Pet Skin & Coat Health

Shiny coat dog

Caring for your pet’s skin and coat is important for ensuring their overall comfort. Not only will regular skin and coat care improve their appearance, it will leave them feeling good. While many pets require very little in terms of hands-on maintenance, other pets need a little bit more work to keep them looking and feeling their best.

Pet skin and coat maintenance

There are a few things pet parents can do to help their pet keep a healthy skin and coat. Regular baths with a gentle soap formulated specifically for pets is a good place to start.

Brushing or combing out your pet’s coat can help to remove shedding hair, which can cause infections if left next to the skin. It can also help to prevent tangles and potentially painful matting. Regular brushing also distributes the pet’s natural oils throughout the coat for a healthier-looking appearance.

There are also supplements available which have been specially formulated with a blend of vitamins and minerals scientifically-proven to help your pet have a healthier skin and coat.

What is the best supplement for pets with skin issues?

Pets that suffer from skin issues, allergies, or dry, itchy skin can benefit from a few different dietary supplements. While supplements might not necessarily treat the root cause of skin irritation, they can alleviate symptoms and make your pet much more comfortable.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements — such as fish oil, krill oil, and green-lipped mussel are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and can help to reduce inflammation causing itchiness, while improving the softness and lustre of your pet’s coat at the same time.

Probiotics help to promote gastrointestinal health by providing your pet with a good population of healthy bacteria in the gut, which can drastically reduce and prevent allergies or itchiness.

Magnesium is thought to help reduce inflammation, and is great at calming the nervous system and reducing anxiety. Pets can take both magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate, generally as a powder mixed into their food.

Other pet skin problems

Besides the obvious dry skin, itchiness, allergies, and mats or tangles, pets can be subject to a number of other irritating skin conditions.

Infections such as ringworm or staph can affect pets just like their human counterparts. Treatment often involves antibiotics or antifungal medications.

Hot spots, scabs, benign lumps and bumps, as well as warts, are all conditions a pet may experience from time to time. Hot spots — a moist, raw skin disorder — can appear anywhere on an animal’s body, and are most often caused by bacteria. You’ll want to expose the area to as much air as possible, and treat with an antiseptic spray before applying hydrocortisone cream or spray.

The hardest part of treating skin conditions in pets is preventing them from licking, biting, or scratching the irritated area. A pet may benefit from wearing a cone to keep them from bothering any problem spots.

Another skin issue that can be a problem for dogs and cats is cracked paws. Cracked paw pads can be caused by allergies and illness, as well as liver problems or zinc deficiency. Cracked paws require diligent care to heal. First, clean them well with warm water, dry, then apply a balm such as petroleum jelly, coconut oil, or Bag Balm. Cover the paw with a sock or gauze, using tape to secure it above the ankle if necessary. Encourage your pet to rest as much as possible until the foot is healed.

While nearly all pets will experience some sort of skin or coat condition in their lifetime, with a little bit of TLC you can have them feeling much more comfortable in no time. Providing your pet with a nutritious diet, regular grooming, and plenty of exercise are some of the best ways to prevent skin and coat problems. If you think your pet has a skin or coat issue, reach out to your vet for evaluation and treatment.

The Best Dog Hair Dryers

For both dogs and dog owners alike, doggy bathtime is almost always a chore. The entire time your pup is in the tub, it’s stressful for both dog and master, and the stress doesn’t end with that final rinse. Once your dog is out of the bath, it needs to be dried in order to… Read More

Question: Is my dog’s thyroid condition making him itchy? My dog has a thyroid problem and takes meds. Can this condition cause him to scratch a lot? do I need to increase his meds levothyroxine 0.2mg 1 a day? -Arleen Answer: Dear Arleen, Hypothyroidism is a pretty common problem in dogs. The most common cause… Read More

When you’re cuddling with your cat, you expect to feel soft, smooth fur, not lumps and bumps! It’s alarming to feel unidentified bumps under your cat’s skin. If you’ve been told by your vet your cat has a sebaceous cyst, you may still be a bit confused about what it is and how to treat… Read More

Vet checking dog's mouth

Most of my clients are somewhere between horrified and confused when little pink nodules sprout in their puppy’s mouth. If your best buddy has come down with warts, you probably want to know how to remove warts on dogs. First, let’s talk about what causes warts and how your dog got them in the first… Read More

Dog Lifting Paw

We may not think about the health of our furry friend’s paws that often, but if you’ve ever had a dog who suffered from constantly cracking paws, you know how detrimental it can be for them. While many cracked paw issues are simple enough to resolve, others can indicate a deeper health-related issue that needs… Read More

Question: Why do my cats have dry, brown spots on their noses? We have moved to a new country and our cats have developed these dry patches on their noses. What are these and is there a home remedy to get rid of it? Thank you! – Nana Answer: Dear Nana, Thanks for sending in… Read More

Dog playing in grass

If your four-legged friend is relentlessly itching and licking themselves, they may be suffering from hot spots. Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis, are one of the most frustrating skin conditions a dog can get. They’re itchy, painful, and they can even be severe if left untreated. Worse still, hot… Read More

Cat held by owner

While dryness may not seem like a dire problem, the state of a cat’s skin can tell you a lot about their overall health. The skin is the body’s largest organ and is the easiest to observe. What appears there can hint at what is simmering under the surface. Flakes are the most obvious way… Read More

The Best Dog Skin and Coat Supplements

A healthy diet and good grooming habits can keep your dog’s skin and coat looking good. In many cases, however, pet owners prefer to give their dog a skin and coat supplement that will make their skin more supple, cut down on shedding, and help relieve allergies that cause itching and fur loss. We have… Read More

Question: What are these scabs and bumps on my dog’s skin? We have taken my dog to numerous vets to get more opinions but they all want to give us the same medication (Cephalexin) to “treat the problem.” It doesn’t treat anything. All it does is give him diarrhea and puke up his food. Onyx… Read More

Question: What are These Red Spots on My Dog? My 10-month-old dog has red round spots on her belly. She does not lick or itch them. Here’s a picture. -Sandra Answer: Dear Sandra, Thanks for sending the great photos of your dog’s skin. I would describe the red spots as “papules,” meaning circumscribed, elevated solid lesion… Read More

The Best Dog Shampoo

Your furry friend deserves proper care and nurture and the first step in providing it is maintaining their hygiene at a high level. Although dogs groom themselves to some extent, they still need bathing to help them stay clean and healthy. Bathing removes dirt and odor from their skin and coat, and it is necessary… Read More

Question: How Can I Help My Dog Recover from Chronic Staph Infections? My dog, Riley(Long coat Chihuahua) started having these breakouts on him in either 2014 or 2015…   My vet said that he had staph. She gave him an antibiotic shot & it cleared, however it ended up returning…  I have noticed that it isn’t… Read More

How to De-Shed a Dog

It’s important to note there are several different reasons for a dog shedding. The most common, and unavoidable one, is the change in season. Your dog gets a thicker coat in the colder months to protect him from the elements, and he sheds that excess in the spring to prepare for warmer temperatures. Other reasons… Read More

Cleaning a Dog

The term “ringworm” is misleading. People typically get a circular lesion that looks a bit like a worm has burrowed under their skin, but in truth, ringworm is caused by infection with any of a number of fungal organisms that collectively go by the name “dermatophytes.” What is Ringworm? Dermatophytes are fungi that can be… Read More

Cat With Vet & Medication

Of all our pets, cats are the most likely to come down with ringworm… and possibly pass the condition on to us. Therefore, it’s vital for all cat owners to have a working understanding of the disease and how it is treated. What is Ringworm? Ringworm is a contagious skin disease that develops after infection… Read More

The 51 Top-Rated Brushes and Tools to Groom and De-shed Your Pup to Perfection Regular grooming will not only help your dog to look good, but can help their skin and coat be healthier too. Without it, dogs can develop mats and irritating skin conditions. This is why regular brushing can be so important for… Read More