Dandruff, Dry and scurfy skin issues

Posted: one year ago Quote #49
Dandruff and scurfy skin in dogs

The skin is the largest organ in both our body and our dog’s body.  If your dog is suffering with dry, scurfy skin there is usually an underlying reason for this and many illnesses or nutritional deficiencies will first show up in the skin.

Four of the main reasons for skin issues & natural solutions that can help a dog with dry, scurfy skin are:

When a skin problem is first apparent this is the place to begin investigating.  Many dry dog foods have very little water and your dog may simply not be drinking enough to stay hydrated.  Other problems associated with many commercial, pre-prepared dog foods is that they contain many fillers to bulk up the volume.  These are often corn or grain based fillers and aggravate many dogs.  The problems they cause present as skin issues.  Raw feeding is one way to tackle this – also known as a species appropriate diet.  It means taking your dog back to basics and offering raw meat, bones and offal as the main part of their diet.  Some also offer fresh, raw herbs and vegetables as part of their feeding regime. This works well, as in the wild dogs eat the stomach contents of their prey – which usually contain plant and vegetable matter.

If you aren’t in a position to go raw just yet, or simply not ready to then there are many grain free dog foods out there that you can chose from.

Any pet that is suffering with a skin complaint including dandruff and/or scurf should receive a fatty acid supplement.  It can be beneficial for all dogs (and cats) to receive these on a daily basis even if there is no skin condition.  With regards to skin complaints, essential fatty acids help eliminate inflammation and helps to improve skin moisture.  One familiar and affordable Omega-3 rich fatty acid is fish oil.  These are also very palatable for your dog who will usually happily eat food that has fish oils on it.  Another very beneficial and affordable skin supplement is Evening Primrose oil – this will help your dogs skin condition from the inside out.  It has major benefit for the skin.  Salmon oil is a very popular choice too and has many other major health benefits.

Very important for all dogs to prevent as well as treat skin issues.  Firstly your dog should be brushed regularly – even if they are shorthaired.  This stimulates the skin and helps to remove dead skin cells and helps to evenly distribute the skin’s natural oil.

Shampoo and conditioner should be a firm part of your grooming routine.  Recommendations are to bathe your dog about once every month.  You may find you have a dog that needs it a little earlier than this or a little later.  But routine bathing should definitely be in place.

Choose your shampoo wisely.  Dogs with skin issues shouldn’t have any harsh detergents used on them.  Look for something that is free of nasties and has ingredients that will help your dog and their skin issue.  Health Mutt sell three kinds of sls and paraben free organic shampoo – both have different properties for helping your dogs coat and skin stay healthy, all contain aloe vera which is soothing and healing for the skin.  You can see those shampoo’s here.

A conditioner is important as it doesn’t just make the coat nice and soft it can help condition the skin.  A superior conditioner will have oils in it to help soften the skin and provide relief from dry, itchy skin.  Health Mutt’s conditioner is due to be launched very soon and has 4 different types of oil in it.
Posted: one year ago Quote #50
Emotional wellbeing
Stress can play havoc with a dog’s skin.  Take a minute to check that stress isn’t causing your dog’s skin issues.  Things that can put a dog’s emotional well-being under stress can include:

Surgery, boredom, separation anxiety, dislike or fear of another pet in the home, moving home, new home, being in a rescue and many more.

Read more about your dog’s emotional well-being here.

Your dog’s coat is an indicator of one aspect of their health, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional and all dogs will suffer a skin complaint at some time (just like humans).  Catching it early can stop it from spreading.  But even once it’s progressed with the right care it can be easily reversed.

As usual this is in no way intended to replace diagnosis by a qualified vet.  Any dog with a prolonged skin condition should visit a vet for a diagnosis.