The Pet Drs have come together to answer your pet skin questions..
What does it mean if my dogs’ skin is dry and flaky?
Many dogs suffer from dry and flaky skin. It is commonly associated with an allergic, parasitic, or bacterial reaction to the environment, nutrition, or seasonal changes. Nevertheless, dry skin on dogs can be uncomfortable as they frequently itch, bite or lick the area.
The most common cause of skin irritation leading to dry and flaky areas are the environmental factors that include the cleaning or grooming products that you are using on your pet. Choosing a sensitive skin grooming product is essential for your pets’ skin while ensuring that there are no harsh chemicals in the grooming product will ensure their skin or coat is not further irritated or burned.
If you notice significant irritation, always get a pet health care professionals opinion on how to medically treat your pets condition.
What is a skin rash in pets? What does it look like?
A skin rash in dogs is most commonly known as Allergic Dermatitis, in which dogs have an allergic reaction to their grooming products, food or environmental irritants such as pollen or insect bites. The name “skin rash” comes from the appearance of the area of irritation as dogs will relentlessly scratch causing an ugly rash to appear.
There are a variety of creams on the market that help treat skin rashes – some designed for a significant case – however most contain steroids, chemicals or harsh ingredients that can further irritate your pets’ skin.
In some circumstances – skin rashes or irritated areas can become sore and further upset your pet. We recommend seeing your local vet as soon as you notice these signs.
How to moisturize a dog’s dry skin?
A dog’s skin is very different to a humans and that means adding moisture to a dogs dry skin is slightly different that just applying a moisturizer. A dogs skin and coat release moisture when there is no bacteria present and the hair follicles are stimulated to release natural moisturizing oils. In addition, adding moisturizing supplements to their diet specifically for their coat will help in adding moisture.
How to help release moisture to your dogs skin:
- Bath: Using a sensitive skin, calming shampoo on your pet will help calm any dry or inflamed skin. Bathing is also essential to remove any bacteria that is on your pets skin that could be preventing the natural moisture follicles from releasing their oils.
- Grooming: The frequent act of actively brushing your dogs coat will help stimulate your dogs skin follicles to release moisturizing oils.
- Supplements: One of the best ways to help improve your pets skin is by adding specific supplements into their diet. Supplements that contain Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils help add hydration to your pets skin while also improving any gut problems that relate to the skin.
What is a dog’s skin pH and what does it mean?
Many pet owners used to bath their dog with baby shampoo or dish soap however the pH level in a baby shampoo is about 150 times to acidic for a dogs skin. The pH level of a dogs skin is referring to how acidic or alkaline the skin is. A typical dog pH level sits at around 7.52 making a dogs skin edge closer to the alkaline end of the scale.
The pH level of a dogs skin is important as when the pH level is interrupted by using human products or a product that is to acidic, the dog’s skin becomes disrupted and will become irritated and susceptible to infection.
Using a pH level shampoo that is not formulated for a dog’s pH level will strip their skin of natural oils and cause dryness and irritation.
What are Hotspots?
Medically known as acute moist dermatitis, Hotspots are localised areas of skin inflammation and bacterial infection. A hotspot will often begin as a small red area that a dog owner may mistake for a insect bite. However, hotspots will rapidly get worse and spread even developing into a hot, oozing painful lesion.
Hotspots are most commonly caused from scratching, licking or chewing of the affected area. The result is the trauma to the skin causes inflammation and secondary bacterial infection.
The Pet Drs..