang out with friends. I love any opportunity to hang out with my friends who love animals – we're an amazing bunch!
At every event, I see a dog that can use a little boost to skin and coat health. If you're raising a dog who has dry, dull coat and increased dander – here are a few things that may help.
1. Add Fish Oil to Your Dog's Diet
One of the many benefits of fish oil is that it offers a boost to a dog's skin and coat health. I have been adding Bonnie & Clyde fish oil to our dogs diet for more than six months – their skin and coat is healthy and clean, they don't have dander (Sydney has some, which is related to her underactive thyroid), and their coats are super soft.
Before starting our dogs on Bonnie & Clyde fish oil, Scout and Zoey had very thick and rough coats although I added salmon oil to their food daily. Today, their coat is still thick, but very soft.
The reason I switched to Bonnie & Clyde is because it's a concentrated oil that is made with the high-quality fish oil made with fresh caught fish and human grade ingredients. The oil has a natural source of vitamin E (sunflowers), doesn't have a fishy smell, and one bottle of fish oil will last more than a month for our four dogs.
CLICK to learn more about Bonnie & Clyde fish oil.
2. Improve Your Dog's Diet
Rodrigo's allergies presented with a crappy digestive system, ear infections, itching, and skin rashes. The skin rashes went away after I switched our dogs to raw dog food. Whether you feed raw, freeze dried, or dry/canned dog food, there are several ingredients that you want to avoid if your dog has allergies:
- corn (no dog should eat corn)
Once those are eliminated from a dog's diet, I recommend doing an elimination diet to identify other triggers (or you can invest in an allergy test).
- Steps for an Elimination Diet
- I Work with Krizten Breidenich of Gut Instinct and Intuitive Healing
- Check out Raw Paws Pet if you're interested in going raw – they offer a consultation to help get you started.
3. Improve You Dog's Gut
Rodrigo taught me first hand that it wasn't enough to improve his diet; he also needed a supplement to strengthen his digestive system. I use FullBucket Daily Canine Powder. One scoop a day and he is doing so much better than he was before I added a digestive enzyme. Zoey developed righteous bad breath a few months ago, so she now takes FullBucket daily as well. Adding the supplement to her meals cleared up her bad breath in a couple days.
FullBucket is a bit spendy for four big dogs, so our other twp dogs enjoy Flora4, which is another premium, all natural supplement that I'm able to buy through our local raw food co-op at an affordable price.
Finally, our dogs eat 1/2 tablespoon each of Olewo carrots in their morning meals. Olewo carrots have several benefits, including: healing an upset tummy, stopping diarrhea, natural dewormer, natural detox, clears up dry/itchy skin, and shines up a dull coat.
Digestive supplements I add to our dogs' diets are:
4. Use Natural Dog Shampoo
Many dog shampoos are harsh on our dogs' skin. If you look at the ingredients, they read like a periodic table and all of those chemicals are unnecessary. I started using natural dog shampoo when someone introduced me to shampoo bars. I loved them. Only a few ingredients, all natural, and they did the job without irritating our dogs' skin.
Today, I use shampoo bars and 4-Legger dog shampoo. Our dogs have shiny coats, they smell great (like clean dogs), and the shampoos offer natural flea and tick repellent. Cool, right?
The best part is that I'm not putting unnecessary chemicals on our dogs that irritate their skin. I know many brands state that their shampoos are natural and aren't harmful, but why take a chance when there are better options out there for our dogs?
Shampoos I use on our dogs are:
5. Use Natural Flea & Tick Repellents
We haven't used a chemical, topical flea and tick treatment for more than three years. I was introduced to natural alternatives and reduced usage of Frontline Plus to once a month, splitting one tube between three dogs (this was when we had Rodrigo, Sydney, and Blue). I started using natural flea and tick repellents exclusively when I realized that they work.
I've been using Wondercide on our dogs. They don't like being sprayed and Zoey skulks away when she sees the bottle. It has a cedar scent and a light oil after-spray, so I spray and rub it into our dogs coats before we're heading outside to play. Zoey might rub around in the ground, but I don't mind; as long as she's not replacing the cedar with Eau Du Road Kill, I'm good.
I've read that fleas don't like the taste of raw fed dogs. So it may be a combination of diet and Wondercide that is keeping fleas at bay; either way, we haven't had to use Frontline Plus in years.
Wondercide products I use on our dogs are:
- Wondercide Natural Flea Control Spray for Pets + Home (fleas, ticks, mosquitoes) – lemongrass scent
- Wondercide Natural Flea Control Spray for Pets + Home (fleas, ticks, mosquitoes) – cedar scent
Raising our dogs, I've learned that to boost skin and coat health for dogs, I improve their diet, boost their immune and digestive system, and throw away the chemicals. I'm thankful that it's worked out so well for our pack.