Taking care of your pet’s skin and ears will keep them looking and smelling their best. You should observe other pets as you encounter them to get an idea of what normal coats should look like. Frequently, owners come in with pets that have terrible skin and fur and they think it is normal. Both they and their pets suffer unnecessarily as a result.
The basis of a healthy skin is based in proper nutrition. Appropriate diets should provide all of the nutrients that the body needs without subjecting your pet to any nutritional excesses or inadequacies. Of particular importance with respect to the skin, is the amounts and ratios of essential fatty acids in the food. Fatty acids are the building blocks of cell membranes and play a big role in the inflammatory process in the body. The “essential” fatty acids are the ones that the body cannot create from other fatty acids.
Our veterinarians recommend Hill’s Pet Nutrition Prescription diets for all of our patients because all of their foods are balanced to deliver exactly what your pet needs. They are enhanced with the right levels of fatty acids to help the skin and coat and have very low residue (waste) which may lead to dietary allergy.
Routine Skin Care for Pets
- Dogs should be bathed every 1 to 4 weeks depending on the nature of their skin, whether they live indoors or outdoors and on owners time constraints.
- Cats are usually good self groomers, and bathing may not be needed at all.
- Bathing can be done in the tub, sink or even on the patio providing the weather is warm. It is best to have a leash on your pet and tie him/her up to a stable object to prevent a wet pet from running away from you.
- You should always check your pet’s nails prior to bathing and trim them as needed. This will help prevent them from scratching you if they get upset by the bath.
- A rubber mat should be placed at the bottom of the tub or sink to give your pet a good foothold. This will make them more accepting of the bath.
- A good all purpose shampoo for either pet is Allergroom. It has conditioners to help improve the skin and is hypoallergenic.
- If you pet has smelly, greasy, or excessively dry skin, consult with our medical staff for advice on the appropriate shampoo to use.
- After bathing, you can help condition your pet’s skin and coat with Humilac or Malacetic conditioners. These conditioners help bring back some of the moisture to the skin that is washed away with the bathing. They can be used between bath for pets with dry skin.
- Pet’s can be dried with a towel, followed by a hair dryer on low setting. Be sure not to burn your pet’s skin with overzealous use of the dryer.