Outer appearance holds a great significance for a living being; whether humans or animals.Your pets too, require a frequent groom to their outer body, which could include many organs.
A dog’s master tries to keep his pet healthy in all the ways he/she can. For instance, when you talk about the outer appearance of a dog, you could include its eyes, ears, skin, hair, tail and legs etc. A touch-up to all these organs is very necessary in a neat schedule.
Out of all these, the part that is covered maximum is its skin and on it, its hair. These are the objects that could make or mar the beauty of a dog. With being so special a part of the body, the skin has to be kept utmost healthy.
Without being in your knowledge, the problem begins with a mere itch. Slowly and steadily it covers the entire body. Your dog will scratch its body every now and then till it becomes a serious problem. It could also develop boils, red skin, wounds, cuts and many other troubles which could expand to huge ones.
Therefore it is vital to keep a check on the irritants that cause troubles to the skin and in turn the whole body.
Causes of Skin Irritation In Dogs:
There could be various reasons which affect the skin and hair of dog such as:
- Improper food habits or taking the wrong food items could drastically add to the dilemma of skin problems. The prohibited human foods are critical foes to the skin and hair of the dog.
- Mites and fleas may attack the coat of dog and render it itchy.
- Excessive sultry or cold conditions could make the skin flaky. In the hot weather, the skin does not function properly due to loss of water. In contrast to it, the limited intake of water in the cold weather could cause an itchy sensation in the skin.
- Any kind of allergic reactions in the body due any reason could cause development of itches on the skin.
- Environmental factors such as dust, dirt and impure water could also be a curse for the beautiful coat of the dog. When they accumulate in the skin, the skin becomes rough and itchy.
- A dog could have many hereditary problems which could affect its skin and coat.
Symptoms Of Unhealthy Skin In Dogs:
Various symptoms of skin-problems in dogs are:
- Allergic Dermatitis
- Yeast Infection
- Shedding and Hair Loss (Alopecia)
- Color change in skin
- Dry and flaky skin
- Acral Lick Granuloma
- Skin Tumors
- Hot Spots
- Immune Disorders
- Anal Sac Disease
Nutrition For A Healthy Skin And Coat Of A Dog:
Various nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, fats and minerals etc. are very vital for the effective functioning of a dog skin. A dog’s skin is entirely made up of proteins and hence, an adequate intake of proteins is very essential for the proper build-up of skin.
When the level of proteins in the skin falls low, the skin may become itchy, hair may become dry, brittle and weak and they tend to fall at mere instances.
They accomplishment of levels of proteins is either through the animal source or through plant source. Animal based proteins may be made up of all the essential amino acids which are required by the body of pets. These include meats of all the varieties, poultry products, eggs and sea food products.
In contrast to this, the plant based protein sources may not have that adequacy in the content of its proteins and may require certain other sources for their fulfillment. Various vegetarian sources of proteins for the dogs are green beans, lentils, soy products and peas etc.
Apart from the proteins as main ingredients, some other vital nutrients are required by a dog’s skin such as:
Fats: fats are also essential for efficiency of the skin. These nutrients develop a layer, which is attached to the skin and keeps it supple. Fats could be obtained from various vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian sources.
The cooked meats given to the dog, essentially contains an amount of fat in them. It also helps in replenishing the fat in the body of pets. If your consider giving it a meal which is more on a vegetarian side, the soluble fats obtained out of animal milk or various natural oils could be offered to the dog.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is highly essential for efficient development of cells in the body of pets. These cells include skin cells and hair follicles. This Vitamin is a fat-soluble antioxidant that promotes the growth of hair and skin tissues by regulating the genes, which are concerned for this.
Vitamin E: This vitamin holds the responsibility of preventing the skin from free radicals which could harm it directly. These free radicals may occur in the body due to regular metabolism or from the environmental sources.
Copper: The adequate amount of copper in the body of pets is helpful in maintaining the normal skin color. It also prevents the loss of hair apart from keeping the coat soft and lustrous.
Zinc: Zinc is an essential micronutrient whose deficiency could cause major problems in the skin. Various itching problems, inflammations in skin, bacterial and fungal infections etc. may occur due to shortage of Zinc in the body of pets.
Biotin: Biotin is a type of B-complex nutrient that helps in utilizing the energy from the food that is consumed by a living being. When this vitamin goes missing from your dog’s diet, it could develop symptoms such as dull color of skin, loss of hair and brittleness of hair.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids: These are the varieties of essential fatty acids for the skin of pets. These fatty acids promote the suppleness of skin and thereby make the coat glossy and healthy. Apart from this, they also store various kinds of nutrients in them which are essential for the pets’ skin.
Omega 6 fatty acids are offered by products such as vegetable oils and poultry fats while Omega 3 acids are contained fish meals, fish oils and canola oils etc.
Table: Various Nutrients Required For A Healthy Pets’ Skin
|Vitamin or Mineral||Importance to Skin and Coat Health|
|Vitamin A||Necessary for growth and repair of skin|
|Vitamin E||Protects skin cells from oxidant damage|
|Biotin||Aids in the utilization of protein|
|Riboflavin (B2)||Necessary for fat and protein metabolism|
|Zinc||Necessary for fat and protein metabolism|
|Copper||Involved in tissue pigment and protein synthesis|
Other Additional Tips For Your Dog’s Skin:
You might be vigilant of the inner body conditions of your pets but its outer care is also vital. Some tips in regards with the healthy dog skin are as follows:
- Pet Grooming is one of the basic steps that could help to keep the skin of your dog healthy. It helps in removing the loose hair, dirt and insects from the skin which are huge irritants. Grooming not only lets you keep a close watch on the body of pets but also helps in distribution of essential oils on the body.
- Do not forcefully rinse your dog’s coat while you provide it a bath. Due to this, certain particles of soap and shampoo may linger in the skin, even after you had washed it thoroughly. Instead, be soft with the energy you use.
- Select a prescribed shampoo for washing your pet. Mild shampoos such as ones which are made up of coconut oil or palm oil are essentially gentle. You could also follow the shampoo with a dog conditioner. Do not use a harsh human shampoo for your pets.
- As the dog ages, its skin becomes more brittle and flaky. Due to this, it could develop an unpleasant smell in its body. You could consult your vet for this and know what kind of washing tips would be helpful in the regards.
- Most of the skin problems develop during the summer season. When the weather is extremely hot, be cautious of supplying enough water to your pet. Water keeps the skin healthy and thereby prevents development of skin related symptoms.
- Some dogs naturally shed hair in the summers or hair loss may also arise due to fleas. Keep a check on these conditions and follow the vet’s advice wherever necessary.
- Itching problems may look meager at first, but they turn out to be good as they develop. Be vigilant of the number of times the dog uses its nails on its body. If it is using them constantly, the skin could have various defects which need to be eradicated.
- Use good quality and recommended kinds of combs, brushes and clippers on the skin which do not cause an irritating sensation on it.
With all the measures of efficient dog skin and hair maintenance, you could add to the activeness of your dog and remove it from problems which facilitate the usage of its claw and teeth on its body.