How to keep hair "fluffy"

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Grooming Forum' started by Rocky, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

    My little guy doesn't have his adult coat yet and I absolutely loved his hair when we first got him. Now that he lost his puppy coat, his hair appears matted, flat, wavy, and greasy. He was just bathed the other day and after some brushing his fluffy hair was back. Within a day, his hair became matted down and greasy looking again.

    Is there anything I can do so that his hair stays fluffy longer? I was told by a lady at Petsmart to give a Perfect coat spray a try, but I'm looking for other suggestions as well.
  2. frisssel

    frisssel Member

    lol, wish I had your problem. Storms middle name is DIRT. and I mean dirt. I think I get a dump truck load of sand every summer and the winter time I have snowballs in the house.

    Storm has a skin condition and I have to use a shampoo from the vets that strips the dandruff off. His coat is always oily as well.

    fluffy last maybe a day with him as well.

    I would love to hear other comments as well.
  3. BernerRescue

    BernerRescue New Member

    This makes me highly suspicious of diet. Coat is a reflection of what you put IN a dog, not what you put ON a dog and it is highly unusual for a Berner to be greasy as they are not an oil producing breed. Most Berners go months without oil production.

    One thing that can make a coat very greasy is too much fat or fatty acids in the diet. You may need to change diet to test this. Other metabolic imbalance may be at play as well so trial may be needed.

    Be sure you are using phosphate and detergent free shampoo in case he is reacting to these and hence the oily coat - Earthbath makes a good clean shampoo.

    Hopefully you see some results.......
  4. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

    It's not that his hair is actually greasy, it just appears it. His hair is also so flat that it makes him look malnourished, when he's not. We fed him top of the line puppy food (can't remember the name off the top of my head, it was in a yellow bag though), and are currently feeding him Kirkland, which was one of the breeders suggestions. When his hair is fluffed up he looks phenomenal and perfectly healthy.
  5. frisssel

    frisssel Member

    With storm it is because I have him on extreme doses of salmon oil. with the combination of glucosime we have been able to take storm off of pain meds.

    if you don't know storm, he had elbow surgery on both elbows at 6 months and has sever arthritis because of it. Working with the vet we were able to come up with the combination to help him. the salmon oil is high in omega 3 which is a natural anti-inflamatory.

    Storm has sever alergy's as well. He gets a skin infection from swimming and he has an alergy to flea's.
  6. BernerRescue

    BernerRescue New Member

    Ok...thanks for clarifying. I can offer however that Kirkland is Costco's brand and one of the lowest quality and highest grain foods on the market. It has the most recalls in its history, and was scored in the bottom ten of Whole Dog Journal's dog food review and not what I would feed.

    Top quality kibbles should have the first 3-5 ingredients whole meats and foods, low in grain (filler) and no artificial preservatives or harmful ingredients. To this end, Nature's Variety, Orijen, Innova, Taste of the Wild, and Wellness are some of the top brands.

    I recommend a food switch and see how the coat may improve.
  7. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

    Are you sure about that? According to one of those dog food review websites where they rate it based on its ingredients it is phenomenal for the price. According to the package it doesn't have any grains as the first few ingredients.
  8. Rowan

    Rowan New Member

    Hi Rocky,

    I have fed Fynn on Kirkland lamb since he was a puppy he is now one,he does really well on it and his coat is very soft and shiny and looks very healthy :D,I chose to feed him this food because it has a protien content of 22% and also because it was middle of the road price wise not the cheepest and not the most expensive,he enjoys it and seems to be doing well on it!!!! :)

    Can I ask how often you are bathing your pup?
  9. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

    Not very often. Whenever he gets dirty or his hair starts to feel greasy. I've only given him 3 baths or so since I've had him.
  10. BernerRescue

    BernerRescue New Member

    Yeah - I am sorry to say this is not a high quality food. I know that you can find a review to support just about anything, and the source of the reviews are key.

    The only objective, qualified, unbiased dog food review on the market is Whole Dog Journal. They do not accept any advertizing whatsoever and thereby never compromise their objectivity. They outline a detailed criteria of what makes a good food which includes not just ingredients, but the SOURCE of those ingredients and the processing, including Q&A controls.

    No food produced by the Diamond plant is ever rated well - and has a below average processing rating. Albeit, Kirkland cleaned up their food quite a bit after the horrific 2007 recall, but there are still so many foods out there doing better with better quality ingredients.

    Personally, I would never feed beet pulp, flaxseed, wheat germ or corn meal to my dog.

    Also, keep in mind that as a dog ages, he requires greater protein. Protein quality is key as this is what affects kidney health long term, but protein QUANTITY needs actually rise into the senior years. Feeding low protein diets is not advised after growth is complete.

    Without making things too complicated here as well, foods should also be judged based on nutrient levels. We trust that as long as it says "balanced" or AAFCO certified that all is well - but manufacturers have a broad range to work within and nutrients vary. Calcium levels on some foods are quite high for a lot of dogs, and key minerals are quite low for many. A food ultimately must be judged based on how your dog does on it, so hearing someone say "my dog does fine" is not very meaningful in this regard.

    To compare ingredients of a lot of foods, you can use Natural and Organic Pet Foods ? Natura Pet Products and go to the comparison tab. Keep in mind this is a food manufacturer and NOT unbiased, but they list a lot of ingredient labels and that can be helpful when comparing foods.

    Otherwise, subscribe to Whole Dog Journal asap, as their annual food review comes out in january every year. You can also purchase it individually online if you don't want an entire subscription but it is the best subscription you can buy:

    Whole Dog Journal

    Hope that helps!
  11. G's Mom

    G's Mom New Member

    I agree. I did research different brands before settling on the Kirkland brand as well. It was rated as excellent quality for a decent price. My Berner has been on it since he came off of Innova puppy food a year ago (which FYI he had frequent diarrhea on). His coat is magnificent, his energy level fairly high for a Bernese, and no gastric upset ever. I only bathe my guy about twice a year, although much more recently, as I am showing him. I can't tell you how many compliments I have gotten from other show people on his overall condition, especially his gorgeous coat. I would highly recommend giving it a try- it may work well for your dog too.
  12. Maui's Fam

    Maui's Fam New Member

    Adult coat when??

    Can anyone shed some light on when we would expect our pup to start getting their adult coat?
    We will change up the diet once we run out of the current food, but curious to know what time-frame we should be looking at.
    We have only bathed once and not planning to bathe again. He is 14 weeks old and his coat is very straight and "dry" or dull looking. Not sure if I should be concerned??:confused:

    The top of his head and ears seem to have the more smooth/fluffy appearance.
  13. BernerRescue

    BernerRescue New Member

    Dull coat is a good indication of poor diet so you may want to re-evaluate that. The puppy coat however is fuzzy and often dull looking as it looks just like an undercoat.

    Hard for me to compare however as I have always fed my dogs a raw diet with plenty of fish oil and so their coats are always glistening.

    If the diet is high in grain and by product, dull coats are common. As is the case of low omega 3 fatty acids so I would recommend adding these if not present (aka fish oil not plant based).

    Good luck!

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