How can I keep my dogs skin and fur healthy? Do cats need skincare? Skin problems are one of the most common reasons why people bring their pets to the vet. Winter can complicate the issue as cold, dry weather and lowered humidity can bring on many skin conditions. Skin and coat conditions can be easily managed by following a few easy steps that include brushing and bathing your dog or cat and providing the right skin supplements for dogs and cats.
How to Brush a Dog or Cat
Brushing helps your pet keep up with grooming. A healthy coat moves, keeping pets cool in summer. On the other hand, it fluffs up in the winter, keeping pets warm. A healthy coat also prevents dog smell, cat dandruff and mats. Brushing helps pets turn over coats, plus it spreads natural oils, promotes hair growth, and helps pets look their best.
How Often Should You Brush a Dog’s Coat?
Brush short-haired pets once a week and long-haired pets every few days when shedding. The longer the coat, the more care that is needed to get through all the hair. If mats can’t be brushed out, they may have to be trimmed out to avoid bacteria and yeast infections of the skin.
What Brush Should I Use for My Dog?
When it comes to what kind of brush to use for a dog, there are several factors to consider:
- Use an undercoat/shedding rake to remove loose undercoat.
- Use a slicker brush to ease out mats/tangles and loosen dead skin and dirt.
- Use a bristle brush to remove dead hair.
- Use a comb for ears, tails and hair around hocks and feet.
How to Bathe a Dog or Cat
Bathe dogs as often as needed. More baths may be needed during allergy season. Cats can be bathed two to three times a year as needed.
- Clean their ears with Vet Basics® Ear Cleanser before bathing.
- Bathe with a good quality shampoo such as Vet Basics® Oatmeal Protein general cleansing shampoo.
- Gently massage shampoo from head to tail avoiding ears, eyes and nose.
- Towel dry short-haired pets or use a pet hair dryer on long-haired breeds. Double-coated dogs need a powerful hair dryer like the Air Force® Master Blaster high-speed dryer. Human hair dryers are not recommended for pets as they get too hot for your pet’s thin skin. Dog dryers use larger volume of air and less heat.
- Trim their nails to help prevent scratching that could damage the skin.
- Protect cat and dog pads with Musher’s Secret.
Skin and Coat Supplements for Dogs and Cats
What is the best skin and coat supplement for dogs? What is the best cat skin care? It’s true, beauty starts from the inside. Give your pet nutrients that promote healthy skin and shiny thick coats. Cat and dog skin supplements that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids will improve a pet’s skin and coat, plus it helps to reduce flakiness, itchiness and shedding.
Older dogs and problem-coat pets benefit from Doc Roy’s® Derma Coat Plus, a fatty acid vitamin supplement. Derma Coat Plus is designed to help the skin and coat resist allergens while giving a healthy shine to the coat. If you have a scratching dog or cat, give them Omegaderm-3. Omegaderm-3 will help soothe skin inflammation due to scratching and allergies and can be used with Derma Coat Plus.
Most dogs and cats enjoy being brushed and bathed, plus who doesn’t love a beautiful coat? No matter what season, with a little vitamin help, you’ll have a happier, more beautiful pet!
If you want more tips on how to improve your cat or dog’s hair coat, call us at 800.786.4751.
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Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.