Ideas to inspire
by Richard Rowlands | 7 months, 4 weeks ago
Winter. It’s the perfect time of year to curl up by the fire and spend some quality time with your furry family members. But if your pet suffers from skin and coat issues, the wintry weather can often add to their problems. The best way to protect your pet against stubborn health problems such as dry and flaky skin, itchiness, and a dull or brittle coat is to take care of their skin and coat all year round.
In this post, we'll show you some simple steps you can take to help keep your pet's skin and coat healthy throughout the year. So, if your pet is itching and scratching, be sure to give this one a read! We’d also love for you to leave a comment below; and feel free to share your tips for maintaining your pet’s skin and coat health.
Healthy Pet Food
Feeding a healthy pet food is an important part of taking care of your pet's skin and coat. Without the proper nutrients in their diet, pets can become prone to skin and coat conditions including excessive itching and flaky skin.
High-quality, healthy commercial pet foods contain the correct nutrients to support your pet's body and maintain their skin and coat health. In an article for Mercola Healthy Pets, Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, NMD, explains that the best commercial pet foods are nutritionally balanced raw food diets that contain human-grade ingredients like organic meat and vegetables.
Look for foods with a high-quality protein source as the main ingredient, and avoid pet foods with low-quality filler ingredients such as meat by-products and meat meal. It's also important to choose food that's free from chemical additives and preservatives that can contribute to skin and coat problems. In an article for PetMD, Dr. Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM, recommends avoiding ingredients such as corn syrup, MSG, and artificial colorings.
Supplements for Skin and Coat Health
If your pet has an existing skin or coat condition caused by dietary deficiencies, it's a good idea to add supplements that support skin and coat health to their diet.
Flaxseed oil and fish oil are good sources of essential fatty acids that help keep your pet's skin and coat healthy. A and B vitamin supplements are also a good choice as they can help alleviate the symptoms of allergies and skin infections.
If your pet seems to scratch all the time, it may be a sign that he's in need of a good brush! Grooming is an important part of maintaining good skin and coat health. Regular brushing of the coat gets rid of dead skin cells and loose hair that can build up and cause itchiness.
Dogs with long hair or thick undercoats will need brushing regularly. Cats groom themselves frequently, so they shouldn't need to be brushed as often. Long-haired breeds are an exception to this rule as their coats can become matted and tangled.
Bathing Your Pet
Your pet may not be a fan of bath time, but bathing is an essential part of skin and coat care. It helps remove loose hair and debris and keeps your pet's coat shiny and healthy. Pets with especially oily or flaky skin usually require regular bathing to keep them clean and maintain their skin and coat health.
For most pets, a bath every 4-6 weeks is enough to keep their skin and coat healthy. Over-bathing can strip away natural oils on the skin and coat, leading to dryness and irritation. If you're unsure how often to bathe your pet, ask your veterinarian for advice.
Looking for natural shampoos and soaps that are specially designed for pets? Check out the latest offerings from our Makers who will soon be on the Art of the Pet. For example, Helen Koursiotis handmade shampoos and soaps branded 4 Paws All Natural Pet Soap offer great options for your pet that are made with natural ingredients. Also, Mr. Wigglebottom's is new to the Art of the Pet family and offers gift sets that have been popular to try out the different formulas and fragrances.
Other Causes of Skin and Coat Problems
So, you're feeding your furry friend healthy pet food, giving them the right supplements, grooming them regularly, and bathing them when they need it... But they still have a skin or coat problem that just won't go away! What now?
Skin and coat problems can be caused by parasites such as fleas and mites, fungal, bacterial, or yeast infections, allergies, and other medical conditions. That's quite a list, right? If your pet has a skin or coat problem that doesn't respond to the steps we've outlined in this post, it's always a good idea to visit your veterinarian to identify any underlying health issues.
In closing, we have Makers of wonderful winter wear for your pets that offer their products on Art of the Pet! BKLYN Handmade creates sweaters, scarves, and snoods of different colors and designs; and Bubba BowWow offers coats and fleece jackets for small to large dogs.
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