Banish Those Dry Skin Blues!
A few white specks on our shoulders and we reach for the anti-dandruff shampoo quicker than Joe Hart can say ‘Head and Shoulders’. It’s pretty easy for most people to remedy a little dry skin, but what about our cats and dogs? Why do they get flaky skin and how do we propel them back to their shiny, marvellous selves?
Lack of grooming is one of the most common causes of little white flakes of skin appearing on the coat of your doggy or moggy. When fur isn’t brushed or combed through, a lot of dead, flaky cells can accumulate under your pet’s coat, eventually working their way to the surface.
Double-coated breeds are most susceptible to the problem and need the most frequent grooming, whereas breeds with short coats don’t have much undercoat to get dead skin trapped between.
Many cat owners will tell you that their pet undertakes most tasks with the sort of precision usually reserved for military exercises, and ridding themselves of dead skin and excess hair is no exception. The feline regime of self-grooming usually works nicely, unless cats are hampered by very long hair or have become a little tubby, which can take the back of the pelvis beyond their reach. In which case they will need a helping hand to stay clean.
Giving your pet too many or too few baths will probably create excessively flaky skin too. Fortunately, many modern shampoos are mild enough to permit frequent bathing without consequence, but it’s probably best to focus on bathing your pet only when they really need it.
Why not use the condition of your pet’s skin and coat as a barometer? Some dogs rarely need a bath and many cat owners only give them a dip when they come rolling home covered in something unpleasant.
Brushing also helps exfoliate dead skin, so if you are getting the balance right with the brush and at bath time, it may be your dog or cat’s diet that is the root cause of a skin complaint. Giving your pet plenty of Omega three fatty acids to supplement the intake from their regular feed may be all it takes to get them looking pristine. As well as restoring skin and coat condition, Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory, which will aid mobility and cardiac health.
It’s worth remembering that a persistent coat condition may be a sign of an underlying health problem. Probably best to call your vet if symptoms don’t ease.
19 November 2014
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