How to Give Your Pet a Healthy Skin and Coat

Guest Post by Audrey Langley

Audrey and her two dogs, Kody and Walter
Audrey and her two dogs, Kody and Walter

Is your pet’s coat smooth, silky and shiny?  Or, is the hair dry, brittle, and break easily? The overall health of your pet directly reflects in its coat. There is a strong connection with nutritional practices, grooming maintenance, and physical health. This week’s blog post will cover a few of the ways you can help maintain a healthy skin and coat for your pet.

Healthy Nutrition

A healthy coat begins with a healthy diet. Hair primarily consists of protein. Foods that are rich in essential fatty acids are particularly good for your pet’s coat. If your pet is showing signs of trouble with his coat or skin, his food may be the reason. Check the labeling of your pet’s food. Consider the primary ingredients and the protein source. Low-quality commercial pet foods do not provide the appropriate nutrients. A combination of high quality proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acids found in reputable pet foods may cost more, but often because of its concentration, serving sizes are smaller.

Include functional treats or supplements that contain vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which work to restore the shine in your pet’s coat. Other ingredients like kelp, alfalfa, and carrots support healthy skin. The higher the quality your of pet’s food and treats; the better your pet’s coat.

Grooming

Combing and brushing removes dead hair and helps spread natural oils throughout the coat. Both wide set and narrow set combs and brushes help to detangle and promote healthy shedding. How often your pet needs a brush out, depends upon the length of your pet’s hair. Reliable groomers understand the particular needs of various breeds. Depending on your pet’s needs, you may want to consult with a professional groomer in your area.

Dog-bathBathe your pet to remove dirt and bacteria. Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is critical. Shampoos made for people, even baby shampoos, are not designed for pets. Pet Naturals® of Vermont makes dog shampoos that are pH balanced and will not irritate the skin. Do not over bathe. This can strip the natural oils, and drying and irritating the skin. Unless your dog is particularly dirty, bathe no more than once a month.

Physical Health

Keep your pet vaccinated to avoid diseases. Some pets are sensitive to the dry winter conditions. Other pets have seasonal allergies. Sensitivity to pollen from trees, plants, or grass causes itchy skin. Once the vet identifies the primary issue, the treatment can begin.

What’s the bottom line? Your pet’s coat is often the first indicator of health concerns. A healthy pet has a shiny coat, and does not shed excessively. Maintain a regular bathing and grooming schedule. Remember that nutrition is foremost important for the overall well-being of any pet.

About Audrey

Kody and kitty inside Paws Applause
Kody and kitty inside Paws Applause

Audrey Langley has over 20 years of experience in education. She teaches high school business and English. Having her summers off gives her ample opportunity for outdoor adventures with her husband and her two young teenagers. Her two Golden Retrievers enjoy kayaking, hiking, biking, and swimming with them.

Their adopted rescue cat would love to join, but she’s not that adventurous yet! Audrey has many roles for the family business, Paws Applause, in Scarborough, Maine. She is the “Chief Milk Bone Officer” of: Social Media, Public Relations, Blogging, Event Planning, Website Management, and also an occasional janitor.

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