6 Tips To Improve Your Dog's Coat Naturally

April 25, 2022 6 min read

dog with healthy coat


For us humans, a big part of our personal health involves skin and hair care. After all, self-care is key to maintaining a happy and healthy life! Just like us, our dogs could benefit exponentially from a little extra skin and coat care.

A shiny, smooth coat is a straightforward indicator that a dog is well taken care of and in good health. If you’ve noticed that your pup’s coat has lately been dry, rustled, and a little dull, there are a number of ways you can bring it to great condition.

If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your dog’s coat, look no further- we’ve compiled a handful of our top tips on keeping your pup’s coat as healthy as it can be!

Our Top 6 Tips for Improving Your Dog's Coat

1. Get to Know Your Dog’s Coat

Every dog’s coat is different from the next, and they should be treated as such. After all, a samoyed will have vastly different coat requirements compared to a short haired chihuahua. Getting to know your dog’s coat and its needs is the first step to bringing them to optimal health.

For smooth-coated breeds:Breeds with a smooth coat usually have short hair and fur that rests on their skin. This type of coat usually involves a great deal of shedding, and the dogs tend to have more sensitive skin.
Example breeds: Greyhounds, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Dachshunds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Vizslas, Chihuahuas, etc…
For short-haired breeds:Short-haired coats are a fairly common coat type in which the fur stays close to the skin and tends to be fairly coarse. Like smooth-coated breeds, they shed a good amount and have moderately sensitive skin.
Example breeds:Labrador retrievers, Mastiffs, Beagles, Bloodhounds, Belgian Malinois, Rottweilers, etc…
For curly-haired breeds: A curly coat requires a bit more grooming and care than short-haired breeds, but it generally involves less shedding and skin sensitivities. A breed with a curly coat should be brushed regularly and frequently bathed.
Example breeds:Poodles, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Chinese Crested (powderpuff), Portuguese Water Dogs, etc…
For double-coated breeds:Breeds with a double coat have two layers of fur- one soft layer closest to their skin, and a harsher layer on the outside to protect them from extreme weather. These dogs shed seasonally and in very large quantities- at this time, double-coated breeds should be brushed to aid in the shedding process.
Example breeds:Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Pomeranians, Golden Retrievers, Shiba Inus, Corgis, Akitas, etc…
For heavy-coated breeds:Heavy coats are typically thick and long, being especially prone to mats and tangles. Their skin is protected by their coarse coat, but they do need to be brushed regularly to prevent matting.
Example breeds:Bernese Mountain Dogs, Samoyeds, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards, Chow Chows, Newfoundlands, etc…
For hairless breeds:Some breeds will have little to no fur at all, with their skin exposed to the environment. These dogs have very sensitive and exposed skin, and should be given extra care in harsh weather environments. 
Example breeds:Mexican Hairless (Xoloitzcuintli), Chinese Crested Dogs, American Hairless Terriers, etc…


curly haired dog

 2. Track Your Furry Friend’s Bathing Routine

Unsurprisingly, your dog’s bathing habits have a lot to do with their skin and coat health. Factors such as your dog’s coat type, what you bathe them with, how often you bathe them, and how you bathe them all play a part in your furry friend’s coat health. 

When evaluating your dog’s bathing routine, make sure you’re certain what their coat type is. Breeds with sensitive skin should be bathed less often and with a natural, low-chemical shampoo. On the other hand, breeds with thicker coats require more time and effort in their bathing routines, needing frequent brushing and a monthly bath.

A part of your dog’s bathing routine is the process of bathing. A few key things to remember when bathing your dog include:

  • Getting your dog comfortable with baths
  • Letting your dog get some energy out before bath time
  • Plugging up their ears with cotton balls to prevent ear infections
  • Using a natural, sensitive-skin shampoo

For a more detailed breakdown of bathing your dog:Grooming Your Dog At Home

3. Feed Your Pup a Healthy Diet

A healthy dog’s coat is composed primarily of the protein Keratin and dead cells. When a dog is fed a diet lacking a sufficient amount of protein, their coat will pay the price. For this reason, it’s no wonder that many kibble-fed dogs have lackluster skin and coat health. 

To boost the production of the protein Keratin and get your dog’s coat nice and shiny, a natural raw diet is the best way to go. Processed dog foods, especially kibble, are made of more carbohydrates than protein. This insufficient amount of protein is what causes a dull, dry, and smelly coat.

The best diet to keep your pup’s coat, and their entire body, healthy is a natural raw diet. Raw dog food is complete and balanced with just the right amount of nutrients to keep your dog happy and healthy. The density of protein in a raw diet brings dogs a shiny, smooth, odorless coat, alongside alist of other benefits.


4. Spoil Your Dog With Healthy Supplements

We’ve already discussed how diet plays a large factor in your dog’s skin and coat health. Supplements are a great way to boost your pup’s health when used in tandem with a healthy diet! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Salmon Oil: Salmon oil is possibly one of the best supplements you can give your dog, with so many benefits in just a few drops. Salmon oil contains an essential fatty acid called Omega 3. Omega 3 has been shown to significantly increase skin and coat health, prevent cancer, improve brain function,and much more.

    At Cali Raw, every raw dog food formula includes added salmon oil to give your dog a complete and healthy diet!
  • Coconut Oil: Containing many antioxidants and moisture, coconut oil is a convenient and delicious treatment for your dog’s skin and coat! Many pet parents freeze the coconut oil into molds and add it as a topper to their dog’s dinner.
  • Healthy Treats: Like a raw diet, healthy treats encourage a healthy skin and coat. The word ‘healthy’ entailssingle-ingredient, human-grade, and filler-free. Believe it or not, all the extra ingredients in cheaply-made dog treats are harmful for your pup’s overall health- including their coat. 
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is rich in B vitamins and Omega 6 fatty acids, promoting the health of your dog’s skin and coat. If your pup has sensitive skin, giving them an oatmeal bath every once in a while is a great way to soothe irritation and gently provide a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • Ghee: Ghee is a highly-clarified butter used for medicinal and religious purposes in South Asian cuisine, with the liquid fats and lactose removed. Ghee contains butyric acid, which is anatural anti-inflammatory when ghee is topically applied.
ghee healthy for dogs 

5. Minimize Stress Inducers

Stress is known for being extremely detrimental to our overall health, and the same goes for dogs. In fact,research done by scientists at Yale has demonstrated that stress can shorten one’s lifespan. If stress is a regular thing for your dog, you may have to analyze how you’re dealing with their emotional health.

A dry, brittle coat and flaky skin are just a few symptoms your dog may experience from stress. Not only can stress ignite these problems in the first place- they can make it worse if your dog licks at their skin to soothe themselves. 

Some dogs may have anxiety problems- and that’s perfectly okay. However, extra care needs to be put into nervous dogs. Anxiety wraps, CBD oil, treats, and more are all a few little things you can do to calm your dog’s nerves. Sometimes, excessive nervousness can be caused by a deep-rooted issue. In these cases, it’s best to consult a trainer or aholistic veterinarian to get to the bottom of it.

Read More:Natural Tips to Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety

6. Protect Your Pup’s Skin and Coat

Lastly, in order to give your dog a healthy skin and coat, make sure to protect their skin and coat! If your dog has little to no fur, apply doggy-safe sunscreen when you go out in the sun. If you’re taking a trip somewhere doggy-populated, spray some apple cider vinegar on your pup to scare off fleas, which can irritate your dog’s skin.

Remember, every dog is different and will require a different routine care. The most important thing to do for your pup is research their coat type and adjust accordingly, giving them exactly what they need to be the happiest pup they can!