But, did you know that pet skin care is just as important?
Naturally, we do everything possible to give our pets their best life, and this should include pampering them with healthy skin treatments. There are simple steps that you can take to ensure a glossy coat and a healthy, nourished pet skin barrier – and here’s why it’s so important.
What is the skin barrier?
Your pet’s skin barrier plays a major role in keeping your pet healthy – it’s the first line of defence against bacteria, yeasts, allergens, and all those other bad things out there.
A vital part of protecting your pet’s skin from harmful bacteria and infections is maintaining the skin’s natural microbial balance, and thankfully there are a few telltale signs the balance might be off:
• Excessive itching, scratching, licking, or rubbing
• Red patches, spots, or pimples on the skin
• Scabby, crusty, or thickened skin
• Unnatural hair loss
• Chronic ear problems
• A bad skin odour
Did you know that dry, flaky, and itchy skin is the most common sign of a pet allergy – or poor skin health? If your pet is scratching a lot more than usual, perhaps it’s time for you to do some digging.
Here are some of the most common causes of itchy pet skin – and what to check for:
- Flea allergies – check your pet’s skin and general living area for signs of fleas.
- Food allergies – has your pet’s diet changed in any way recently?
- Dust mites – ensure good cleanliness in your general living & yard area.
- Allergic reactions to moulds and grass, tree, and weed pollen – be especially mindful of these when walking and exploring in new/unfamiliar territories with your pet.
The good news is it won’t take much on your part to prevent itchy pet skin and restore its natural microbial balance. All it takes is sufficient grooming, such as brushing your dog’s coat – this doesn’t only help remove dirt and things not visible to the naked eye, but also helps maintain a healthy, nourished skin.
For more severe cases, bathe your pet using a shampoo specifically designed for soothing itchy skin – we’ve found the Marltons Ultra-Med or Tea Tree shampoos to be great options for this. Besides giving you an opportunity for some quality bonding time with your pet, a proper shampoo that’s tailored to their needs will help:
- Maintain their skin’s natural oils.
- Control shedding.
- Promote a healthy, shiny coat.
- Remove dirt and odours.
- Reduce inflammation and infection.
- Strengthen your bond with your pet.
What NOT to do
Apart from over-washing your pet – believe it or not, this can do more harm than good – please don’t use dishwashing liquid (or similar) to wash them! These detergents contain aggressive cleaning agents that alter the natural pH balance of your pet’s skin and strip away the natural oils, causing allergic reactions, irritations, and infections.
Remember, healthy skin means a happy pet – and along with walkies and snuggles, a solid grooming routine is a great way of showing your care and unconditional love. Let’s keep our pets living their best life!