If you are a dog owner, it's important to be aware of the most common skin problems in dogs and how to treat them effectively. Skin problems are extremely common in dogs and can affect the skin and fur. In many cases, the appearance of skin problems reflects an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. However, there are many different causes which can make it difficult to get to the root of the issue.
It's important to examine your dog's skin regularly to check for any issues. Healthy skin should be pink or black, smooth, and free of scaling, spots, or inflamed areas. If you notice that your dog is scratching excessively, or has any sores, redness, dandruff, parasites or bald spots you should consult with a vet for further investigation. In addition to this, there are lifestyle and dietary changes you can make to ease your dog's skin condition.
Dry Skin: Dry skin is an extremely common skin problem in dogs, particularly during the autumn and winter months. Certain breeds are more susceptible to dry skin that than others, such as the English bulldog, Shar-Pei, and Neapolitan Mastiff. The frequent scratching and biting that is triggered by dry skin can result in infections and hair loss, which may require a course of antibiotics to fight any bacterial infection. If your dog has itchy skin, you may also find an omega 3 supplement to be effective at relieving the irritation.
Skin Allergies: Skin allergies affect all breeds of dog, regardless of size or age, however, certain breeds are more predisposed to skin allergies than others, such as golden retrievers, west highland terriers, bulldogs, boxers, and shar-peis. Common triggers of dog allergies include grooming products, wool, food, pollen, flea saliva, mould spores, and mites. You may find cod liver oil to be effective in helping to relieve some of these common allergy symptoms.
Parasites: If you notice your dog licking or scratching excessively then they may have a common parasite such as mites, fleas, ticks, and lice. These parasites spread incredibly quickly and cause intense itching, skin sores and hair loss, particularly around the ears, face and legs. It is important to have these treated promptly to avoid any complications; mites can lead to mange if left untreated, while fleas can cause Pyoderma (a common bacterial infection where pimples break out on the skin). Regular bathing and grooming should help to reduce any irritation.
Dog Rash: If you notice that your dog has a rash, then you should consult with your vet. A rash may simply be the result of an allergy. However, it could also be caused by a parasite or mineral deficiency, which requires immediate attention. Golden Retrievers commonly suffer from hot spots, which are swollen and inflamed patches of skin caused by their thick undercoats.
Greasy Coat: We all want our dogs to have a shiny healthy coat, but when an excess of oil builds up on the skin, the coat can appear greasy and lacklustre. Oil can also trigger flaky, scaly and inflamed skin, which results in a foul odour. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil and cod liver oil can help to improve the appearance of the coat. While there are many non-life-threatening causes of oily skin, it is best to consult with your vet, as there is a small chance that more serious conditions such as a thyroid disorder, seborrhoea or malnutrition are the cause.
For an accurate diagnosis, it is important to consult with your vet who will investigate the underlying causes of your dog's skin condition.
Dry, itchy skin is extremely common in dogs. Fortunately, it is not usually caused by a serious medical issue and can be easily treated. Try these simple remedies to help improve your beloved dog's skin condition and relieve their distress.
Good nutrition is vital to your dog's health. Poor food quality is a common cause of skin conditions in dogs so ensure that their food provides them with a complete and nutritious diet. Some processed foods contain preservatives, colourings and additives that can irritate the skin or trigger allergic reactions. If your dog is suffering from dry itchy skin, wet food can help to add moisture to their diet (this can be combined with dry food) and a daily pet multivitamin can ensure that any dietary gaps are covered.
Cod liver oil is a particularly popular remedy for treating dry skin on dogs. The oil has a high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins A and D, which help to hydrate and repair the skin. Cod liver oil supplements for pets are a convenient and effective means of ensuring your dog receives all the omega 3's they require.
The home environment can also contribute to dry skin on dogs, particularly during the winter months when the combination of cold outdoor weather and warm indoor heating causes the skin to become dry and cracked. Stressed dogs are more susceptible to skin problems, so try to create a calm and peaceful living environment.
It's important to brush and groom your dog regularly. Bathe them every one to two weeks with a gentle organic shampoo to kill bacteria and dirt trapped in the coat and reduce any inflammation. There are special shampoos and detergents available that help to lock in moisture and treat many common skin problems in dogs.