5 Ways To Healthy Skin And Coat For Your Dog
Having healthy skin and coat makes your dog look and feel better. If you notice your dog scratching often he may have an allergy, adrenal problems or a parasite of some kind.
Dry skin problems may be easy to correct, or might involve a visit to the vet to determine the underlying cause and set corrective steps in motion.
Healthy Skin and Coat Tip 1: Feed Top-Quality Diet
Avoid commercial foods with low-quality fat sources such as animal fat or plant-sourced oils. If you know your dog is allergic to certain ingredients, be sure to check food labels to ensure they don’t contain those allergens.
Even if you’ve been feeding a food you believe to be free of allergens, still check the label each time before buying since food ingredients can change.
Healthy Skin and Coat Tip 2: Consider A Supplement
Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve skin conditions. Consider adding a fish oil supplement to your dog’s diet. Use fresh fish oil, and check it before feeding to your dog to ensure it hasn’t become rancid.
These oils are high in fat, and also calories, weighing in at about 40 calories per teaspoon. Factor those into your dog’s daily diet so he won’t gain weight.
Healthy Skin and Coat Tip 3: Choose Right Grooming Tools
Grooming tools aren’t a one-size-fits-all, the right tools depend on your dog’s coat. A shedding tool won’t be right for a dog with silky hair like a Yorkie, but would work great for a German Shepherd.
Avoid brushes that are too soft or too hard. Soft ones won’t reach the skin, while ones that are overly hard might scratch the skin. Your dog will show you which tools are right for him.
If he leans into it and enjoys being brushed, it’s a keeper. If he runs the other way when he sees the brush, keep looking for one that’s a better fit.
Healthy Skin and Coat Tip 4: Take Off Collar
Dirty collars can rub off and shorten the hair around your dog’s neck. If your dog’s collar is leather, remove it and clean regularly with saddle soap, glycerin bar or Murphy’s Oil soap. Wipe off the excess, let it dry thoroughly, then polish with a towel before putting it back on your dog.
Nylon or Hemp collars
These collars can be put in the washing machine, or cleaned with dishwashing detergent and an old toothbrush. Check the care instructions to see what the manufacturer recommends.
If your dog is not an escape artist, leave his collar off when he’s around the house, it’ll give his fur a break.
Healthy Skin and Coat Tip 5: Clean Place to Sleep
Wash your dog’s bed, or the cover if it’s removable at least twice a month. If his bed doesn’t have a removable cover, put some soft towels or a blanket in it that can be washed regularly. Frequent washing keeps fleas from gaining a foothold, which is great for your dog, and you!
As with any health issue, if you suddenly notice changes in your dog’s skin or coat, notify your veterinarian. Skin conditions are best treated before they get out of hand and make your dog miserable.