Believe it or not, just a quick glance at your dogs coat and skin can reveal much about the state of her overall wellness. Skin and coat health work like a litmus to indicate either vitality or problems.
A Healthy Coat
Your pets coat should be lustrous and smooth. Certainly, different breeds will have varying kinds of coats, but no healthy dogs fur should be dry and brittle or rough to the touch. Dry, coarse fur indicates a problem either with the dogs nutrition or is a symptom of disease. Heavy shedding can also be a sign of malnourishment or ill health.
Your pets skin should be soft and pliable, not scaly, cracked or oily. Skin represents your dogs largest bodily organ so when something is wrong inside of your pet it is bound to be evidenced in some way through her skin. Skin problems could cause a dull, dry or shedding coat, but you should also be on the watch for dry, flaky or greasy skin. These symptoms may be caused by an outside source such as contact allergens or pests, but they may also stem from internal problems such as parasites, worms, metabolic disturbances or other serious health concerns.
Regular grooming will not only help keep your dogs skin and coat looking great, it will also afford you regular opportunities to check these areas for telltale signs of sickness. Bathing and brushing should be a regular habit for your pet. Longer-haired dogs may need bathing and shampooing more often than short-haired dogs, but every pet needs periodic washing with a gentle, vet-approved shampoo. Brushing, too, can vary from daily to weekly depending on your dogs coat.
If you are grooming your pet on a regular basis and problems with her skin or coat persist, then you will know that she needs to be seen by the veterinarian. Skin and coat health are normal expectations for a dog who eats a nutritious diet and receives pet parent care.
Protecting Skin and Coat Health
If your dogs skin or coat issues are related to an outside source like allergy, injury or pests you can take care of the problem with relative ease. In the case of allergy, once the allergen is identified, simply control the amount of contact your pet experiences. Treating her for pests should also resolve skin problems caused by mites, fleas or ticks. If your pet is injured or has irritated her skin by licking and scratching, consider treating the affected area with a product designed specifically for skin conditions. Companies like ProLabs Pets offer products designed to improve skin and coat health.