Food is the ultimate source of energy for all dogs and animals.
You can meet the hunger of a German Shepherd dog by just about any food. But when you want your dog to be healthy and also look healthy, the diet structure will change.
Skin and coat of a GSD is the first thing that people notice, and that’s what makes them so beautiful.
In this post, we will go through a list of food and nutrients that can improve your GSD’s coat and skin quality.
The best dry dog food for German Shepherds contains most of these ingredients. So, you better check the food label before buying it.
5 Essential nutrients and vitamins for healthy GSD coat
1. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids directly impact the condition of a dog’s coat and skin. These fatty acids make the haircoat glossier and prevent itchiness.
Omega-3 is more useful than omega-6. It can be found in fish oils, flax seeds, and walnuts.
While omega-6 can be found mostly in poultry fat and sunflower.
Without these, your dog can become affected by allergies, yeast infections, and inflammations
2. Vitamin A
You might have known that Vitamin A improves your dog’s vision. However, this essential vitamin is primarily responsible for increasing the growth of hair follicles. Without vitamin A, your GSD will have a hard time to develop a luscious coat.
3. Vitamin E
This is a natural anti-oxidant. It helps in fat metabolism. Without vitamin E, the fat metabolism system will be hindered. So, the absorption of fatty acids will also be slow.
It’s one of the most important trace minerals needed for supporting essential bodily functions. Though zinc doesn’t directly impact the growth of a dog’s hair or coat, it prevents itching and infections.
As dogs cannot store zinc in their body, it needs to get a constant supply of zinc everyday. Without zinc, other essential vitamins and nutrients cannot function properly.
The bright shiny color of a dog’s hair coat is the result of a sufficient supply of copper in its diet.
Deficiency of copper can lead to various health issues like hair fall, dull appearance of hair coat, depression, and behavioral changes.
Spinach and flax seeds are the best sources of copper for a GSD.
12 Essential food items for healthy GSD coat
Source of: Protein, lignans and omega-3 fatty acids
Functions: Flaxseeds are vital for maintaining skin health in dogs. You can find this ingredient in almost all commercial dog foods. It’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. So, if your dog food doesn’t have it, you need to give a serious thought about it.
2. Chia seeds
Source of: B-vitamins, iron, magnesium, protein, zinc, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium. Also, a source of antioxidants.
Functions: Chia seeds are gluten-free and are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. It will nourish your dog’s skin and also prevent skin inflammation. Most commercial German shepherd dog food contains chia seeds.
3. Chicken fat
Source of: Vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Functions: Chicken fats are probably the healthiest fat source found in dog food. This ingredient provides a natural source of vitamin E, which is a much-needed component for hair growth. The rich omega-6 fatty acids profile is also a positive side of this ingredient. And the best part is it adds a nice flavor to dull dog foods.
Source of: Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
Functions: Wild salmon and small fishes are the best options for dogs. Small fish that feeds on phytoplankton are better as they don’t consume toxic substances.
Source of: Biotin, zinc, copper, vitamin A, Vitamin B, zinc, magnesium, vitamin c and vitamin E.
Functions: Beef liver or chicken liver, livers are one of the most nutrient-rich foods for dogs. The abundance of minerals and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids make the food perfect to develop a healthy hair coat.
Source of: Lutein, zinc, B vitamins, Vitamin A, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Functions: Eggs keep a dog’s skin hydrated and make the hair shiny. It also repairs cell damage and prevents fungal attacks and allergies. If you feed your dogs with free-range chicken eggs, they will also get extra omega fatty acids.
Source of: Vitamin E, tocopherols, zinc, copper, magnesium, and B vitamins.
Functions: Almonds have a good mix of trace minerals and fats. So, it will affect the skin and coat condition of a GSD. However, the fat content of almonds is high. You need to feed them separately in small quantities.
Source of: Manganese, copper, iron, and zinc.
Functions: Bacterial growth and skin inflammation can make your dog’s skin saggy and ugly. Dog food that contains coconut will save dogs from bacterial attack to some extent. You can also make coconut shampoos at home and apply externally on the skin.
Source of: Protein, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B, iron, potassium and vitamin E.
Functions: Carob is a great supplementary food for a dog. It has antibacterial properties. So, it’s safe to say it will protect the hair coat from bacterial attack. The presence of vitamin E will also make the skin healthy.
Source of: Calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, and iron.
Functions: Oats support skin and hair healthy in a unique way. It can remove toxins from the body and also support the gastrointestinal system in a dog. The end result is better skin and haircoat.
Source of: Antioxidants and bioactive nutrients.
Functions: Cranberries salmon contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce allergies in dogs. The antioxidant power of cranberries will keep the toxins away from your dog’s body. So, you can expect improvement in their skin condition.
12. Sweet potatoes
Source of: vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, folate and beta-carotene.
Functions: Sweet potatoes support the overall wellness of a dog due to the presence of several minerals and essential vitamins. Specifically, vitamin A keeps your dog’s skin healthy, and vitamin C helps in healing of the skin.