Dog Skin Care: Keeping your dog’s skin and coat in top condition.
A dog’s skin is surprisingly sensitive and vulnerable to a vast array of conditions with any number of causes. This can make canine skin conditions particularly difficult to diagnose, and thus treated. The vet will first have to eliminate all probable causes before settling on the actual cause of dermatitis because misdiagnosis and the wrong treatment can actually worsen the condition.
Common causes of skin problems in dogs include:
- Environmental factors
- Bacterial, fungal or yeast infections
- Self-mutilation brought on by stress
Part of your dog skin care routine is to remain vigilant to signs of irritation (scratching, persistent licking, biting etc.), carry out a daily visual inspection of skin and coat, and refer any abnormalities to your vet. As always, prevention is better than cure, so follow the tips below to keep your dogs skin and coat in top condition.
5 Dog Skin Care Tips
Dog Skin Care Tip 1: Maintain a Regular Grooming Routine.
Follow a regular grooming regimen which includes daily brushing of a coat and visual inspection of the coat and skin. Check your dog’s coat for parasites like fleas and ticks. Remove debris like burrs, thistles and grass seeds. Treat cuts and scratches with an anti-bacterial ointment. Report any abnormalities like rashes, hot spots, and lesions to your veterinarian.
Dog Skin Care Tip 2: Use the Correct Shampoo when Bathing Your Dog
Bathing your dog too often, using water that is too hot and the wrong hair products will all strip the dog’s coat and skin of its natural moisturizers. Unless the dog is particularly dirty or has rolled in something unpleasant there should be no reason to bathe him more than once a month.
Always use lukewarm (not hot) water and a shampoo and conditioner designed for dogs. Never use human hair products on your dog.
Dog Skin Care Tip 3: Brush Before and After a Bath
Brush your dog before a bath to remove loose and matted hair. Brush again after bathing and drying the dog to stimulate natural oils in the skin. These help keep the skin soft and the coat shiny.
Dog Skin Care Tip 4: Feed a Healthy Balanced Diet
Feed your dog a healthy, balanced diet. Most quality dry dog foods have all the essential dietary elements your dog needs, but it may be necessary to supplement his diet with oils rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Only do this after consulting your vet.
Dog Skin Care Tip 5: Give Nutritional Supplements if Appropriate
Your vet may also recommend nutritional supplements like fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, fish oil, and biotin, all of which promote good skin health.
A good dog skin care regime applied regularly, is vital to the good health of your dog.