Skin Conditions in Pets

How can the right foods help?

Some skin conditions can be cleared up quickly while others need lifelong management.  The good news is, most pets with skin conditions can be helped if you feed the right food, even if the cause of the condition is not dietary.  Some important nutrients that can help heal and protect your pet’s skin include:

Protein

High-quality protein provides the building blocks to repair damaged skin.  Feeding unique protein sources, such as venison or duck can also help reduce reaction in pets with a food allergy or intolerances to more common ingredients.

Essential Fatty Acids

A diet containing high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, found naturally in fish oil, will help nourish and protect your pet’s skin, prevent dryness and help control inflammation.

Antioxidants

Vitamin E and other antioxidants are vital in helping to maintain your pet’s healthy immune system, and protect it from cellular oxidation caused by free radicals.

Combining these nutrients in a single pet food provides a convenient way to manage your pet’s skin condition.

What causes skin conditions?

Your veterinarian may recommend tests to identify the exact reasons for your pet’s skin condition.  Common causes include:

Allergies Your pet may be allergic to either food or environmental factors like dust, pollen or mold.
Parasites Fleas, lice and mites can all cause mild to sever skin irritations.
Hormonal imbalances Pets with too much or too little of a certain hormone are prone to skin problems
Infections Bacterial infections can cause skin problems

Does my pet have a skin condition?

Your pet’s skin should be smooth and soft with no flaking, redness or signs of irritation, it should be neither too dry, not too oily and have no areas of hair loss.  Signs of skin disease can include the following:

  • Red patches, spots or pimple
  • Scabs, crusts or thickened skin
  • Hair loss
  • Flaky or scaly patches
  • Bad skin odor
  • Itching, scratching, licking or rubbing.

Important note: Skin discomfort can have many causes.  If your pet is showing signs of irritation, contact our office and we can diagnose the condition.

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