What You Need to Know about Caring for Your Pet’s Skin and Coat

Proper grooming is an important aspect of owning a pet. You have a responsibility to keep them healthy, which includes cleaning and taking care of their skin and fur. Caring for your pet’s skin and coat is a little different than taking care of your own skin and hair. Here are eight ways to keep your dog or cat’s skin and fur healthy.

Bathing


Bathing removes dirt, pollen, dander, organisms, and oil from your pet’s skin and coat. Too much buildup on the skin can cause itchiness and flakiness. Baths also keep them from getting too stinky. This buildup can get exceptionally bad in the winter, when pets also experience seasonal dryness. When it’s too cold for a bath outside, you can take your pet to a groomer or an indoor bathing facility. How often you bathe your pet will depend on his coat, skin, and lifestyle. You don’t want to bathe too often, though, or you could make dryness and skin issues even worse.

Products 


Do not use your shampoo on your pets. You should use a shampoo made especially for dogs or cats. They may be allergic to some of the ingredients in human products. Typically, an all-purpose shampoo is fine for most animals. If your pet has skin issues or allergies, you should get a shampoo specially formulated for that particular issue. A soothing shampoo will be good for pets with skin that’s easily irritated. Animals with very dry or sensitive skin can also benefit from a conditioner every once in a while.

Brushing


Brushing your pet’s fur can keep their coat shiny and clean and free from tangles. It also helps evenly distribute oils through the skin, which can prevent dryness. Many dogs who don’t enjoy baths actually like being brushed, since it feels like being pet.

 

Diet


Your pet’s diet plays a big role in maintaining their coat and skin. Lots of protein will keep skin moist and fur strong and healthy. The more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your pet gets, the more likely it is that they will have good skin. Plus, a healthy diet made of minimally processed foods is good for their overall health.

 

Air


The air plays a big role in skin health for humans and pets alike. Dry, dusty air can irritate pet’s skin and cause sensitivity problems and even allergic reactions. Make sure to change your air filters regularly. Buying a humidifier can keep dryness at bay, especially in the cold winter months.

 

Flea Protection


Using flea prevention products can save your pets from misery and you from having your home infested. Oral medications and topical treatments work together to help fight off fleas. Treating your yard with a flea spray can keep them from coming near your house.

 

Cleaning


Not your pet—cleaning your house. Dust, mites and mold spores can all irritate your pets and cause allergic reactions. Pets may get red, itchy skin that they lick and scratch excessively. They can even cause yeast and ear infections for your animals. Vacuum, dust and wash linens regularly.

 

Vet Visits


The best way to keep your pet healthy is to visit the vet regularly. A doctor may be able to see skin issues you didn’t realize your pet had.

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