Hair matters. Remember that old shampoo commercial: “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful?” as the model swung her luscious, full, shiny mane of hair in slow motion towards the camera? It was pretty darn effective: sales of that brand of shampoo soared, and the tagline is still memorable today, at least 15 years later.
Even as styles and even ideal weights and body sizes have varied throughout cultures and different eras, shiny, full, bouncy hair has always been desirable, and a sign of youth, health, and attractiveness.
The dog with a pretty, shiny coat and the sparkly eyes will always be adopted first, over the dog with a scruffy, patchy coat with bald spots and dull eyes.
…Oh, did you think I was talking about women?
If your dog has a dull, dry coat, this is an external indication of poor nutritional health. A good diet is essential to good coat health, but just as in humans, a good skin and haircare (or coat care) routine is necessary to supplement a good diet.
Key (food) ingredients to good hair and coat health (take notes, not just for your canine friend, but for yourself too!) are:
- Linoleic acid: This is an Omega-6 fatty acid that supports the proper functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin. Without the proper production of skin oils, over time, the coat will look dry and lusterless. In addition, linoleic acid helps to prevent water loss from the skin.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (notably, EPA and DHA): These are considered to be the foundation of healthy skin, and are also recommended to support organ function such as heart and kidney function and joint health. EPA and DHA are the Omega-3 fatty acids that work at the cellular level to help the immune system react optimally when it faces challenges.
- Vitamins A, C, and E; and Zinc: These vitamins and the mineral Zinc help to neutralize free radicals that can harm cells.
- B vitamins (including biotin): B’s are critical to proper cellular functioning, including skin and hair health.
- Choline and Inositol: These substances help to maintain the integrity of skin cells.
Of course, ideal hair/coat-care consists of a two-pronged strategy – from the inside-out (what you eat shows up in your glowing skin and shiny, lush hair/fur), and also, from the outside-in. Your hair (and coat-care) products really do matter. That’s why we’ve spent so much time crafting the best quality shampoo and conditioning products possible. Here are some key things to look for in your pet shampoo and coat care products:
Because dog’s skin and coat is so sensitive, it’s crucial that you never use harsh cleansers - soap can dry skin, remove necessary skin oils, and leave irritating and drying residue behind.
- The cleansing agents used in earthbath shampoos are hypo-allergenic, soap-free, renewable coconut-based cleansers, which are excellent at cleansing, without drying out the skin or coat.
- Use a pH-balanced cleanser. Dogs’ skin pH is almost neutral, meaning that the pH balanced shampoos for HUMANS will be much more acidic and as a result, highly irritating to their much more sensitive skin.
- Moisturizing ingredients and conditioners are key to replacing the nourishing oils that can be washed away, and skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera and oatmeal promote healing of skin irritations and re-moisturize sensitive, dry skin.