Your dog’s skin is the largest organ he has, shouldn’t you make sure it stays healthy? Skin afflictions can be painfully uncomfortable for your dog and cost you hundreds at the vet. There are over 160 skin disorders, some of which are chronic, incurable diseases, while others are preventable. Help prevent what you can by following these tips to keeping your dog’s skin healthy.
1. Sun Protection
Just like humans, overexposure to the sun is bad for your dog’s skin. And, just like humans, the “paler” your dog is, the more sensitive he is to the sun. If you have a white dog or a dog with pink skin, take these precautions to make sure they are not getting too much sun, which can cause burns or cancer.
- Limit the amount of time your dog is in the sun
- Put a pet safe sunblock on your dog. EPI-PET Sunscreen is the only FDA-approved sunscreen for dogs.
- Watch for signs of burning. If it looks like your dog might have sunburn, take them to the vet immediately.
- Put a shirt on. If you have a short-haired breed that won’t get too hot, you can but a shirt on them to cover some of their body. Reflective jackets that help cool your dog are a good choice as well.
2. Diet & Supplements
You can also help keep your dog’s skin healthy with a daily regime of vitamins and supplements. Products rich in fatty acids, oils, and vitamins are essential for healthy skin. Raw goat’s milk is not something that probably comes to your mind, but it’s great for your dog. It’s packed with active pre and probiotics, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids and helps reduces inflammation and allergies. It really packs a good punch when it comes to overall health for your dog.
Not only does it make your dog’s coat look nice, grooming helps keep the skin healthy. Mats can cause hot spots and other skin irritations. Brush your dog daily (even short hair breeds need their cells stimulated) and bath them on a regular basis, but not more than once a week or you can actually cause skin irritation.
4. Skin Treatments
Pamper your pup with a day at the spa! Just like our skin, dog’s skin can benefit from a day of pampering. An olive oil soak can be just the thing for a dog with dry, damaged skin and coat. It helps with regrowth of hair and can help with skin infections and ailments. Tea Tree oil is also known for its healing properties. While you can buy shampoos, it’s best to get straight tea tree and use it as a leave-in treatment.
Keeping your dog’s skin healthy means regular vet check-ups. An annual exam can help you spot something you might have missed, or did not know was a concern. Your vet can also let you know if you need to change your diet or skin regime as your dog ages.
About the Author
Based in Tustin, Calif., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She also owns her own custom pet products company, A Fairytail House, where she makes personalized collars, leashes, beds, keepsake pillows and blankets, and anything else your imagine can think up. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs.