How To Keep Your Pet Healthy Skin
Healthy skin and a healthy coat are not only beautiful to look at and to pet, but also give a good indication of your dog’s internal health.You may look at your dog and wonder if his skin is healthy.
Does he have fleas? Is he carrying something that you or your family can catch? His coat seems to look okay, but what about that bare spot or that redness on his tummy? What is that waxy stuff coming from his ears?
Both puppies and adult dogs are prone to a large variety of skin conditions. Some of them are contagious to people as well as to other animals in the household. Others may just stay on your dog and not catch anyone else.
Get a Check-up
After you bring your new dog home or any time that you notice something unusual on his skin, it is advisable to have him examined by your family veterinarian as soon as possible. He or she will give him a thorough checkup and advise specific treatment if any skin problems are noted.
Ask your doctor to recommend any shampoo that would be appropriate to use on your dog. Also, buy a brush and comb that are suitable for your dog's coat type.
Nutrition plays a crucial role to have a healthy skin and coat. Therefore, learning to look after your dog’s coat and recognizing abnormal signs is important to keeping your pet happy and healthy.
Fatty acids is the key to a healthy coat. Most dog foods have enough fatty acids to maintain a healthy skin. If your dog eats low - quality food or eats only chicken, he may not get enough to maintain the healthy skin.
Omega-6 and Omega-3 acids can help your dog skin. You can find Omega-6 in vegetable oils and Omega-3 in fish oil.
Grooming helps to maintain good healthy skin
- It is good for a puppy to get comfortable to brushing at an early age.
- Make grooming a fun and pleasant experience.
- Get your dog accustomed to being touched all over. Be sure to handle the paws – lots of dogs dislike having their feet touched. Clipping the nails may become difficult, especially as they get older.
- Dogs often get dirty and need a bath. Use a moisturizing shampoo recommended by your veterinarian and rinse him off thoroughly – residual shampoo can be very irritating to the skin.
- Dry your dog while brushing the coat out well. A wet dog that is allowed to dry without being brushed out may end up with knotted hair and might need to have its hair cut to remove all the knots.
- Non-shedding breeds have a tendency to become matted. Double-coated dogs molt periodically. You may find large amounts of hair around the house. Remember to clean the fur left on your dog bed.
Bath time is a great time to have a good look at the skin and coat. Watch out for new bald areas, as well as crusty areas, pimples, and red skin.
There are several things to look for:
- Scaly areas
- Bald areas
- Greasy or dry coat
- Redness in the ears
- Lumps and bumps
- Bad odour
If you discover lumps or bumps, have your veterinarian test these masses to see whether they are anything needs to be concerned.
Lesions can be particularly visible when the dog is wet. And what about that smell? Dogs with bacterial and yeast infections often have a strong, offensive odor.
"Over-bathing" is not good for your dog skin. Because it can lead to dry and iteration. You should only bath him once a month, unless he gets dirty quickly. Bathing too often may strip the coat of essential oils.
Watch for the signs
Observe your dog on a regular basis. It is not abnormal for him to scratch now and again, and in fact, puppies tend to scratch more than adult dogs. However, puppies shouldn’t be scratching continuously, nor should they be causing themselves any damage.
Excessive scratching, licking, rubbing, biting and chewing can be signs that there is a problem with the skin.
Check your dog feet, and you may find red-stained hair. It is a sure sign that your pet is licking and chewing at his paws, even if you never see him do this. Many conditions can make your dog itchy. In fact, dogs with allergies are typically itchy. Is your dog’s skin condition seasonal or continuous? When is it at its worst? These are all factors that your veterinarian can consider when examining your pet.
External parasites are common in any animal coming from a multiple-pet facility. Fungal infections that can be transmitted from humans, as well as other pets, may affect your pet. Dogs can get bacterial and yeast infections.
Fleas may be plaguing your pet. Black debris that turns a reddish brown when moistened with water may be evidence. This is flea excrement, and even if you don’t see fleas, this is a sign that they are present. There are many flea preventive medications available; your veterinarian can prescribe one that is suitable for your situation.
There are plenty different types of mange that are seen in animals. Mange is caused by mite. These insects can often do a skin scraping, which involves rubbing the skin with a scalpel blade, collecting a sample and looking at it under the microscope.
Cheyletiella, scabies, and Demodex are all mange mites that may be causing skin disease in your pet. Scabies and Cheyletiella are contagious from animal to animal and also to humans. The good news is that these mites far prefer to be on animals rather than humans.
The Demodex mite is one that all puppies acquire from their mothers when they are nursing. Demodex is, however, not contagious. It is an inhabitant of the skin, and the dog’s immune system should keep it under control. Sometimes a puppy’s immune system is immature and is unable to do so. An adult dog, however, have an immune suppressive disease and should be thoroughly tested by the veterinarian.
Lice are another parasite that can cause severe irritation and possibly anemia since some varieties feed on blood. They are not very common, but they can often be seen in animals in poor condition.
Ringworm can affect our pets. It’s not a worm at all, but rather a fungal disease that can be contagious. It often leaves a circular area of hair loss with a raised edge. Your veterinarian can test to determine if ringworm is present.