What is your pet’s skin telling you?
The condition of your pet’s skin and coat is a good indicator of their overall health. Healthy skin should be soft, smooth and clear; free of lumps, flakes and raw red spots. A healthy coat will be shiny not greasy, smooth not matted, coarse or brittle. We believe that maintaining your pet’s skin health in the following areas is always preferable to treatment.
Nutrition; a balanced diet with adequate quantities of protein and amino acid will help to strengthen your pet’s fur. Dull, fragile hair which sheds excessively can be an indication that your pet isn’t getting the minerals and vitamins which they require. Ensure that the first ingredient on the list of their food is a real source of highly digestible protein.
Supplements; omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed and fish oil may reduce itching and inflammation in skin and add shine to a pet’s coat. Zinc and vitamin A can help pet’s that have dry scaly skin however, it is important to always get your vet’s recommendation on supplements suitable for your pet as excessive amounts may cause harm if given for long periods of time.
Flea / parasite control; keeping your pet’s flea and parasite treatments up-to-date is vital to their health. Fur attracts fleas and ticks especially in fur which is dirty or matted, the presence of parasites may lead to itchiness and discomfort for your pet, allergic reactions and infections.
Grooming; all pets will benefit from regular grooming sessions which should be done at a minimum of once a week. We recommend using a brush with widely spaced teeth for the outer layer and a finer soft-bristle brush or comb to maintain their inner layer of fur and the fur around their face. Using a slicker brush will smooth down the top layer of the coat to finish grooming.
Bathing; how often your pet will need to be bathed will depend on their lifestyle, age and coat type however, your average dog will only need to be bathed every 4-6 weeks when they become dirty. Cats will only require bathing when their coat is extra greasy or dirty with grime or a sticky substance which will be hard for your cat to groom off by themselves. It is important that you are not bathing your pet too regularly or using human shampoo as it will strip their skin of natural oils which condition the hair.
If you see a significant change in your pet’s skin or coat, evidence of parasites or open sores and signs of infection or if you have any concerns it’s time to visit us for a COMPLIMENTARY* skin and coat health check.
Pitama Rd Vet Hospital, 1 Pitama Road, Awapuni 06 357 9993
Hokowhitu Village Vet, 186 Te Awe Awe Street 06 356 9993