Your Dog’s Coat, Skin and Health

By Valdette Muller| August 31, 2017 | Blog

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The condition of your dog’s skin and coat is very important.

You can tell a lot about your dog’s overall health, nutritional status and well being by taking a look at their skin and their coat.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and when it is not getting the nutrition it needs, problems can arise on the skin and fur.

A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth and the colour of your dog’s skin should be consistent throughout their body and it should spring back when touched. There should be no greasiness or excessive dandruff present.

Giving your dog the right food.

A dog’s fur is made mostly of protein, so a coat that is dull or fragile can indicate that they are not getting enough protein in their nutrition.

A dog’s Skin cells turn over rapidly and the coat will ether grow rapidly or shed depending on the breed of dog.

In order to maintain healthy skin and fur, your dog requires a balanced diet that contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.

Remember to do your research about the best kind of food and the right portions for your dog.

If you feel your dog’s diet needs an extra boost, you can talk to your vet about extra supplements for your pet.

What can cause problems for your dog’s skin and coat?

  • Allergic reactions: There are many substances that can cause allergies such as types of food, pollen, even flea saliva. Allergic reactions can cause skin irritation and this may result in biting and scratching of the fur and the skin being further damaged or rapid shedding occurring.
  • Pests: Your dogs fur can be a home to many parasites such as ticks and fleas. These are detrimental to your dog’s health and cause painful infections as a result of bites from these parasites.
  • Infections: Hot spots, ringworm and other fungal or yeast infections are just a few of the irritating skin conditions that affect countless dogs every year. Any dog can get these infections, so learning about the different types, causes, symptoms, and treatments is always helpful. These infections can become secondary infections or even develop into allergies if they occur frequently enough. Look for areas of broken skin where there has been lots of scratching and gnawing.
  • Illness or stress: Stress and illness can prove fatal to your dog, especially if the stress or the illness is chronic or long-standing. Stress and illness will affect the appearance of your pet’s skin and coat, particularly the lustre and texture, and many dogs will shed excessively and this could lead to balding in some places if they are under severe stress.
  • Too many baths: Dogs groom themselves to help facilitate the growth of hair follicles and to support skin health. Bathing and keeping your dog clean is good for when your dog gets dirty, but if you bath your dog too often it can irritate the skin, damage hair follicles, and increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections. The best way to know if your dog needs a bath is if you can smell them as they walk into the room, or if they are covered in filth, dirt or dry mud. Make sure to only use a proper pet shampoo with a PH level formulated for dogs.

Your dog’s skin and coat problems can be seasonal.

Some dogs only have skin and coat problems during the dry winter months especially if there is a lack of humidity outside or in your home.

Dermoscent_Bio_BalmProducts such as Dermoscent Bio Balm and Essential 6 Spot-On provide moisture and protection during dry spells, they can restore the hydration level of the skin, reinforce the skin barrier function, enhance the shine of the coats, diminish hair loss (outside seasonal moult) and support the regrowth of hair.

Regular grooming and the part it plays.

All dogs benefit from a brush to remove loose hairs and dead skin cells. It helps keep the coat free of dirt, debris, and external parasites.

It also helps stimulate hair follicles which helps with new growth and the distribution of natural skin oils along the hair shafts.

A dog with longer and even thicker fur requires daily brushing to keep their hair from becoming matted and tangled.

With long haired dogs remember to brush around the ears, armpits, along their back of their legs.

Dogs with shorter coats may require less frequent brushing. However, shedding will reduce dramatically if you give your short haired dogs a daily brushing.

Sources: http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2013/01/02/7-tips-to-keep-your-dogs-coat-glossy-and-shiny

http://dogtime.com/dog-health/346-skin

http://www.petmd.com/dog/grooming/how-often-should-you-bathe-your-dog

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