Good skin and coat care combined with a good diet are essential for a happy, healthy pet. Your pet’s skin and coat are strong indicators of its internal health. They can also show the presence of other conditions.

Got a question about your pet’s skin and coat? Visit our Pets Unleashed Morningside store’s Pet Health Centre for your free 6 point pet health check today.

Your pet’s skin and coat care – did you know?

  • Your pet’s diet can make a large difference to their skin and coat.
  • Vitamin A sustains growth and helps maintain your pet’s healthy skin.
  • Protein provides essential amino acids for skin and coat maintenance.
  • Omega 6s give your pet’s skin and coat shine, texture and protective barrier properties. 
  • Vitamin C helps wound healing and collagen formation.
  • Human shampoo can cause doggy dandruff.
  • Puppy Shampoo is different to adult dog shop – the same as baby shampoo is different to adult shampoo.

Proper balanced nutrition gives your pet the essentials it needs to sport a lustrous coat and healthy skin. If, despite a healthy diet and good grooming, your pet’s coat or skin is problematic, it can point to other issues with your pet’s health.

Dogs and cats of all ages and breeds are susceptible to issues involving their skin and coat. Pets who are young, elderly, or living in overcrowded, stressful environments may be more susceptible to these problems than others.

What are the signs your dog has a skin or coat problem?

  • Scratching, licking or nibbling at itchy skin
  • Hair loss, bald patches
  • Redness or irritation
  • Isolated areas of the body where itching is intense
  • Scabs
  • Rashes
  • Wounds
  • Drainage of blood or pus
  • Swellings, lumps or skin discoloration
  • Round, scaly areas on the face and paws
  • Dry, flaky or otherwise aggravated skin
  • Rubbing face against furniture or carpeting

There are numerous things which can cause skin and coat issues, including:

  • Poor diet – low quality food may lead to changes to the coat
  • Boredom or stress – a pet may lick their skin excessively for many reasons when not given adequate activity or stimulation
  • Fleas – bites and flea droppings irritate your dog’s skin
  • Mange – caused by mites, leads to large patches of hair loss and severe itching
  • Ringworm – a highly contagious fungal infection that causes hair loss in patches
  • Other Parasites – such as ear mites and lice
  • Allergies – caused by a reaction to certain foods, pollen, dust, mould or flea bites
  • Sunburn – dog s and cats with light-coloured fur and hairless breeds are very prone to sunburn
  • Exposure to toxins or contact dermatitis – these may cause the skin to become itchy and inflamed
  • Psychogenic alopecia – often stress-related, this condition sees the thinning of the fur
  • Calluses – resulting from chronic pressure on areas such as the elbows
  • Metabolic or hormonal problems – several common hormonal issues can cause alteration in skin colour, coat consistency, thickness and distribution
  • Hypothyroidism – caused by decreased production of thyroid hormones may lead to hair loss or a dry and brittle coat
  • Diabetes – result in thinning of the skin and patches of sparse hair. Vaccine or medication reaction – may cause permanent hair loss at the site of an injection or where a topical ointment was applied
  • Cushing’s disease – caused by an increase of corticosteroids in the body
  • Feline acne – blackheads form on the underside of the cat’s chin and edges of the lips, in a stripe down the back or on the abdomen caused by compulsive self-grooming
  • Stud tail in cats – caused by glands near the tail that excrete excessive oils, which results in a greasy, rancid-smelling waxy brown material near the base of the tail.

The Need for Good Grooming

Depending on what type of dog or cat you have they will require different types and amounts of grooming. Not only will regular grooming help them look good and smell good it will also help you detect any skin or coat issues that arise. Most importantly it will help keep your pet happy

Ask out Pet Health Centre Experts for advice on the best grooming techniques and regimes for your pet.
Prevention is always better than cure and good, regular grooming with care and observation of your pet’s skin and coat will help you keep it in the best of health.