What is your pet’s skin telling you?

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

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

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