An important part of maintaining a healthy pet is ensuring he or she has healthy skin and a healthy coat. Just like humans, a dog and cat’s skin and coat is a barrier of protection to the outside world. The skin and coat protect the bones, muscles and internal organs, and it helps maintain a normal body temperature. The skin and coat are also vital indicators of your pet’s overall health.
What do I need to know about my pet’s skin and coat?
Your pet’s coat consists of thousands of hairs produced in hair follicles. Because hairs are under constant environmental stress, they are continuously shed and replaced. Anyone who has ever cleaned up after his or her pet can attest to the volume of hair shed each day! Seasonal shedding, which also occurs to replace the coat, is affected by the outside temperature and hours of daylight each day (called a photoperiod). However, dogs who spend much of their time inside, exposed to a more consistent climate and electric light, may shed year-round. Some breeds shed very little. Lucky owners!
A number of factors figure into the health of your pet’s coat and skin. One factor is making sure your pet is eating a high quality food. A good quality diet can do wonders for the skin. Look for products that are made by a reputable company. Check web sites or other resources and make sure the food has its nutrients listed in detail. Veterinarians say that one the most important nutritional elements for a pet’s skin and coat health is essential fatty acids. The healthy fats work the same for a dog or cat as they do for a human: they are good for the skin and help maintain general health. Foods with Omega 6 or Omega 3 can benefit your pet’s health in many ways.
It’s Not Only Diet
A regular grooming and bathing schedule can go a long way in the health of your dog’s skin and coat. A professional dog groomer has the right tools to properly and thoroughly groom your dog. Your groomer is able to feel and see the condition of your dog’s coat and skin. Your groomer is also equipped to help rid your dog’s skin of any dirt and bacteria that may find its way to the coat and skin that could cause problems. A good, professional groomer is also able the see and feel bumps and other irregularities that, if not treated, could be serious.
Cats don’t need a lot of bathing, but they do need regular brushing, for the health of the skin and coat as well as to prevent hairballs. Brush your cat regularly, and use that time to examine for any lumps, bumps sores, fleas, excessive flakiness, etc. Let us know about any abnormalities you find.
Stay tuned for more blog articles about healthy skin.