How to Get a Labrador's Coat Soft and Shiny (DIY Guide)

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A shiny coat can make your dog look much more beautiful, but it's also a sign of good health. If your pup's coat looks dull, dingy, or otherwise worn, it's time to take some action. The good news is that it's quite easy to turn a rough-looking coat into a brand-new, glow topcoat in a short time.

To get a labrador's coat soft and shiny, you should start by improving their diet to include 18% to 29% protein, vitamin E, A, C, and biotin. Grooming your dog with a brush will keep their coat new and soft since it eliminates dead hair. Egg yolks, exercise, and supplements can help, too.

In this article, I'll break down a nine-step process to keep your labrador's fur looking shiny, fresh, and soft. I'll also show you how impactful their diet is on their topcoat and undercoat.

Improve the Lab's Diet and Nutrition

Your labrador's coat softness and appearance depend on their diet. Wellness Pet Food claims your dog needs between 18% to 29% of their caloric intake to come from protein. Ensure your dog's food contains enough protein, especially since many companies neglect to include the proper amount.

Another thing you should avoid is adding too many fillers to your lab's diet. There should be too much wheat and similar products that make them full without providing the right type of nutrition they need to stay healthy.

This small change can make a massive difference in your dog's coat shininess, softness, and more. It'll also make them feel much more energetic and less likely to develop various health conditions. On that note, ensure they're drinking enough water!

Improper nutrition can cause your labrador to shed too much. When you get a chance, review my quick article about how much and why labs shed.

Supplement Fatty Acids Into Their Food

Omega-3 fatty acids help your dog's coat look shinier and prevent hair from falling out prematurely. In the long run, healthy fats save you from having to clean fur around the house while also enjoying their newfound softness. You can use countless fatty acid supplements to keep your dog's hair in good condition.

The Vita Pet Life Omega-3 Pills have enough fatty acids to promote healthy fur growth for your pup. They also lubricate their heart valves, preventing various heart problems as they get older. The Vitamin E found in these supplements treats dandruff to stop itching, wounds from scratching too much, hair loss, and more.

Use the Best Bathing Ingredients

Brushing and similar grooming techniques are crucial if you want your labrador's coat to look shiny and soft. Use a soft brush to remove their topcoat a few times per week. I recommend using these three tools to deal with excess dog hair without letting it get out of hand. Remember, the brush is half of the battle; You also need to use high-quality soap and shampoo.

Much like human hair, your dog's fur can get dry, itchy, or thin if it's not taken care of properly. When you're washing them, make sure you lightly scratch their skin to remove dead cells and encourage new, healthy hair growth. Clogged hair follicles can cause irritation, which won't go away if you're using low-end products.

Brush Your Labrador and Bring Them to the Groomers

Alongside brushing and washing your labrador's coat, you should also take them to a professional groomer. A top-notch grooming service will wash your dog, cut their nails, and trim their coat to keep it from getting too crazy. This process can promote long-term healthy fur that looks wonderful.

The American Kennel Club recommends taking a labrador to the groomer once every four to six weeks, depending on how quickly their fur grows. Neglecting this essential process will make your dog's coat grow too long, making it seemingly impossible to maintain a good appearance.

Take Regular Trips to the Vet

Many pet owners know their lab's diet and grooming supplies are important for their health, but trips to the vet aren't usually the first thing that comes to mind when their fur is concerned.

As I mentioned earlier in the article, your lab's coat can show how healthy they are. Therefore, if you take them to the vet, they'll show you what you can do to improve their internal and external health.

Your dog's hair shouldn't feel dry, brittle, or fall out from light petting. Labs shed, so they'll inevitably lose their fur every so often. That being said, excessive shedding can be a sign of underlying health conditions that need a professional opinion.

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Don't Let Your Lab Lay in Direct Sunlight Too Often

Sunlight contains UV rays that damage hair follicles rather quickly. If your dog loves laying in the sun, it can cause their hair to feel crunchy or dull. It'll also make their coat color look lighter and fall out much easier. I suggest keeping your pup under an umbrella, tree, or similar shady area to prevent these issues from happening.

Sunshine can be healthy for active dogs who love being outside. However, lounging in the heat for too long isn't ideal for their health. Encourage your lab to take a swim or get a drink of water on warm days spent outside.

Feed Your Labrador Egg Yolks

The Nest explains egg yolks contain protein, biotin, and many other nutrients required for a healthy, shiny dog coat. Your dog will love the treat, and you'll enjoy their new coat appearance and feel. It's best to consult a veterinarian before changing your dog's diet, so I highly recommend talking to a professional if you want to make egg yolks part of their diet.

Once you get the expert approval, you can add a yolk to their meals a couple of times per week. You'll quickly notice their coat gets shiniest and much less dull, especially when combined with the other suggestions in this article.

Exercise Your Dog Daily

Your dog needs plenty of exercise for their heart, joints, muscles, bones, digestive system, and more. Without enough daily exercise, your labrador will inevitably experience several health problems. Exercise is also an irreplaceable part of a great-looking, soft-feeling topcoat. It can also make their undercoat shed much less.

Here's a handful of easy exercises for your labrador to promote coat health:

  • Walk with them for 30 minutes before or after work daily.
  • Play fetch with your lab for a few minutes several times throughout the day.
  • Get a dog run to let them play with other dogs.
  • Take them to a dog park and let them run free for a while.
  • Build an indoor obstacle source to train their agility.

Consider Supplements for Their Coat

Biotin, riboflavin, and many vitamins are required for a strong, desirable topcoat. Your labrador should get most of these nutrients from their food, but they might be deficient if their meals don't have everything they need. If you notice any of these nutrients aren't found in the ingredients list, either change their dog food to one that has everything or get supplements for their fur growth.

Note: All supplements should be approved by a medical professional. As the vet before changing your dog's diet or supplemental intake.

Conclusion

Following the steps found throughout this article can make a significant improvement in your dog's fur. Remember, their coat is a symbol of how healthy they are. Improving their diet and exercise can make the biggest difference of all. You also won't have to clean their hair off the ground as much!

About THE AUTHOR

Mark Brunson

Mark Brunson

Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.

Read more about Mark Brunson