Dogs are man’s best friend; they fill your life with happiness and are excellent companions. Who doesn’t love watching their dog chase down birds, or playing catch with their furry friend? These intelligent creatures are more than mere animals; keeping a dog is a lifetime commitment. To you, it is a pet, but to your dog, you are its whole world.
Despite all the fun you can have with your dog, these gentle creatures are susceptible to many illnesses, ranging from mild to severe. Skin conditions are one of those, so it’s your duty as a responsible dog owner to know how to take care of your dog’s skin.
So, we’ll list some tips you may need to make sure your fur baby’s skin stays in optimum condition.
Offer enough water
All creatures need water to stay healthy, and your dog is no different. Water plays a huge role in maintaining the hydration of your dog’s skin and keeping it from getting dry and flaky. As a general rule, a dog needs from half to one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. It’s okay if you’re not good at math! Just make sure that you leave enough water bowls around the house and change the water frequently to keep it clean.
Frequently visit the vet
Frequent visits to the vet are a great way to gain more information about your dog’s breed and how to properly take care of it. Some breeds are more prone to skin conditions than others, but even the ones that are hypoallergenic to people, like West Highland White Terriers, can suffer from allergies and skin problems. So, you should always consult a vet when treating skin issues, as you will only make the problem worse if you try to improvise and use home remedies. A vet has vast knowledge about all the skin conditions your dog may develop and will point you in the right direction.
Give your dog baths
Unlike cats whose worst nightmare is having a bath, dogs usually enjoy bath time. Nonetheless, you should take this seriously, as you cannot go months without bathing your dog. They need frequent baths, about every 10 – 20 days, according to their specific breeds. Do not cheap out on products and use human shampoos, since they include harsh chemicals that can damage your dog’s skin. Instead, opt for shampoos specifically made for pets. Excessive bathing may also be detrimental to your dog’s coat because they strip away the natural oils present on its skin. When it comes to baths, moderation is key.
Brush its coat
Your furry companion will not be having a good time if its coat is matted. Brush your dog’s coat at least once every other day using a brush made for this purpose. Brushing also decreases shedding and induces the production of natural oils, leaving your dog looking sharp.
Provide a balanced diet
Dog food that’s full of grains and loaded with carbs will not do your dog much good, as it will result in dry skin. Make sure you are offering your pooch a balanced diet that is full of protein, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. These include zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B6, and D. In addition, you should give your dog some supplements like Omega-3. These help in fighting inflammation and reducing allergic reactions, thus improving your dog’s skin health.
Protect it from parasites
Fleas and ticks are a nuisance to your dog; they will make it aggressively scratch its skin and feel down all the time. Not only are they potentially dangerous pests, but the excessive scratching they cause can result in wounds, not to mention that your dog may have an allergic reaction to their bites. To eliminate all these issues, use flea and tick control products and administer a new dose when the effect of the previous dose fades.
Keep your house spotless
All of the above tips will be for naught if your dog is constantly exposed to a dirty environment at your home. Mop the floor with non-toxic cleaning products that kill germs and bacteria, and vacuum frequently if you have any carpets. Wash your dog’s bedding regularly and try to keep your house clean at all times.
Dogs are amazing creatures that can be better friends than humans. Your day may be full of activities you share with your dog, but most importantly, you have to protect your friend from any health conditions that may upset it. Remember that skin care plays a major role in this, and your effort will be rewarded with a happy “Woof!”