Pets will scratch for a variety of reasons, such as the normal itch, dry skin, infection or some sort of parasite or a reaction to it. All of these things may seem to the pet owner like nothing more than dry skin, since the signs are virtually the same. However, it’s a good idea to have your pet checked by your veterinarian before the warmer weather sets in, to make sure none of these conditions exist, especially if your pet’s scratching seems to be excessive and doesn’t seem to bring relief.
It is important to remember too, that dry skin and poor fur quality in animals may be a sign of an underlying problem that cannot simply be solved by an extra bath or some home remedy. Some of the possible underlying conditions may be kidney, liver or adrenal, or thyroid gland problems. Only your veterinarian can diagnose these conditions properly.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF SKIN PROBLEMS
- Redness, including bumps and a rash
- Open sores of any kind, shape or size
- Hair loss, both localized (in one particular area) or over the entire
- Fur that is dull, dry and seems to fall out easier than usual and in greater quantities
- Excessive or constant licking of the feet or rubbing their face when they DO or DO NOT have runny eyes
GOOD SKIN CARE FOR PETS
A shiny fur coat is a good sign of a pet that is healthy. Here are some tips to help you keep your pet’s skin in good shape:
- Do not bathe your pet too often, as this will remove too much of the essential natural oils from the coat and skin, making it more susceptible to dryness and other unhealthy conditions.
- When you do bathe your pet, be sure to use a dog shampoo, to help ensure the PH level is correct, as dog’s skin is very different from a human’s skin. There are dog shampoos that provide added moisturizers if needed, as well as some parasite and flea protection, to help reduce scratching. If you are unsure what to use, check with your veterinarian to see what they recommend.
- Brushing your dog weekly, even daily if possible will aid in the removal dander, as well as dead hair, which will help the fur remain healthier and look shinier.
- Feeding your pet quality food, which contains enough fatty supplements to help keep their skin from flaking and drying out is very beneficial. Consult your veterinarian on proper nutrition and any special needs required by your breed.
- If your pet is susceptible to allergies, it is much easier for them to experience dry skin, so make sure you get any skin conditions checked by your veterinarian and cleared up as soon as possible.
Usually your pet’s skin problems can be cleared up quickly using a variety of treatments such as topical creams, special shampoos, and in special cases may require pills or an injection. Be diligent and patient as animals respond differently. Although a treatment may take some time, or you may have to try several methods before finding what is most effective, you will be successful; your pet's health is important, and depends on you.
Do you have any of your own helpful tips? What tricks work for your pet to keep its fur looking shiny, healthy and smooth? Please feel free to share them with us in the comments below.