Nutrients like protein, fat, vitamins and minerals are vital to the skin and coat health of dogs. Your dog’s coat is made up almost entirely of protein. If his diet doesn’t contain enough protein quantity and quality, hair might fall out or become dry, weak and brittle. Likewise, his skin is made up of tightly packed flat cells with tough membranes made of proteins and fats. Without proper amounts of these nutrients, the cell membranes weaken, allowing water to escape and bacteria and viruses to enter more easily.
Make sure your dog is getting the following nutrients to keep his coat and skin healthy.
NUTRIENTS FOR HEALTHY SKIN AND HAIR IN DOGS
ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS
Proteins are found in both animal-based and plant-based ingredients. However, animal-based proteins contain all the essential amino acids dogs need, whereas plant-based proteins might not contain enough of some essential amino acids.
Fats also are found in both animal- and plant-based ingredients and are incorporated into skin cells as fatty acids. In particular, linoleic acid is essential for a dog’s skin and coat health. Without enough linoleic acid, dogs might experience a dull and dry coat, hair loss, greasy skin and increased susceptibility to skin inflammation.
Linoleic acid is found in chicken fat and vegetable oils (such as corn and soybean). IAMS™ research has also found that the fatty acids in vitamin-rich fish oils help promote excellent skin and coat health.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Your dog needs vitamins and minerals for a healthy skin and coat. The best way to provide these nutrients is by feeding a complete and balanced diet full of essential vitamins and minerals, rather than giving him supplements.
Vitamin or Mineral Importance to Skin and Coat Health
Vitamin A Necessary for growth and repair of skin
Vitamin E Protects skin cells from oxidant damage
Vitamin C Helps heal wounds
Biotin Aids in the utilization of protein
Riboflavin (B2) Necessary for fat and protein metabolism
Zinc Necessary for fat and protein metabolism
Copper Involved in tissue, pigment, and protein synthesis
WHAT CAUSES CHANGES IN A DOG’S COAT CONDITION?
Diet can be a factor when changes in skin and coat condition occur, but the most common causes are season and life stage. As cold weather approaches, most dogs grow a thick coat to help keep heat in and cold air out. As the weather warms up, they shed their thick, heavy coat.
Most puppies are born with soft, fuzzy hair, but as they age, a coarser coat grows. Pregnant or nursing dogs also might experience a change in coat condition or hair loss. And, as with humans, a dog’s hair might thin out and become coarser and white as he reaches his mature years.
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German Shepherd Dogs are one of the most loved breeds in the world! They're incredibly smart, versatile and learn new behaviors quickly. If that wasn't enough, they're also faithful companions that are very protective of their families.
But before you take the leap and adopt a German Shepherd, there are a few things you must know about looking after one. As is the case with raising a dog of any breed, caring for a German Shepherd needs commitment, patience and understanding.
Here's what it takes to care for a German Shepherd:
a. Exercising German Shepherds
German Shepherds are fantastic creatures in every sense, and it is easy to see why. GSDs are naturally energetic and need dedicated time daily to burn it off. They need at least 60minutes of daily physical exercise such as running and playing fetch in a park. A fit dog is a happy dog and one that is exercised regularly will not be happy, but healthy too.
b. Grooming German Shepherds
Be prepared to keep your vacuum cleaner handy. GSDs have thick coats, making them prone to shedding. Grooming your GSD takes time as well. You will need to give your pet a comb down at least 3 times a week. But you won’t need to bathe your dog too often (unless advised to do so by your vet).
c. Dog Food for German Shepherds
To stay healthy and active, German Shepherds require complete and balanced meals that are tailor-made to meet their unique needs. You could try a premium recipe like IAMS™ Proactive Health™ for Adult German Shepherds, which is specially formulated food for German Shepherds. This recipe is a blend of beet pulp and prebiotics (FOS) that supports healthy digestion, calcium, magnesium and other minerals and vitamins to support a healthy heart, and Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids to support skin and coat health. We recommend dividing their daily intake into two meals.
SIZE OF GERMAN SHEPHERD
RECOMMENDED DAILY FEEDING (g)
20-30 kg 245-330 30-40 kg 330-410 40-50 kg 410-485 50-60 kg 485-555
d. Diseases German Shepherds are Susceptible to
Like most dog breeds, German Shepherds are prone to diseases as well. But here are a few common diseases they are known to suffer from. Hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, degenerative myelopathy, inherited eye diseases, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, skin and heart disease, and thyroid disease. If you remain dedicated to providing your dog with the right kind of nutrition along with proper exercise, you should be able to keep illness at bay.
Some Facts About German Shepherd Care
German Shepherds are a special breed. They have high energy, are strong and have oodles of stamina. But they also need a lot of attention and activity. If you are away from home frequently or dont have the time to spend exercising or grooming them, then a German Shepherd isn't the right choice for you. So are you ready to start caring for a German Shepherd? Ask yourself these questions before making a decision:
Do I have the time and energy to train my German Shepherd?
Do I have enough space in my home for such a large dog to flourish?
Am I financially stable to care for my GSD if any health issues arise?
If you answer yes to these questions, then you are ready to enjoy an action-packed life with
your furry new friend!
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