You’re a dog-lover through and through. Your canine companion is spoiled (but obviously not rotten), and you dote on your fur-baby shamelessly. But do you know proper dog skin care? Well, we’re here to help you out with the top 5 dog skin care tips.
1. Wash Fido at Least Once a Month
While “bath” might not be your canine companion’s favorite word, it’s essential to their overall wellbeing. Plus, the smell leaves little to be desired.
Thankfully, they don’t need a bath every day. Truth be told, if you bathe them too frequently, you’ll end up drying out their skin.
Variables such as their coat type, activity level, and medical conditions help determine how often you need to bathe your pooch. Dogs with longer coats need baths more frequently than short-haired ones, and canines that are more active need more baths than inactive dogs. If your fur-baby has a medical condition, please consult your vet for a recommended bathing schedule.
The standard is once a week to once a month. You should also bathe them more often in the spring and summer than in the winter because of a higher chance of exposure to parasitic bugs and an overall higher level of activity.
An important part to every bath is choosing the right shampoo and conditioner. Human shampoos might have harsh chemicals that are harmful to your pet, so make sure you get a dog-specific shampoo and conditioner that contain ingredients such as Aloe Vera, vitamin E, and shea butter that are great for your puppy’s skin and coat health.
Once you’re done, make sure to brush through their coat to avoid any tangling. Remember, it’s acceptable to let your pet have a victory lap or two around the house first to celebrate their freedom from the washtub.
2. Distribute Natural Oils Through Proper Brushing
How your fur-babies manage to get so many tangles and knots in their fur is a mystery that will never be solved. What you can solve, my dear Watson, is the knots themselves with regular grooming.
Proper brushing is an essential part of canine care. Not only will regular brushing help work through knots and tangles, but it also helps distribute your mutt’s natural oils, which help keep his or her coat and skin healthy and clean.
Ideally, you should brush your mongrel every other day. While this is more essential for dogs with longer fur, even short haired pooches will benefit from the oil distribution.
Make sure you use a softer bristle that won’t aggravate your mutt’s skin. You should also brush in the same direction of your pet’s hair to avoid irritation as well.
3. Excessive Itching? Hair Loss? Hot Spots? Check for Parasites and Allergies
Is Fido itching or scratching excessively or suffering from hair loss? They might be suffering from parasites, hot spots, or allergies.
First, try to determine if your little tail-wagger is suffering from parasites or hot spots. Dogs regularly pick up bugs like ticks and fleas. You can look for by running your fingers over their coat in multiple places like behind their ears, in their paws, and near their tail and belly.
If you feel any weird lumps and/or bumps or see tiny black spots, take your pet to the vet to get them checked for fleas, ticks, and other parasites. It’s essential you get this taken care of because not only will parasites cause discomfort, but they’ll also steal nutrients, damage your dog’s coat, and cause other issues. Also, feel free to call the NSA if your puppy gets bugged because that is just not right.
In addition, you should check your doggo for hotspots, which can occur anywhere on the body. If you see a red, raw spot on your pet, then you might’ve found a hot spot. Look for excessive licking and biting around a particular area and, if the hotspot is severe enough, sores. Allergies, skin infections, poor grooming, insect bites, and more can cause hotspots. To find out why your mongrel has hotspots, it’s best to take them to the vet in addition to applying coconut oil to help soothe the irritated area.
If you don’t notice any signs of parasites or hotspots, then it might be allergies causing your mutt discomfort. Common allergies for pups include dust mites, human and cat dander, feathers, cotton, wool, and mold.
If you think your dog is suffering from allergies, then you might consider trying Zesty Paws Allergy Immune Bites, which are full of immune-boosting ingredients that promote a healthy response to food, skin, seasonal, and environmental allergies. It’s also a good idea to take your beasty to the vet for confirmation on what is causing the discomfort and remedies to fix the problem.
4. A Poor Diet and Low Fatty Acids Intake Can Lead to Poor Skin Health
Healthy skin and coat starts with a healthy diet. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. If your doggo is not getting enough proper nutrients in his or her food, then coat health will suffer too.
Your puppy’s fur is mostly made of protein, so dogs need a protein-rich diet. You should also make sure your pet’s diet includes: iron, calcium, biotin, phosphorus, zinc, folic acids, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and fatty acids. Adding salmon oil and coconut oil to your pup’s bowl is a great way to supplement your dog’s pre-existing food.
The omega-3s in fatty acids are especially important for skin and coat health. Omega-3 helps protect against allergies and other skin conditions. They also keep skin from drying out.
Even if your pet food claims it’s high in fatty acids, Fido is probably not getting enough omega-3 in his or her diet. Dog food requires intense heat during processing. Omega-3 is super sensitive to heat and, by the time the process is over, the fatty acids left in the food are no longer helpful for your furry pal. To make sure your tail-wagger is getting enough omega-3, you might want to consider giving them an Omega-3 supplement that uses heat-free processing and includes DHA and EHA for extra support.
5. Schedule Regular Vet Check-Ups
Even if you do everything right by your mutt, it only takes one happy romp outside to catch something. That’s why it’s imperative to schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian that you trust and is familiar (or can become so) with your pup.
A vet can also recommend diet changes and give supplement advice to help your pooch stay as happy and healthy as he or she can possibly be. Wagging tails are what we live to see.
Ideally, you should schedule these checkups once a year, even if everything looks like smooth sailing, because there’s no better offense against future issues than a good defense!