Skin Disorders are one of the most common health problems in pets and can be caused by a number of different factors. This is stressful for pets but can also be stressful for owners due to seeing their fur babies in discomfort and pain.
What should a pet’s skin look like?
A pet’s skin should be smooth and their coat should be clean and in good condition. In order to help identify if a pet has a problem with its skin, it is important to have knowledge of what healthy skin should look like.
- A pet’s skin should be pink or black depending on the breed or their genetics
- There should be no itching, crusting, scaling or hot and inflamed areas
- A healthy coat should be shiny, quite smooth, soft and thick with no broken hairs or bald patches
Examples of common skin conditions
- Food allergies
- Environmental allergies
The skin and coat form the single largest organ of a pet’s body and it is the first protective barrier from the outside. Together, they go hand in hand to provide protection and immunity for the body to prevent bacteria/viruses from entering the body and to ensure thermo-regulation.
Dogs with dry skin or a dull coat, for example, often improve with diets or supplements containing optimized levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, often sourced from fish oil, play an important role in reducing inflammation.
Omega-6 fatty acids play a key role in maintaining the integrity of your dog’s skin as a barrier, reducing water loss and bolstering the strength of the skin cells. Linoleic is an essential omega-6 fatty acid, meaning the dog must obtain this from food sources as they cannot synthesize it on their own.
Food allergies are usually triggered by a hypersensitivity reaction to a protein that the body misidentifies as a threat. The only way to diagnose a food allergy is through a strict elimination diet. Your veterinarian’s guidance is essential in sorting through a pet’s history for clues leading to a diagnosis of a food allergy. Once the specific allergen is identified, the pet can be transitioned to a dog food that does not contain the trigger.
Here at nk9d , we have a variety of foods containing novel proteins for you to try and all of our Grain Free recipes contain the essential fatty acids which are beneficial in supporting the skin and coat, as well as the control of inflammation. Some research suggests that Omega-3 is also important for brain and eye health in young and growing animals.