Why Your Dog Needs A Basic Skincare Routine
The secret to a healthy dog coat lies in healthy skin. So let's go over a basic skincare routine for you pup to keep their fur soft and shinny.
Some common skin conditions in dogs can be avoided if you pay close attention to your dog’s skin health. Regular grooming sessions will allow you to have a closer look at your pup’s skin and make you familiar with how healthy skin looks and feels. This familiarity with your dog's skin can help you identify when unusual rashes, bits, and bumps develop.
The most common causes of skin conditions include:
* Poor diet can cause scaly skin and patchy fur
* Allergies (flea bites and other allergies caused by environmental factors) can cause itchy, red, and broken skin
* Infections caused by parasites can make a dog’s skin dry and very itchy
* Some skin disorders like seborrhea can make a dog’s skin oily and scaly
* Food allergies may make your dog scratch and cause red skin and other symptoms
* Bacterial infections
Top 3 Factors That Contribute to Healthy Skin
Diet and Nutrition
Diet is one of the best ways to ensure healthy skin in your dog. A poor and unbalanced diet will lack the essential nutrients needed for a dog’s overall health. Things to avoid in your dog's food are cheap fillers and inferior protein and fat sources. You will also want to make sure their food has the minimum amount of supplements required. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are crucial for your dog’s skin and health. Balanced and wholesome dog food has an appropriate proportion of high-quality protein, fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, probiotics, and prebiotics. There are a ton of healthy food options on the market these days from healthier dry foods to home cooked options, and raw diets. If your are struggling to decide what diet to feed your dog, we recommend watching Dr. Becker's Best and Worst Pet Foods for help!
Whether your pup loves or hates water, regular bathing is a key part of a dog's skincare routine. Not only does bathing wash off dirt, but it also helps remove parasite eggs, fecal particles, and oil. Depending on your dog's coat and how dirty they get on a regular basis it is recommended to bath your dog every 4-12 weeks. You don't want to over bathe your dog and stripe their skin of their natural oils as this can led to dry and itchy skin.
Note - if your dog likes to jump in lakes or swim in chlorinated pools you should bathe them after swimming as well.
What shampoo should you use to clean your pup? You don't want to use your favourite shampoo on your dog, because human shampoos has a different pH level than those formulated for dogs. Try to avoid dog shampoos with artificial fragrances. Shampoos with natural moisturizers like Aloe Vera or Vitamin E are a good option.
Regular grooming sessions, especially brushing your dog's fur are key to maintaining healthy fur. Regular brushing can help prevents mats and hotspots, as well as help with shedding. When brushing your dog keep an eye out for fleas or the presence of other parasites, red or bald patches, rashes, flaky skin or other signs of infections. If any of these are present, set up an appointment with your vet to have the condition looked at and treated.
Feeding your pup high quality food, combined with regular bathing and grooming will help ensure your dog has healthy skin and help prevent future skin issues. Want to know more about taking care of your pup's fur? Comment below and let us know the skin care issues you've been struggling with!