Consistent eating habits, routine sleep, plenty of activity, a wagging tail - all are tell tale signs of a healthy dog. But even when behaviors don’t change, there still might be some health issues underway. One of the most noticeable signs of the condition of your dog’s health begins with their skin and their fur. Just like a human, a dog’s skin is the largest organ on their body and an important one in keeping them protected from environmental triggers like allergens, pollutants and parasites.
Excessively biting the fur, patches of fur falling out or raggedy looking fur are good examples that your furry friends skin may need some extra care and attention. But don’t fret! There are ways to avoid the risk of unhealthy skin and to help improve their skin so they can feel and look good too!
If your pup loves to play outside, there may be pesticides, bacteria and other allergens in the grass or soil where they romp around. It’s good to give your dog a thorough washing once every 2 weeks to a month. Avoid washing your dog everyday or once a week. Your dogs natural oils are designed to keep them from having dry, itchy skin. When choosing a shampoo to use, purchase a shampoo made for dogs. Never use a shampoo designed for humans. Avoid shampoo containing alcohol. Alcohol can possibly dry out their skin.
Brush your dog at least once a day. Brushing your dog, especially after bathing, will ensure no shampoo gets trapped in their fur. If shampoo becomes trapped it could potentially cause irritation to their skin. Brushing will also detangle their fur, keep their fur from matting and allow their skin to breathe. This will stimulate the hair follicles for natural oils to penetrate. Brushing regularly will allow you to have a bit more control over any shedding that might naturally occur.
Similar to humans, vitamins can be added to our diet if we don’t receive all the nutrients we need from our meals. While dog food is designed to have the nutrients needed to support a healthy life for your dog, a little extra help never hurts. Supplements work as both a preventative measure and as a solution to a problem. The best dog supplements for healthy skin and fur contain omega 3, organic hemp powder, flaxseed meal and krill oil. If you’re unsure of which supplement to give to your dog, a multivitamin is a guaranteed way to cover all of your bases.
Does your dog start scratching wildly whenever they come home from your neighbors house? Have you and your dog started playing in a new park and you notice their fur is starting to look different? A change of environment may have new allergens affecting your dogs skin. It’s best to observe your dog and to be decisive in the places they venture to before the problem gets out of hand.
We all know your dogs health comes first but these basics will also ensure your dog both feels good and looks good too. Remember, a well-taken care of dog is a happy dog!