Let’s talk about how to make a dog’s coat shiny!
Why is that important?
Well, a lustrous and healthy coat is a telltale sign of a happy and healthy pup.
While there are different ways to achieve that enviable shine, in this blog post, I’m zeroing in on the two key components that have worked best for me personally:
Raw fish and brushing.
How To Make A Dog’s Coat Shiny
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As a raw feeder, I’ve been aware of the many health benefits of raw fish for many years now.
But its power struck me again just recently when I was least expecting it.
This was on an overlanding round trip through Morocco, Africa with our Jeep:
- We started in central Morocco, then
- Continued through the High Atlas Mountains, followed by
- Making our way through the desert region along the Algerian boarder, and
- Finally driving back along the Atlantic Coast.
Now, there’s LOTS of street dogs in Morocco, both in rural areas and urban districts. As a matter of fact, you’ll find more stray dogs than pet dogs in this part of the world.
In 2021, the National Geographic estimated that Morocco has about 3 million stray dogs. Btw, they’re known as Beldi dogs. Beldis are dogs “from the countryside” and are an umbrella term for all Moroccan street dogs.
But either way, while all of these dogs had that typical rugged stray look, the main difference between them were the conditions of their coats.
The vast majority of the Beldi dogs in Central Morocco, the mountain areas and the desert had terrible coats. They were dull, dirty and patchy and many looked like they had mange.
But most of the Beldi dogs we saw on the Atlantic Coast had much shinier, fuller coats.
Raw Fish For Dogs Benefits
My interpretation is that they have access to fish. As in, the freshest, raw kind.
When we took a walk on the beach in Agadir, I recorded a local Beldi who was hunting for fishy food in the water!
And it makes complete sense – raw fish is a nutritional powerhouse for your dog’s coat. It’s packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin and a glossy coat.
The oilier the fish, the better it is for the dog’s coat and skin. That said, you can feed your pup the following types of oily, raw fish:
If you’re a raw feeder like myself, you can feed your pup raw meals that feature any type of oily, raw fish. Either premade raw dog food or homemade raw dog food you make yourself.
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My previous pups Missy & Buzz ate all of the oily fish I mentioned above, and my current pup Wally eats mostly raw herring and mackerel.
He also has the occasional trout, but can’t have any salmon and sardines because he’s allergic to both.
That said, even if you don’t feed a full raw dog food diet, your pup will still benefit from eating oily fish, for example as a weekly food topper on their kibble, canned or homemade dog food.
Tip: A fishy food topper also works great to entice picky eaters to dig in. Try some canned sardines in water from your local grocery store for starters!
Dog Brushing: The Art of Distributing Natural Oils
In addition to feeding raw fish to make a dog’s coat shiny, I also swear by regular brushing.
Personally, I started incorporating a daily 5 minute brushing session with my pup Wally after our morning walks because he loves it so much.
But 2-3 times of brushing per week should be plenty to keep your dog’s coat looking their best.
Now, why is brushing such a fundamental part of coat maintenance?
Because it helps remove loose fur and dirt, and it also stimulates the production and distribution of natural oils in your dog’s skin, which results in a shinier coat.
Choosing the Right Dog Brush
The gloves works well to remove the loose fur on his body and to massage his skin, and I only use the grooming rake for the thicker fur around his neck area.
Just FYI, bristle brushes work well for dogs with long, fine fur like Yorkshire Terriers for example because they’re great at detangling fur.
How To Make A Dog’s Coat Shiny: Bottom Line
Incorporating raw fish into your dog’s diet and establishing a regular brushing routine can be a total game-changer for your pup’s coat health.
While the stray Beldi dogs on the Moroccan Atlantic coast don’t have access to humans who brush them, they instinctively hunt for fish as part of their natural diet.
Consequently, their coats are shiny and full!
So do your first world pup a favor and supplement their diet with the power of Omega-3s from raw fish as well.
Combined with the natural shine-enhancing effects of brushing, you’ll soon make your dog’s coat shiny and healthy, both from the inside AND from the outside!
Do you have a pup whose coat could use some TLC? Let me know in the comment section below this blog post!
- How to feed raw fish to dogs
- How to feed raw when overlanding with your dog
- The difference between herring and mackerel for dogs