One of the most important things you can do for your dog’s health is to care for their skin. Just like in our bodies, your dog’s skin is the largest organ and is prone to a range of issues that can be costly to treat. Taking measures to prevent any problems before they arise can save your dog (and your wallet) a great deal of pain. 

This is especially important in the winter months when cold air and low humidity can wreak havoc on their skin. Without appropriate care, dryness and itchiness can develop, not to mention several conditions. 

The good news is that there are plenty of simple ways to keep your dog’s skin healthy throughout the year. From diet to grooming to bathing and more, here are 6 solutions that you can make use of today. 

Nutrition

Above all, your dog’s skin needs to be supported by the right nutrients. Up to 35% of their daily protein intake goes to their skin and coat alone, not to mention that minerals like copper, zinc, and selenium are found in high concentrations in their skin. Many skin problems are caused by inflammation, which fatty acids and antioxidants from food can prevent. 

Vitamins A and E are also found in the skin, with the former responsible for cell growth and the latter for protection. There are certain foods that you can introduce into your dog’s diet, depending on their needs. 

If you’re looking for food to help with dogs itchy skin, for instance, then the following guide has some useful information: https://www.bellaandduke.com/guide/dogs-itchy-skin-causes-deal-quickly-simply/. What you’ll find is that ingredients such as dairy, lectin, and grains – which are particularly common in processed foods – are the main culprits.

You’ll want to cut those out to prevent inflammation and subsequent itchiness. The best way to do this is to feed your dog a raw diet made from natural ingredients, which the link above can help you learn more about. 

Sun Protection

Another commonality between our skin and that of our canine friends is the way it’s affected by exposure to sunlight. Too much is no good, and the ‘paler’ your dog’s skin is, the faster it will suffer from UV ray damage. Here are some ways to protect your pooch from the sun: 

  • Limit the amount of time they spend in the sun on days when the sky is clear. 
  • Use a pet-friendly, FDA-approved sunscreen. 
  • Look out for indications of sunburn and consult a vet if you notice anything. 
  • Slip-on a shirt or reflective jacket while ensuring that they don’t get too hot. 

Don’t forget to protect against other environmental factors that may cause your dog’s skin harm. This includes sand, seawater, and chlorine. A visit to the beach or a swim in the pool should always be followed by a bath in clean water.  

Grooming

Regular brushing is just as important for your dog’s skin as it is for their coat. Unkempt fur can cause mats (tangled clumps of dead hair), which result in hot spots and irritation. In addition to brushing, you can use a detangling leave-in conditioning spray after bathing to make things easier. This is especially useful for dogs with longer hair. 

Bathing

While you should bathe your dog around once every three months, any more often can do more bad than good. This is because their skin has natural oils that serve as a protective layer. Too much shampoo can strip the skin of these oils, resulting in itching and dryness. Drier skin also causes an increase in oil production, which can result in a bad odor. 

Ticks and Fleas

It’s a good idea to frequently check your dog for ticks and fleas. If they’re prone to getting them, you might want to consult a vet about a suitable solution. Topical treatments, chewable, and collars are some of your options. 

This is important as ticks and fleas bring on excessive itching and gnawing that causes irritation. Furthermore, the fleas can be ingested, leading to a parasitic infection. Allergic reactions and hair loss are other potential issues here. Carpet and upholstery treatments, as well as house froggers, can protect your home (and dog) from any nasty inhabitants.

Humidifier

If your dog sleeps or spends most of their time inside, consider picking up a humidifier. This will help to ensure that moisture levels in the surrounding air are adequate enough to prevent dry skin. Adding in a nearby fan will keep air circulating, so that dust and allergens don’t accumulate. 

Try to avoid using hazardous products such as deodorizers, scents, and cleaners around your dog, as they can also cause damage to sensitive skin. 

Finally, it’s worthwhile going for the occasional check-up with a vet. They might be able to identify any problems that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

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