Keeping Your Dog’s Coat Healthy this Fall

pet-coat-health

As the temperatures begin to drop, many of us run for our lip balm, hand creams, and deep-conditioning products to protect our skin and hair from the cold. However, it is not only humans that need some extra protection–our four-legged counterparts need it, too, as they also experience dry, itchy, flaky skin during the fall and winter months. If you know that your dog is prone to skin issues during the cooler months or if you just want to be a step ahead and prevent any skin issues that may occur, check out the following tips to support your pet’s skin health:

Nutrition

Feeding your pet high-quality food is imperative to quality skin health. Look for pet foods that contain whole food ingredients like vegetables, fruits, and grains. For those who feed their dogs animal proteins, look for foods that have the type of animal protein listed as the the first ingredient. Also, stay away from foods with added sweeteners, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A healthy, high-quality, and well-balanced diet helps ensure your pet is getting the proper nutrients to keep its coat healthy. When trying to decide what food is the best fit for your dog, make sure to include your vet in the conversation.

Nutrients

Some pets, even when fed a high-quality diet, sometimes need a little extra help keeping their skin and coats healthy during fall and winter. Some nutrients that can help support the health of your pet’s fur include essential fatty acids like flax seed oil. A small amount added to your pet’s food can really bring out the shine of your pet’s coat and help moisturize the skin. Also, B vitamins, such as biotin, riboflavin, and niacin can work to improve and maintain your dog’s coat by protecting the skin and supporting the hair follicles at a cellular level. Remember to discuss the addition of any nutrients to your pet’s diet with your veterinarian. 

Bath Time

Many may turn to bath time in hopes of bringing life and moisture to their pet’s coat and skin; however, baths can actually contribute to even more itchy, dry skin. Shampooing can strip the natural oils of the coat and skin. However, oatmeal baths can be a great option for those looking to give their pets relief. Also, using a soft brush during bath time, or after, can help to stimulate your pet’s hair follicles, as well as removing layers of flaking skin. You can also speak to your vet about medicated shampoos and conditioners to support your pet’s skin health.

Finally, if your pet seems to be dealing with a plethora of skin and coat issues, be sure to bring the topic to your vet’s attention. The problem may be a deeper issue, such as a food sensitivity or intolerance, parasites, or other underlying health concerns.

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