When your face starts to peel or your hair feels dry, you find a remedy, right? It’s only fair to help your pup out with her dog skin care if she starts itching, biting at herself or starts developing skin abnormalities, too! If you notice a change in your dog’s coat, it could mean a lot more than, “oops, I skipped bath time.” There are lots of internal and external factors that could be irritating your dog, but here are five tried and true ways to improve your dog’s coat and skin right now.
1. Up the Omegas
A huge defense for dog allergies, inflammation and dry coat is feeding your dog omega fatty acids. These are types of polyunsaturated fats, and dogs need omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids specifically. For inflammation, autoimmune issues and allergic reactions associated with dry, itchy coat, omega-3 is going to be most effective and for a shiny coat, omega-6 comes in handy. The general recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is 5:1.
- Omega-3 sources: fish oils (salmon, mackerel, menhaden, sardines, tuna), flax seed, chia and kukui (candlenut) oils, hemp seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, canola oil, walnut oil, or Omega-3 supplements (K9-Power Omega Dog)
- Omega-6 sources: sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, evening primrose oil
**for dandruff or seborrhea, supplement with zinc, folate, and retinoids in addition to omega fatty acids
2. Check the Ingredients
With tons of dog food options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and just grab one. Unfortunately there are tons of subpar formulas though, so be sure to check the label first. The following ingredients could be detrimental to your dog’s healthy coat:
- Corn – Many commercial dog foods use corn as a main ingredient because it’s abundant and cheap, and while high-grade corn in addition to protein sources is not necessarily harmful, it doesn’t add much nutritional value. There is controversy about whether corn is likely to be an allergen to our K9 friends — if you suspect your pup has a food allergy, however, be sure to work with your vet. The real problem with corn is the low-grade variety. Lower grade corn contains more moisture and is more likely to grow mold, making it more susceptible to aflatoxins. Reputable companies screen for these deadly toxins before accepting corn as an ingredient, but be wary. These lower grades are also more likely to attract grain mites which are a large factor in dog allergies resulting in itchy skin, hives or worse.
- Soy – Theoretically soy is a wonder ingredient for pets since it’s an inexpensive protein source that contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for dogs’ skin and coat! The problem, however, is that studies show 90% of the U.S.’s soy production is genetically modified and doused in pesticides, some of which are linked to cancer. The unfermented, non-organic form of soybeans most often found in dog foods also contain anti-nutrients (soyatoxin, saponins and phytoestrogens) which deplete dogs of minerals, decrease protein digestion, can contribute to pancreatic disorders and lead to thyroid problems. The fermentation process (which soy undergoes for soy sauce, miso, etc.) breaks down the anti-nutrients, but this is not the case in standard dog food.
Even if you’re feeding your pup top-of-the-line dog chow, it’s still important to supplement their diet to ensure their skin and coats are in top condition. K9-Power Show Stopper is the perfect defense for seasonal allergies, nutritional deficits and outside factors. The powder nutritional supplement, made with the highest quality human grade ingredients, is added to your pup’s regular food and is well loved by dogs. Show Stopper contains ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, egg, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E to promote shiny coats, itch-free skin and optimal mental function. It also contains antioxidants for boosted immune health.
Regularly supplementing your dog’s food with Show Stopper can provide the following benefits:
- Supports pigmentation and highlights in coat color
- Promotes a healthy immune system
- May help with occasional or seasonal allergies
- Protects and supports sensitive skin
- Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Promotes a healthy immune system
- Tastes delicious
4. Brush, brush, brush
It may sound obvious, but consistently brushing your pooch will not only minimize shedding all over your couch, but it’ll also add shine to your pup’s fur by properly distributing natural oils. Brushing helps rid your pup of any itchy irritants like dirt or bugs while giving you an opportunity to check your best friend for an abnormalities, not to mention the extra bonding time. Try to brush your pup at least once a week.
5. Bath Time
Unlike humans who feel the need to bathe every day, bathing your dog too much can actually increase her skin sensitivities by depleting her coat of natural, protective oils. On the other hand, not bathing enough can lead to skin and coat issues as well. Bathing your pup every six weeks is the perfect compromise. Try using a natural shampoo that doesn’t contain sulfates to further protect her skin, and if she’s already itchy, try a gentle, soothing formula made with oatmeal which contains polysaccharides that leave a film on the skin preventing dryness and itching. You can even make your own oatmeal bath by blending a cup of dry oats in a food processor and adding it to your pup’s bath water. Simply soak for 10-15 minutes and dry off without rinsing first.