Your dog's appearance is a reflection of his health and well-being, a reflection of your care. A dog's coat has many functions -- it protects him from sun damage, extreme temperatures and potential physical trauma such as scrapes or cuts. If your dog's black coat seems lackluster, find out what might be causing it and act appropriately to improve it.
Changes in your dog's coat can be one of the symptoms of an illness or stress. The quality of your pet companion's hair might suffer; it can appear dull and might shed. Hormonal imbalances, metabolic problems, skin diseases, and internal or external parasites are some of the possible causes. A veterinarian can examine your dog, make a diagnosis and suggest proper treatment, which might restore the color and health of your dog's coat.
Improving the color of your dog's coat might be as simple as giving him a bath. If your pet companion frequently runs and plays outside, dirt will clinging to his black hair, causing an off color. Have a professional groomer bathe him, or do it yourself: Brush your dog before bathing him to remove mats and tangles. Then, wet his coat with warm water and lather it with a shampoo formulated for dogs. Rinse the shampoo thoroughly and repeat the process if your dog's really dirty.
Your dog's diet is essential to the quality of his coat. Feed him food that contains highly digestible proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The right amount of protein is especially important, because deficiencies can lighten the dark color of your dog's coat. A veterinarian can make recommendations for supplementing your dog's diet with omega-3 fatty acids, zinc or vitamins A, C, D, and E, if these are missing or poorly absorbed by your pet companion.
A commercial color enhancer can improve the black color of your dog's coat. Use a color-enhancer that's made for dogs with black coats. This product is used in a similar manner as shampoo. It doesn't actually color your dog's hair but brings out and emphasizes his natural, existing color. Meanwhile, brush your dog often, because brushing distributes the natural oils that are present in your dog's coat, helping it look healthy and vibrant.