How to look after your dog’s skin & coat
Caring for your dog’s skin and coat is a massive part of looking after their overall health and wellbeing, so it is important that you do it right! This involves regular grooming and maintenance, keeping their skin and fur clean as well as providing them with the right nutrition to keep them healthy on the inside and out. This may sound like a lot of work, but if you get into a good routine, then you can care for your pooch’s fur on a daily basis with ease!
How to tell if your dog’s skin & fur is healthy
The overall condition of your dog’s skin and coat is a pretty good indicator of if they are healthy in general. Your dog’s coat should be smooth and shiny and their skin sound be clear and supple. If you notice their hair is getting brittle, coarse, matted and tangled or their skin is getting greasy, red, irritated or flaky, then you should take action to help. It’s especially important that you do something as soon as possible if you also notice your dog having any sort of dog skin condition.
What are dog skin problems?
Just like with people, dogs can also suffer from a number of different dog skin conditions. These skin disorders can have a number of varying symptoms such as irritation, redness and inflammation and can also have a number of causes from parasites to bacteria to poor nutrition. If you notice a symptom of a dog skin condition, then take action as soon as possible to stop it worsening and to make dealing with the issue that bit easier.
Common dog skin conditions
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|Skin Issue||Where||Symptoms||Cause||How to Help|
|Skin Allergy||Anywhere on the body||Itchy, red rash all over or on contact with an allergen||Anything your dog is allergic to e.g food, pollen, flea allergy||Avoid the allergen & calm the skin|
|Flaky skin||Anywhere on the body||Dry, itchy and flaky skin||Poor nutrition and grooming||Good nutrition & regular grooming|
|Yeast Infection||In the ears or between the toes||Licking and chewing at the area plus itchy & discoloured skin||Abnormal yeast growth||Keep area clean with an ear cleaner or wash|
|Folliculitis||Anywhere on the body||Sores, bumps, scabs, dull coat & shedding||Bacterial infection||Antibacterial creams and shampoos|
|Seborrhea||Anywhere on the body||Greasy skin with dandruff||Genetics, allergies or hormones||Balancing shampoos and conditioners|
|Ringworm||Usually on the head, paws, ears, and forelegs||Round red patches of skin lesions with hair loss in the area||Fungus infection||Antifungal and antibacterial creams and washes|
|Alopecia (Hair Loss)||Anywhere on the body||Excessive shedding or hair loss||Stress, poor nutrition, fleas or illness||Good nutrition and regular grooming|
|Mites (Mange)||Usually on the ears, face & legs||Itchy, red skin, sores & hair loss||Parasites||Pest control and prevention products|
|Fleas||Anywhere on the body||Visible fleas, excessive licking or scratching & scabs||Parasites||Pest control and prevention products|
|Ticks||Anywhere on the body||Visible tick within the skin||Parasites||Pest control and prevention products|
|Hot Spots (Moist Dermatitis)||Usually on the head, hips or chest||Areas of red, inflamed & irritated skin||Excessive chewing/licking, infections, bites or allergies||Keeping area clean & protecting hot spot sprays|
How to prevent a dog skin condition
If your dog is already suffering from some sort of skin issue, then the best thing to do is to take the appropriate action to help depending on the condition. It may also be advisable to visit your vets if you think it is serious. The best way, however, to take care of your pooches fur and skin health is to take steps to look after them to prevent any dog skin conditions from occurring in the first place. This can be through regularly grooming, cleaning and checking their skin and coat for any issues as well as giving them a healthy and balanced diet through both their food and dog skin and coat supplements.
Nutrition for healthy skin & coat
A healthy coat and clear skin starts with what goes into your dog’s body, so making sure they’re only eating food and supplements that are beneficial for them is key. Here are some great components to add to their daily diets that can specifically be useful for a healthy appearance:
The majority of your dog’s skin and fur is made up of proteins, so keeping these levels high is greatly important to their health and maintenance. Proteins can be found in both animal-based products and plant-based ingredients, such as grains, potatoes and seeds, and are made up of essential amino acids.
Many people hear the word ‘fat’ and think negatively, but healthy or good fats are actually great for your dog. One of the most important is Omega 3, an essential fatty acid that contains DHA and EPA and can be found in a number of fish oils including cod liver oil and salmon oil as well as foods such as flaxseeds.
A complete variety of vitamins are great for your dog’s skin and coat, as well as their body as a whole. This includes Vitamins A and B which contributes to normal skin, Vitamin C to support the immune system and Vitamin E for the protection of cells from oxidative stress. These can be found in foods as well as in high concentrations in natural dog skin and coat supplements.
Just like with vitamins, minerals are also essential nutrients for a healthy coat. Some of the best for your dog’s skin and fur include Copper for skin and hair pigmentation and the protection of cells from oxidative stress, Selenium for the maintenance of normal hair and Zinc for normal protein synthesis as well as the metabolism of fatty acids.
Dog supplements for skin
A great way to add the required nutrition into your dog’s diet is through their food as well as an extra boost through supplementation. Dog skin and coat supplements contain concentrated amounts of essential nutrients such as fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that your pooch needs to look and feel healthy. You can find a number of different choices for this depending on need, including dog supplements for itchy skin as well as dog supplements for dry skin, so make sure you find one that suits your furry-friends requirements.
In general, there are a wide number of dog skin conditions that your pooch can unfortunately encounter, but if you keep their skin clean and clear, their fur groomed and their diet balanced and full of essential nutrition, you can keep their skin and fur healthy! So if you’re finding your dog itching, scratching or just that their fur isn’t as luscious as it should be, make positive changes now to help!