Dog and cat skin issues are one of the most common reasons for a visit to your veterinarian. Skin issues are often caused by abnormally dry skin, parasites such as flees and mites, adverse reactions to certain foods and environmental effects like sunburn and allergies.
In this blog post we will be covering the following:
- The important role skin health plays in your dogs wellbeing
- Looking at your dog's skin
- How stress can affect your dog's skin
- Dandruff on dogs
- Nutrition to prevent skin issues in dogs
- Skin and coat care for dogs
The role of your pet's largest organ
The skin is your dog and cat’s largest organ which is exposed daily to the environment. Not only does it protect your furbaby from the elements, a healthy skin contains immune cells, antibodies and has a natural acid/lipid barrier that protects against bacteria, virus and fungus. This is why it is important to keep your pet’s skin in good shape.
Let their skin tell you a story
Our pets also communicate via their skin and fur. Pheromones (sexual hormones) get excreted through the skin and in a case of intense excitement, the fur erects especially around the neck and on top of the back. Both it’s size and diverse function make the skin and coat of the dog significant. If the pet has a beautiful, shiny coat and flake-free skin, this is usually a good indicator that your fury companion is healthy.
Sudden changes in your pets coat like flaky skin or dullness, is often a sign of lack of nutrients or in the worst case, onset of disease. A change in food or a lack of trace elements and vital substances can be recognised very quickly by the quality of the skin and coat.
Antioxidants for the healing process
Telltale signs of some diseases in your pet are poor coat quality or skin problems. This is often related to the fact that your pet’s metabolism uses large amounts of antioxidants and trace elements during the detoxification process. But these antioxidants and trace elements are also required by the skin and fur metabolism of cats and dogs. The coat of your pet is then missing crucial building blocks such as zinc, iodine, copper, B vitamins, vitamins A and E and in particular sulfur-containing amino acids, which are constantly needed to maintain the defence functions. The coat becomes visibly dull and sometimes loss of hair can be observed.
Mental problems such as stress or anxiety can trigger obsessive scratching. Many owners have already observed this when visiting their vet as dogs can suddenly lose hair in such stressful situations. Sudden hormone changes caused by castration, pregnancy or lactation for example can also cause such symptoms in your pet. However, if the dog shows an increased fur loss and itching, parasites may be the cause and some advice from your veterinarian is necessary.
It is perfectly normal for dogs to have some dandruff which is caused by cell renewal of the skin. When new skin cells have formed, the dead skin cells are repelled. When it becomes obvious that too many cells have been produced, either prematurely rejected or formed incorrectly, it is then referred to as dandruff.
Often older dogs are more prone to suffer from dandruff but nevertheless, dogs of all ages can be affected. Dry, cold weather can dry out your dog’s skin as well as excessive exposure to air conditioning. 100% organic cold pressed coconut oil has been proven to be beneficial for a shiny coat and boost the immune system, which is a key ingredient in all of our baked treats for dogs.
Dandruff can be minimised by regular grooming and gentle brushing, ideally with a natural brush. The massaging of the skin causes stimulation and increases blood circulation while dead skin cells and loose fur is removed.
Often, the cause of dry and itchy skin is related to your pets’ diet. If vitamins, nutrients and minerals are not supplied as needed, the skin of the dog can become unbalanced. Visible dandruff can be the result.
Even a sudden change of diet or allergies to certain feed ingredients, digestive problems or visible skin changes can occur. Especially in the case of food intolerances, the dog not only suffers from increased dandruff, but often also shows severe signs of scratching and licking.
Your dog loves to chew but is allergic to most common meats? Let him try our healthy Goat Horns with its mineral rich marrow for some long term chewing fun.
Our Promise to You
At The Golden Bone Bakery we clearly state what is in our treats so you can scroll through our NATURAL, CLEAN & NUTRITIOUS ingredients and check if there is anything included that your dog may be allergic to.
Is your pet on an Exclusive Single Protein Diet? No problem, check out our extensive single protein cat & dog treat range including kangaroo, lamb, beef, chicken, fish and goat – all 100% Australian sourced.
Coat Caring Tips:
- If you comb and care for your pet’s coat regularly, skin and coat changes will quickly catch your eye and you can act accordingly.
- Feed high quality and balanced. Especially if feeding BARF, you have to pay close attention to the correct composition of the feed ration. High-quality oils, biotin, zinc, copper, sulfur, and vitamins must be sufficiently included.
- If despite feeding well balanced food, your pet still has a flaky, dull coat or changes in skin condition are visible, be sure to get your beloved fury friend to a veterinarian for a professional assessment.