You probably take great care of your skin and use a myriad of products. Well, it should be no different for your pupper. In fact, there are a variety of skin disorders that affect dogs and skin conditions can be painful, not to mention very expensive to treat.
Keeping your dog's skin healthy is a year-round endeavor and requires a consistent skin-care routine. After all, that soft clean coat you run your fingers is going to need some love to stay that way year round.
Here are a few tips for keeping your dog’s skin healthy:
- Don’t give your dog a bath too often
Just like humans, dogs have natural protective oils in their skin. If you wash your dog too often this is stripped away and results in itchy and dry skin. In such cases, your dog can end up scratching themselves more often and creating open wounds which can then get infected.
Additionally, drier damaged skin means your dog will start to compensate with more natural oils which can heighten the too familiar dog odor.
Not pleasant for you!
Bathing too often is a problem and if you absolutely need to keep your dog clean, try alternatives such as dry shampoo or puppy wet wipes in between bathing sessions.
- Use the right bathing products
Supplementing the above is making sure when you do give your dog a bath, you’re using the right bathing products.
If your dog has dry skin, shampoo and soap that has ingredients such as shea butter or other moisturizing ingredients are recommended.
You can also use conditioning spray when you brush your dog to keep his/her fur healthy and skin clean.
The skin pH balance for dogs is different from that of humans so never use human products on your pupper.
- Monitor your dog's diet
Keeping an eye on your dog's diet can also greatly influence their skin health. For example, dog foods that are grain heavy and high in carbs can contribute towards drying out your dog's skin.
Raw diets have been known to be much more suitable and healthy for dogs. They are usually high in moisture and provide the essential nutrients and minerals to keep skin healthy and soft. You can also buy vet-approved supplements, such as Bixbi Skin & Coat to add to your pet's diet.
- Supplements are your dog’s best friend (after you!)
Along with a healthy diet, supplements is the next trick up your sleeve and have been proven to keep skin healthy, moist, and reduce causes for itching and fur loss. Some great supplements to stock up on are Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, and Salmon Oil.
All of these help support a healthy skin and coat, reduce flakiness, helps keep skin inflammation down and minimizes chances of an allergic reaction occurring.
You can also mix certain oils with your existing dog’s diet or feed them to your dog directly such as coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and hemp oil. All of which help promote healthy and moisturized skin.
- A brush a day keeps the diseases away
Whether your dog has short or long coats, brushing is essential. If your dog has a short coat, they may not need it every day but with frequent brushing you can remove any loose fur, debris and massage your dog’s skin promoting natural oil secretions. If your dog is double coated, brushing regularly can also prevent matting which leads to hot spots and skin irritations.
- Puppers need sun protection too
Too much time out in the sun is also not great for your dog’s skin. The paler your dog is means they are also less protected naturally by the UV rays of the sun and could get sunburned.
As with humans, limiting exposure to the sun paired with a pet safe sunblock is necessary, and if your dog is short-haired, a reflective jacket to help protect and keep your dog cool is a good choice.
Keeping an eye on if your dog is getting sunburned is key in any case when out in the sun regardless of preparation. If you see signs of sunburn it’s best to consult a vet immediately.
- Frequent check-ups
Finally, the best way to keep a pulse on your dog’s health is frequent check-ups with your nearby vet. Your vet can also recommend specific dietary changes and skin regime adjustments to ensure your dog’s health remains great.
By following these steps you can set your pupper on the path to great skin health, and prevent any future skin disorders. As always, if you have any concerns about your dog’s skin health, please consult a vet immediately.