How to Keep a Dog's Coat Healthy and Shiny

A shiny fur coat is a sign of a healthy dog.
dog image by Vaida from

If you pay attention to nutrition, grooming and the medical health of your dog, he will be able to maintain a healthy, shiny fur coat. Generally, the condition of your dog's skin and coat is an indicator of your dog's health. Of course, your dog's coat will not be able to benefit from good health if you allow it to become dirty, tangled and matted. Regular grooming, as well as proper health care and nutrition will keep your dog's coat healthy and shiny.

Step 1

Feed your dog a high-quality dog food. A proper diet with highly digestible proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals will provide your dog with enough energy to keep his skin healthy. When the skin in healthy, his coat will appear healthy. A dog with insufficient nutrition will have a dull, dry coat that will shed more than normal. Poor nutrition affects both the internal health of your dog, as well as his external appearance, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

Step 2

Dogs with long, curly fur will need regular grooming to keep a healthy coat.
dog image by Zbigniew Nowak from

Comb and brush your dog often, especially if he has a long, curly or thick coat. Inspect your pet daily for hair tangles and clumps. Also, environmental seeds, sticks and burrs may become tangled in his coat and need to be removed. Remove the tangles and debris gently with a comb or scissors, then brush your dog to remove any dead hair. Combing and brushing removes dead hair and helps spread natural skin oils throughout his coat, thus preventing further tangles and giving his coat a natural shine.

Step 3

Bathe your dog every one to three months, depending on the type of dog and his activity. Brush him to remove dead hair and then place him in a tub with about four inches of warm water. Place a rubber mat in the tub to keep him from slipping. Wet your dog with a spray hose or cup, massage dog shampoo into his coat, and rinse him with clean water. Dry him with a towel and brush him once again. Bathing your dog more than once a month may reduce his natural skin oils and cause dry, itchy skin, thus increasing hair loss and damage from scratching.

Step 4

Take your dog to regular veterinary visits to keep him healthy. Skin parasites, such as fleas, ticks and mites can cause an unhealthy-looking coat. Veterinary treatment to remove external parasites will promote healthy skin and a healthy, shiny coat. Also, keeping your dog vaccinated and free of other diseases will help promote healthy skin.

Step 5

Use dog-specific hair products to produce a shiny coat. Treat your dog's coat with hair conditioner after washing him with shampoo. It can moisturize the skin and the hair follicles, which produce a softer, smoother coat. Alternatively, spray your dog with finishing spray. Finishing spray contains silicone that coats each hair to provide gloss and enables the hair to lay flat and smooth.


  • Do not shave your dog's coat off. Shaving your dog's coat makes him susceptible to heat, cold and sunburn.


  • When bathing your dog, do not spray water into his ears, eyes and nose.

  • Remove tangles and mats before bathing because water makes them harder to remove.

  • Hiring a professional groomer may be necessary to keep your dog's coat healthy and shiny.

  • Consult your veterinarian or groomer to purchase the proper tools for your dog's specific hair coat.

Items You Will Need

  • Comb
  • Brush
  • Towel
  • Dog shampoo
  • Scissors
  • Tub
  • Rubber mat
  • High-quality dog food


About the Author

Based in Michigan, Keri Gardner has been writing scientific journal articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in such journals as "Disability and Rehabilitation" and "Journal of Orthopaedic Research." She holds a Master of Science in comparative medicine and integrative biology from Michigan State University.

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