How to Keep Your Pet's Skin and Coat HealthySkin 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.
BrushBrushing 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.
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.
- 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.
BatheBathe 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 like one of Vet Basics® general cleansing shampoos.
- 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 ChallengAir Airmax. 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 pads with Musher's Secret.
VitaminsIt's true, beauty starts from the inside. Give your pet nutrients that promote healthy skin and shiny thick coats. 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 pets 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 pet, give them Omegaderm-3. Omegaderm-3 will help soothe skin inflammation due to scratching and allergies and can be used with Derma Coat Plus.
Pets 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 need help, call us at 800.786.4751.
Don Bramlage, DVM, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
Itchy pet? Take our Scratch the Itch Quiz to help determine the cause of the itch and irritation.
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.