How to Maintain Your Pet’s Skin Health
You may be pretty good about seeing to the ongoing health and wellness of your beloved dog's insides, from digestive and urinary system health to heart and lung function. But while those internal organs are all critically important, so is the external organ known as the skin. The skin is your dog's largest organ; it also has the advantage of being the only major organ you can easily see, giving you the opportunity to notice and respond to trouble signs as quickly as possible. Let's examine why dogs experience certain common skin issues -- as well as what you can do to get those problems under control and keep them from recurring.
Common Threats to Your Dog's Skin
Think of your dog's skin as the principal "gatekeeper" between his delicate inner systems and the unpredictable, potentially harmful outside world. This complex, multi-layered barrier is subjected to constant threats from the outside world, not to mention the disorders that can result from illnesses or other internal imbalances. Common problems that may affect your pet's skin include:
- Pests - Fleas and ticks are infamous for irritating animals' skin. These unwanted guests bite the skin as a prelude to draining blood for their own nutritional needs. The bites cause dermatitis, compelling your dog to fight that itch through scratching, licking or biting.These actions just cause more skin damage and increase the risk of infection.
- Infections - Bacteria can easily enter through bites, scratches or open wounds. But it can also sit on the surface of the skin, feeding on accumulated oils and causing irritation. Dogs with lots of skin folds, such as English Bulldogs, are especially prone to this problem. Fungal infections can produce the distinctive lesions and hair loss associated with ringworm.
- Allergies - Allergic reactions cause skin redness, welts and itching. External allergens such as pollen or pollutants can cause such reactions. But certain foods can also produce skin allergy symptoms.
- Nutritional Deficiencies - Without the proper mix of nutrients, your dog's skin can't protect or repair itself as it should. Deficiencies in Vitamins A B, or D can all promote skin breakdown and other problems. Your dog's skin also needs adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Tumors - Skin tumors are a common problem in pets. A tumor on your pet's skin might feel like a new or unusual lump. Most of these tumors are benign, but they all merit veterinary attention.
Cleansing and Protection to Keep Irritants at Bay
Keeping your dog's skin clean and dry can serve as the first line of defense against bacterial, fungal, and pest-related irritants and infections. In addition to giving your dog periodic baths, you may also need to clean any skin folds that tend to collect oils and dirt. These bathing sessions provide the added benefit of alerting you to any lumps that might require examination. At the same time, however, you need to make sure that the shampoo you're using is gentle enough to clean the skin without making it overly dry or causing fresh irritation.
Doggie Dailies can provide you with the safe, soothing, balanced shampoo you're looking for. Our 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner for Dogs and Cats skips the harsh soaps and detergents in favor of natural cleansers, moisturizers, and nutrients. Shea butter, plant proteins, Vitamin E, coconut extract, and other healthy ingredients can keep your pet's skin clean, moisturized, and free of irritants. This shampoo also makes a smart complement to prescription flea and tick treatments.
Healthier Skin Through Nutritional Support
If you're interested in providing your dog's skin with extra nutritional support above and beyond his regular diet, look no further than Doggie Dailies' 5 -in-1 Multivitamin for Dogs. This product contains a variety of nutrients to support overall health and wellness -- including such skin-friendly ingredients as:
- B vitamins - Biotin, pantothenic acid, niacin, folic acid (all members of the B family) join Vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12 to support your pet's skin health.
- Omega-3 fatty acids - The omega-3 fatty acids in our multivitamin offer powerful anti-inflammatory effects to help keep allergic reactions and other irritations under control.
- Vitamins C, D, and E - These vitamins play critical roles in skin healing and maintenance.
Healthy skin makes for a healthier, happier dog. Give your favorite pooch a big head start in this direction by giving him the internal and external support that his skin needs!
- Dana S