Dog's Coat is Dry & Brittle? Here's What To Do

Have you noticed your dog's skin and coat looking lackluster? If your dog's coat is dry and brittle or doesn't appear as healthy as usual, it can be symptomatic of various conditions. Your dog may require more grooming, or could a less-than-shiny coat be a sign of a more serious health problem? Will just a little extra brushing solve the issue, or does your dog require an improved diet and possibly medication?

There is a diverse array of reasons that brittle hair appears in dogs. Each of these causes will call for a unique solution. In the article below, we will walk you through the most common reasons for a dog to have brittle hair, along with some of the most effective treatments to get your furry friend's coat back to looking smooth, shiny, and luxurious.

Related: Should You Start Giving Your Dog A Joint Supplement?

Is Your Dog's Coat Healthy?

So how exactly can you tell if your dog's coat is healthy? Most of the time, you can tell just by how it looks and feels. It's generally pretty clear if a dog's coat is healthy or not. Here are some specific symptoms you should watch out for. 

Signs Of A Healthy Coat

  • Clean
  • Shiny
  • Smooth
  • Lustrous
  • Pliable
  • Pleasant-smelling

Signs Of An Unhealthy Coat

  • Coarse
  • Dry
  • Brittle
  • Broken
  • Dull
  • Limp
  • Smelly
  • Itchy
  • Flaky
  • Greasy
  • Bumpy

Symptoms Of A Brittle Coat

Various problems can happen if your dog's coat isn't in good shape. Below we list some of the acute symptoms of dry, brittle fur and unhealthy skin in dogs.

Dull Coat

Your dog's hair should ideally look lustrous and shiny. It should appear outwardly healthy. If it doesn't look that way, then there may be underlying causes. Your dog may have a deficiency in essential fatty acids, or it may require more regular grooming in the form of brushing and baths. 

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Excessive Shedding

A certain amount of shedding is typically, particularly as the weather begins to warm up. However, if your dog is shedding excessively, particularly during the colder months, it could be a sign that something more serious is going on. Excessive amounts of shedding could be due to hot spots, fleas, an underlying skin condition, or any other quantity of reasons. Your best option in this situation is to take your dog to the vet, who will be able to deal with the problem much more efficiently than you can on your own. 

Related: Can Dogs Eat Eggs?

Brittle Coat

Run your fingers through your dog's coat. Does the hair have a lot of split ends and feel brittle and dry? If this is the case, you should take a closer look at what your dog is eating. Ensure that they're receiving enough healthy protein (from a lean, natural source of meat) and enough essential fatty acids (from fish or flaxseed). The majority of the time, a healthy diet, in conjunction with good bathing and grooming practices, will solve the problem of your dog's brittle coat.

Smelly Coat

It's not normal for your dog's coat to have a strong odor, always hovering around it. An odorous coat is generally a sign that you may need to bathe and groom your dog more frequently. Research how often you should clean and groom your dog, as certain kinds of dogs will need baths more frequently than others. However, keep in mind that bathing too often can be just as bad as not bathing enough.

Why Dogs Have Coarse, Brittle Hair

If you discover that your dog's skin and coat need a little assistance, it's crucial to pinpoint the cause. A lackluster coat is frequently symptomatic of a larger health problem, which should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Here are some common causes of coarse, brittle hair in your dog:

Nutritional Deficiency

Your dog's coat and skin need adequate nutrition to stay in optimal condition. Protein and essential fatty acids are vital nutrients for your dog to have a healthy coat. Unfortunately, many owners go wrong here and feed their pets a diet that is far too low in fat, causing dry skin and hair. It's crucial to feed your dog a well-balanced diet that has plenty of protein along with omega-3 fatty acids. Our Origins Canine 5 in 1 is made with wild fish ingredients that far surpass regular commercial dog food in digestibility and nutrition. It can be challenging to find enough nutrients in commercial dog food, which is why our Origins Canine 5 in 1 is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids thanks to the addition of fish oil and whole fish. 

Scratching & Allergies

Your dog may have the misfortune of suffering from seasonal allergies. Allergies can cause itchy skin, which in turn results in biting or scratching behavior that can exacerbate any existing skin conditions. Do your best to bathe and groom your dog more regularly to rinse and brush away irritating pollen and give your itchy pooch some relief. 

What To Do If Your Dog Has Dry, Brittle Skin And Hair?

Now that we've discussed the symptoms of a brittle coat you should watch out for; we're going to talk about some of the most effective things to do to boost the condition of your dog's coat.

Choose The Right Shampoo

Shampoo for people can't be used on dogs. Your dog's skin has a specific pH and thickness, different from human skin, which means that they require a shampoo specifically designed for dogs. The majority of human shampoos are too harsh for our furry friends. To reduce irritation from bathing, choose a hypoallergenic shampoo without any added fragrances. You may choose to use a conditioner after washing to prevent dandruff and moisturize your dog's skin. If it's difficult finding a shampoo that is best suited for your dog, ask your vet for recommendations that are specifically formulated for your breed. 

Bathe Your Dog

Regularly washing your dog is crucial to keeping their coat and skin in tip-top condition. Different dogs will need more frequent baths than others. While a monthly bath is perfect for many dogs, others require weekly baths to eliminate excess oil and dirt and keep them smelling fresh. However, bathing too frequently can wash away the healthy natural oils and leave your dog's coat feeling brittle and dry.

Groom Your Dog Well

Brushing your dog's coat regularly is the most important aspect of grooming your dog. Brushing their hair will redistribute their natural skin oils, allowing more thorough moisturization and fewer greasy spots. Brushing also removes tangles and dry, dead hair when your dog is shedding.

Related: High Fiber Dog Food

Regular grooming and a nutritious diet should restore the vitality of your dog's coat. Rogue Pet Science is a company dedicated to producing all-natural dog vitamins and supplements to improve your dog's gut health and overall nutrition. Check out our sustainable, traceable, and digestible products for your pet today!

Looking for holistically produced pet products? Order from Rogue Pet Science today!

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