The ultimate guide on how to support skin & coat health and prevent skin issues in your dog & cat before it’s too late
Do you want your dog and cat to have super soft, healthy, and shiny fur? Or maybe you want to support skin & coat health because your pet already shows signs of itchiness, hair loss, or allergies?
The trick is to feed your pet whole foods and natural supplements that improve nutrient absorption, support detoxification, and are high in antioxidants and the right types of Omega 3. Using the correct USDA-certified organic grooming products is also incredibly important.
In this blog post, we’re going to give you our proven step-by-step guide including the best natural supplements, healthy pet foods, pet shampoo, and lifestyle changes that have empowered hundreds of pet parents to create vibrantly healthy skin and coats for their pets.
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Best Supplements for Healthy Skin & Shiny Coat
To keep your pet safe, we review and research every single ingredient in every single product that we recommend in this article and on our website. This means you don’t have to worry about ingredients when shopping at PAWDEGA, because you will be confident knowing you're supporting your pet with the highest quality and most effective pet products in the world.
You've got to be careful, because most pet supplements on the market today contain filler ingredients and synthetic components which can cause sensitivities and nutrient deficiencies in dogs and cats.
All of our recommendations below are truly natural products (we read beyond the labels) and do not contain any synthetics. Your pet's body actually recognizes these products as nutrition, so you don’t have to worry too much about combining different products with each other.
The truth is, supporting your pet’s health and more specifically skin and coat health is a multifaceted approach and requires different angles.
Pre & Probiotics for Improved Coat Condition and Skin Health
The gut is the foundation of health. Over 80% of the immune system lies in the gut, which is why supporting gut health by feeding pre & probiotics is a pet parents' first tool to supporting and preventing any type of disease.
The gut and the skin share the role of being the primary defense system for environmental toxin exposure. Many studies have shown a deeply rooted, two-way connection between gut health and skin health, and it has been found that gut health issues often manifest as skin disorders such as itchy skin and dandruff. (2)
Pre & Probiotics are an incredible tool to enhance not just gut health, but also skin and coat health at the very same time. A clinical study on probiotics consumption found significant improvements in severity and symptoms of moderate to severe dandruff and early exposure to probiotics in puppyhood has been shown to help prevent skin issues. (1)
Below are our recommendations for the most effectivePre & Probiotics. Please note: You can give two of the probiotic products together, or you can alternate between all three of them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
However, for pets on a dry food diet, it is best to include a source of digestive enzymes with every meal.
We recommend rotating between the different Pre&Probiotics:
FIDO'S FLORA BY ADORED BEAST
Fido’s Flora is the world’s first canine-specific probiotic, and the most effective probiotic on the market today. Due to it’s incredible gut health benefits, it helps create vibrant skin and a healthy coat.
Fido’s Flora has been scientifically proven to modulate (balance) the immune system. It is a beneficial addition to any dog’s diet as it has powerful properties to help prevent and address common health issues such as insatiable itching, allergies, vomiting, diarrhea, loose poo, auto-immune disease, organ disease, arthritis, and more.
This is a 16-strain probiotic including 2 canine specific strains as well as PREbiotics and the organic minerals humic and fulvic acid that also help with detoxing the body.
Healthy Gut by Adored Beast
Nutrient deficiency can impact hair growth and metal deficiencies, such as iron and zinc, can cause hair loss (1). Every pet, no matter what they eat, can benefit from digestive enzymes. When you add digestive enzymes into the food, your pet will absorb more of the nutrients which benefits organ health, skin health, coat health, and all body functions. Plus, you will see reduced poops too.
Healthy Gut is a pre & probiotic with digestive enzymes. This is a must-have for pets on canned, cooked, and dry food diets. The mentioned diets are processed and heated which is why they lack in natural enzymes and our pets have a harder time digesting and utilizing the nutrients from this type of food.
Gut Soothe by Adored Beast
Due to the inflammatory nature of skin disease, we recommend adding Gut Soothe if you’re looking to support skin and coat health naturally.
Gut Soothe supports healthy skin, coat, immunity, joints, and also helps to relieve and prevent issues such as itchiness, arthritis, diarrhea, vomiting, burping, lung issues, bladder infections, respiratory concerns, IBD and so much more.
Gut Soothe contains 14-strains of probiotics as well as prebiotics and anti-inflammatory herbs. The pre & probiotics support gut health while the anti-inflammatory herbs help to lower inflammation throughout the entire body and offer relief of inflammatory conditions of any kind.
Please note: You can give all three probiotic products on a daily basis, or you can alternate between them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. However, for pets on a dry food diet it is best to include a source of digestive enzymes with every meal.
Superfoods & Antioxidants to Support Vibrant Skin & Coat Health
Due to mass production and the depletion of our soils, many human and animal foods are lacking important nutrients. Nourishing our pet’s cells with superfoods, providing high amounts of antioxidants, and supporting the fight against free radicals in the body will also help improve skin and coat health, overall organ health, joint health, gut health, and immunity, and so much more.
Again, we’ve got a few different truly natural and effective products for you to choose from. You can alternate them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, or use them together as you wish.
Superfoods & Antioxidants That Create Vibrant Skin & Shiny Fur
The certified organic ingredients in this whole food supplement supports a healthy shiny coat, strong nails, and help your pet overcome and prevent skin issues.
A lot of skin issues can be linked to toxin accumulation in the body, which is why chlorella and wheatgrass in this product help the body detox and support liver and kidney health.
This certified organic superfood supplement is made of 100% whole food ingredients and provides a wide range of antioxidants and vitamins that support skin and coat health.
Augustine’s Superboost by Augustine Approved
Augustine’s SuperBoost assists in the maintenance of healthy skin, a shiny coat, healthy joints, promotes healthy growth and development, healthy digestion and healthy organ function.
This certified organic whole food supplement provides vital nutrients that are sensitive to heat and can be void in processed food.
Raw Green Tripe by Paleo Ridge
Green Tripe is incredibly healthy for cats and dogs and is considered an absolute superfood. We’ve written a full article about the benefits here. Green Tripe is jam-packed with nutrients and contains a great source of raw probiotics, digestive enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.
Especially picky eaters LOVE green tripe, so it’s a win-win for everyone! A study by the University of Helsinki concluded that puppies who ate a raw diet including raw green tripe, raw bones, and raw organ meats, had a significantly reduced risk of developing allergy symptoms and skin concerns (5).
Phyto Synergy by Adored Beast
Phyto Synergy is 100% Pure Marine Phytoplankton, a super antioxidant whole food.
It supports the entire body, overall health, and longevity. Phyto Synergy improves skin health, joint health, organ health, thyroid gland, digestion, energy flow, and detoxification.
Phyto Synergy contains chlorophyll, essential amino acids, EPA, fatty acids, and so much more! You only use a tiny amount (approx 1/16th teaspoon) so it’s especially great for picky pets!
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids for Shiny Fur
Omega-3 fats are renowned for their powerful health benefits, including their potential to create a shiny coat and healthy skin (3) and improve your pet's hair quality.
Veterinarians highly recommend omega-3. You’ve most likely heard about the benefits of fish oil before, but HOLD ON! We do NOT recommend the use of fish oil, for very good reasons. You can read more about it here, but for now, all you need to know is that the risk of feeding rancid fish oil is too high, and there are plenty of safer options for you to choose from.
Safe sources of EPA & DHA are actually not that easy to come by, but we’ve got you covered.
Omega-3 Joint Health Support
Potent Sea (Algae Oil) by Adored Beast
Algae oil contains a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA that improve skin health and create shiny fur (3). Algae oil provides a much higher omega-3 content compared to fish oil, and more importantly, it does not harm the oceans.
Potent-Sea Algae Oil also supports joint health, brain health, heart health, and so much more. Algae oil is the best option when it comes to providing a non-toxic, effective, sustainable, and potent omega-3 supplement.
Frozen Wild-Caught Fish by Paleo Ridge
Small fish are at the bottom of the food chain and will have much lower levels of contamination from toxins such as heavy metals. These fish will contain high amounts of EPA & DHA which support healthy skin, a shiny coat, improved hair growth, and may reduce itchy skin (3).
Raw Hemp Oil by Adored Beast
Raw Hempseed Oil is high in Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids and helps lower inflammation throughout the body.
It helps support joint health, skin health, organ health and so much more. Hemp Seed Oil is high in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA which is not found in abundance in fish or algae and hemp seed oil is also not high in EPA or DHA.
Gentle Detox to support healthy skin in dogs and cats
Our modern-day pets are exposed to an unnatural and often dangerous amount of toxins through their food, our cleaning products, pesticides, flea & tick treatments, and more.
Our pets' bodies detox through their liver and kidneys, the gut, and the skin. If your pet’s toxic load (the harmful chemicals that accumulate in the body) is too much to handle, the detox systems are not going to be able to perform at their optimal level. Eventually, the organs won’t be able to keep up and that toxic build-up can lead to serious, long-term illnesses including skin disease (4).
We always recommend daily detox for a proactive approach to health and wellness. You’ve got a couple of options here, we recommend including only one of these options at a time, but rotating through them. So once you’ve finished a jar of one of the products, you can move on to a different product in this category.
Gentle Detox Support for Cats and Dogs:
Liver Tonic by Adored Beast
Rather than just simply feeding your pet dandelion root, this herbal liquid remedy provides a combination of detoxifying herbs that supports not only the liver but also the kidney, pancreas, and gallbladder health synergistically.
It is important that we focus on providing herbs that will support all of the detoxification organs because they work in close relation with each other.
Faith’s Cleanse & Detox by Augustine Approved
This herbal powder cleanses your dog's and cat's body of environmental toxins, medication toxins, and more and supports the detoxifying organs synergistically. At the same time, if taken continuously for 30 days, it is great to help prevent fleas and parasites, and it acts as a natural dewormer.
Best Pet Food for Shiny Fur, and Healthy Skin
A study by the University of Helsinki concluded that puppies who ate a raw diet including raw tripe, raw bones, and raw organ meats, had a significantly reduced risk of developing allergy symptoms and skin concerns (5). These findings are further backed by another study that concluded adding as little as 20% of raw ingredients to commercial dry pet food significantly reduced the risk of diseases and allergies later in life. (6)
Holistic veterinarians recommend feeding a raw food diet that is anti-inflammatory and rich in moisture, nutrients, and natural enzymes, and low in carbohydrates. If you’re ready to switch your dog & cat to a raw diet, PAWDEGA offers the highest quality raw pet food in the UAE, sourced ethically from high-welfare UK farms.
Even previously raw-fed dogs have reported better skin and shinier coats since moving onto the Paleo Ridge diet. We attribute this to the fact that Paleo Ridge is the only raw pet food available in the UAE using certified organic chicken and free-range turkey and duck. The meat quality of your raw pet food plays a vital role in the nutrient profiles, and free-range and pasture-raised meats have been shown to be more nutrient-dense and healthier to consume.
If you don’t yet feel comfortable switching to a fully raw diet, that’s okay too, just add as much raw food to the diet as possible, and slowly expand your comfort zone.
A full switch to a raw diet would be best in most cases, however, mixing raw food and dry/wet food would also be an overall improvement of your dog’s or cat’s diet. If you’d like to start adding some raw ingredients, you can find a selection of delicious additions here.
Dog & Cat Treats to Support Skin & Coat Health
FREEZE-DRIED WILD CAUGHT SALMON TREATS BY GREEN JUJU
Green Juju Freeze-Dried wild-caught Salmon treats are the best way to support skin & coat health with every treat!
They are a great source of omega-3, as well as antioxidants, due to the organic superfood content! Plus, they are super delicious and can also be used as meal toppers for picky pets.
Topical Solutions for a Healthy Skin & Coat Condition
Certified Organic Dog and Cat Shampoo by 4-Legger
Pet shampoo and grooming products are a major contributor to decreased skin and coat health in our pets which is why we recommend only using completely natural and CERTIFIED organic shampoos on our pet's skin.
The pet grooming industry is unregulated, ingredients do NOT actually have to be listed on the product label, and as a result, consumers have NO idea what is inside of a grooming product. Synthetic ingredients commonly used in pet shampoo are linked to a long list of health issues including allergies, dry and itchy skin, hormone disruption, cancer, and organ toxicity.
Be careful: Grooming products are commonly mislabeled, so unless a grooming product is actually certified organic, you cannot be sure of the ingredients. Read more about the organic pet shampoo scam here.
4-Legger is the only USDA-certified organic pet shampoo in the UAE, with ingredients you can recognize and trust. It promotes healthy skin and coat, hydrates the skin, and relieves itchy skin, hot spots, and more.
Certified Organic Nose & Paw Balm by 4-Legger
Of course, the nose and paws are part of our pet's skin, so it’s important to pamper them too! As mentioned, there are a lot of grooming products on the market that claim to be all-natural, but they actually contain synthetic ingredients that have been linked to skin issues, organ toxicity, and more.
At PAWDEGA, we read beyond ingredients and labels. We want to make sure that you have a safe place where you can shop worry-free.
Topical Solutions for Irritated Skin
If your dog or cat has a bit of irritated skin, or a minor skin concern, you may want to have a look at some of the topical safe and non-toxic solutions such as Owies & Oopsies, Yeasty Beast 3, or Mountain Salve.
Owies & Oopsies and Yeasty Beast 3 are topical sprays that include both Calendula and Hypericum as well as other herbs that are calming to the skin, promote healing and help relieve itchy skin naturally. Yeasty Beast 3 also helps kill yeast topically, but due to the apple cider vinegar content, it is not recommended for dogs who have raw, open wounds from scratching (ACV can sting in open wounds).
For dogs who have open wounds, and for cats, it’s best to go with the Owies & Oopsies.
If you prefer a moisturizing cream, then Mountain Salve would be an amazing solution that combines soothing herbs with healing oils.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
Imagine this: The floor in your home is squeaky clean, freshly mopped, and now here comes your pet and lays down right in the middle of the living room. A few minutes later they move onto their bed and lick their paws. Now, a treat falls down on the floor and they start licking the floor because YUMMY, the floor tastes like treats!
Do you see where I’m going with this? The cleaning products that you use in your home are absorbed into your pet's body through the paws and their skin, as well as by them actually licking the floor, and surfaces in your home. Using TRULY natural and non-toxic cleaning products, dish detergents, and laundry detergents are incredibly important when you have pets.
Here’s a DIY video on how to make your own non-toxic cleaning products.
When Should I Start Skin and Coat Health Supplements for My Cat and Dog?
That’s a great question which we get asked a lot. Here is the thing… Many of the recommended products such as raw fish, superfoods, and pre & probiotics should be introduced to your pet as early as possible when they are a puppy. These products are part of offering your pet high-quality nutrition and providing them with a pet wellness routine that sets them up for a healthy life.
Skin disease is a very common, stressful, uncomfortable medical issue that can result in expensive vet bills. Remember, it’s always cheaper to invest money into preventing health concerns than investing money, pain, and stress into trying to find a cure.
It’s never too early to support your pet in enhancing their skin health naturally and creating a shiny coat! Imagine all the compliments that you’ll get at the dog park when your dog’s got the nicest and shiniest fur around!
There are many options for you to support your dog's & cat's skin and coat health naturally.
It is recommended to take a multifaceted approach and combine Pre & Probiotics, with frozen fish, superfoods, as well as adding as much fresh food to the diet as possible. Doing a daily detox and using USDA-certified organic shampoo is also incredibly important, not just for skin health, but for longevity too!
Don’t wait until your pet’s skin health declines and signs of itchy skin or recurring hot spots start to arise. Start implementing a skin and coat health routine today, so you can save money on vet bills and help prevent skin issues from ever occurring!
It is important to note that all of the recommended products are professional human-grade, completely natural, and do not contain any synthetics or fillers. They are recognized by the body as nutrition, so they can be combined with each other. For pets with sensitive stomachs, we do recommend adding new additions slowly, over the course of 1-2 weeks.
Since all of the products are truly natural, they are very versatile and actually help prevent and address not only skin issues but also many other ailments throughout the body at the same time.
I know this was a lot of information, but I’m sure you’ve got a lot of really great value from this. If you have any further questions at all, we would be more than happy to answer them. Feel free to get in touch with us via our website chat, or here.
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About Charly Pruden
Charly is the #dogmom of French Bulldog Milka, and Co-Founder of PAWDEGA. Charly has always had a passion for animals, but her passion for pet wellness activism began when Milka’s undiagnosed health issues were healed by adapting a natural, non-toxic, and proactive pet wellness lifestyle. Through extensive research, content creation, attending pet health conferences in the US, and working with world-renowned holistic and integrative veterinarians, Charly continues to raise awareness on important pet health topics to empower pet parents to help their pets live longer.