Archive for August, 2009
Good dog skin care is as vital as a good dog diet. At Natural Dog Skin Care we explore ways to avoid and treat common skin problems such as hot spots, dry scaly skin, cuts, inflammation, eczema … and pretty much anything that makes your precious pooch go itchy scratchy. We’ll explore the natural ways to a dog’s healthy and silky coat and skin.
Inside. Outside. If the inside is healthy, the outside will show it. I am talking about the condition of your dog’s health and the appearance of her coat and skin.
One of the fundamentals of natural dog skin care is a good diet. In recent years new brands have appeared on the shelves of pet stores with improved ingredients and nutrient value, but what is truly interesting is the increasing number of pet parents who choose to cook for their for their furry family members.
People who already cook for themselves just put on an extra pot alongside theirs which is now doggie’s pot. That takes me back to my years of growing up. We had pets – both cats and dogs. My favorite was Molly. Molly was a dog; she was a beauty of indeterminate breed but for sure there must have been some black lab and border collie too! Her skin was soft, slightly wavy and so shiny and she was forever playful, full of spunk and always eager to please. She was super friendly. I now know that she was also super healthy.
When I took Molly for walks people would come up to pat her and often commented on her soft and silky coat. Of course, mom cooked for her and all our pets. We lived in Japan back then and ready made dog food was not easy to obtain – yes, it was that long ago!
Mom’s “pet cuisine” would often be based on rice, into which she would throw vegetables and meat. The meat would be scraps she picked up at the butcher’s or the fish store. The meat was mostly cheaper cuts of beef but sometimes there was chicken and on the rare occasion lamb, but it was fish which got thrown most often into that pot. Honestly, it was as good as the food that was put on our table to eat, the only thing is that it was bland as mom did not add any seasonings to her doggie deli dishes.
It is no wonder that Molly was so healthy. The food that she ate was nutritious. There were no fillers, no ground up produce masquerading as food – there was just good, wholesome food. The rice provided carbohydrates, the meat and fish protein, the vegetables enzymes and the added bonus was the omega 3 fatty acids from the fish which of course is the reason her coat was so silky and shiny. Without knowing, mom was practicing the most fundamental steps of good dog skin care.
Today’s food does not pack the nutrient value of those years so if you decide to be the chef de chien cuisine, you may want to add some supplements too. You can find plenty of recipes for home made dog food on the internet. Here’s to your and your dog’s good health!
Brushing, bathing and clipping certainly contribute to your precious’ silky and smooth skin and coat, but it’s a little bit more than just pampering that is needed for your furry friend to sport a healthy and vibrant appearance.
The Five Dog Skin Care Basics:
1. Diet: It is not just we humans who are what we eat – so are our dogs. A good nutritious diet is the best way to ensure that your dog stays strong and healthy. Select foods that mimic as closely as possible how a dog would eat in the wild: protein, carbs, vegetable and some fat. Fat is essential for a healthy skin and promotes a shiny coat.
2. Exercise: Take your dog for a daily walk – twice if you can squeeze in the time. Ideally a good, brisk walk in the morning and another in the evening, each of a half hour in length or more. Your dog will be happy and it will do wonders for your own figure. If your work schedule makes this difficult arrange for a dog walker to pop in and take doggie out for a good lengthy stroll during the day. Activity is good for circulation which in turn is good for the skin.
3. Daily Brushing: Even five minutes of gentle brushing stimulates the oil glands in the skin and nourishes the coat. A good brushing also detangles long haired coats and loosens dead hair, it is also an effective way to rid the coat of brambles, dirt and unwelcome insects and bugs that doggie may have picked up on his romp in the woods.
4. Shampoo: Use a good quality shampoo with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, papaya or aloe. If your dog has dry, itchy skin select a shampoo that has a moisturizing ingredient. Pet shampoos with a smidgin of tea tree oil are also effective in keeping mites at bay.
5. Take action at first sign of a skin problem: At certain times of the year our pets are more susceptible to picking up parasites such as fleas, ticks and other nasty bugs. A dog that is flea ridden itches and scratches a lot and can develop sores which worsen as the condition continues. Take appropriate steps to rid your dog of these pests.
If you notice that your dog has developed a skin problem and is not responding to the above basic principles of good dog skin care, you may want to apply a natural pet balm to the affected area. Look for a balm with ingredients that have healing properties such as tepezcohuite and aloe. If all fails - schedule a visit to the vet