Just how healthy is your dog’s skin and coat? What do you need to watch out for to avoid dog dry skin and how can you help your dog if their skin does become dry?
How to keep that tail wagging by avoiding dry skin
Just how healthy is your dog’s skin and coat? Are you confident that they’re feeling fit as a fiddle? Do you know how to spot the signs of doggie skin irritation? And what do you need to watch out in the warmer months when it comes to canine skincare? From dog dry skin to sore paws, this week we’re blogging about how to make sure your dog feels more comfortable in their skin all summer long.
Before heading out in the summer sunshine, it’s pretty likely that you consider your skin. Though you may not wear SPF every day, it’s likely that you know it’s important to consider protection if you’re going to be outdoors for long.
But what about dogs? What should you be watching out for when it comes to doggie skincare? Let’s take a closer look at what a healthy skin and coat looks like in summertime – and what to do when common hiccups like dog dry skin or a dull coat occur.
Healthy dog skin checklist
- Skin can be pink, black, grey or brown – depending on their colour.
- Pest free – no fleas, mites or ticks.
- Clean and flake-free.
Signs your dog’s skin needs a helping hand
- Flakes or scurf
- Crusty areas
- Red or inflamed skin
- Spotty skin
Protect from within for healthy summer skin
Warmer, drier weather and lots of sunshine tend to mean more walkies – happy days for dogs! But they can also dry your dog’s skin and coat. One of the best ways to keep them in top form is to provide the right combination of Omega 3 and 6 oils to maintain a healthy skin and coat.
YuMEGA Dog, our premium skin and coat supplement, is packed with exactly the right blend, and is proven to improve condition in 3-6 weeks. What’s more, it’s recommended by thousands of vets, breeders and owners – so could be a great first port of call to protect their skin and coat in summertime. Even if your dog is getting some of this nutrition in their diet, providing a supplement with a specially balanced combination of the right oils helps to fully support their skin and coat condition.
Dogs with hay fever
A good Omega 3 & 6 oil – like YuMEGA Itchy Dog – can also help dogs with another common seasonal skin wobble, doggie hay fever! There’s more about it in this article, but in brief, these clever oils support your dog's skin health by increasing essential fatty acids that can be lacking in their diet. These fatty acids help to replenish your dog's skin barrier. And that’s good news, because a strong barrier reduces the likelihood of allergens entering their system through their skin, discouraging itching. and inflammation.
What about sunburn and dogs?
Can dogs tan? In a word, yes. If your dog has dark skin and a fine coat, you might have noticed that their pigmentation gets deeper in summertime. Conversely, dogs with pale coats can get sunburn. Though it’s a good idea to keep your dog out of the hottest midday sun, it’s not always practical, so protect areas with short or no fur – noses, ears and bellies if they sunbathe – with a dog-safe SPF. Just like with people, remember to reapply if they have a swim!
Human SPF and dogs
Though some people use human sunscreen on dogs, we don’t recommend it. Your dog may lick the cream off, and some human formulations contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, including para-aminobenzoic acid and zinc oxide – there’s more on ingredients to watch out for in this article. Fragrances can be irritating to your dog’s skin too, so best to be safe.
Other summer skin worries for dogs
Some dogs love to chase insects, and can get a nasty surprise if they meet a wasp or bee. If they get stung, try and remove the stinger with tweezers, then calm the sting with a soothing, antibacterial spray – we use YuCARE Eye Spray. If your dog has been stung more than once, contact your vet for advice.
Hot pavements can lead to really sore paws, so keep an eye on them and consider protecting them with YuCARE Skin Balm. We generally go by the rule of if it’s too hot to walk on a pavement barefoot, it’s too hot for a dog walk – so do your best friend a favour and share an ice lolly in the shade instead!
What does a healthy coat look like?
This depends, again, on their breed and type. These dogs’ coats are all healthy: In most breeds and mixes, some moulting or shedding is healthy and normal – especially in late spring and early summer. However, if you spot bald batches, the coat feels dry or oily, or they smell different to normal, it could be a sign that something’s not quite right.
Healthy coat checklist
- Full and complete, with no new thin areas or bald patches.
- Feels good – pliable and smooth, even if they’re a wiry coated breed.
- Smells OK – maybe not of roses, but not bad either!
Signs their coat needs support
- Dryness and split ends – yes, dogs get them too!
- Dullness and lack of shine if they’re not a wire-coat.
- Feels greasy or oily.
- Smells oily, greasy, ‘doggy’, sour or wrong for them – if they haven’t been rolling in something stinky!
- Excess moulting – more on moulting in this article.
Top tips to boost coat quality
- Avoid too many baths – try not to bathe your dog more than once a month to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils.
- Omega 3 & 6 supplements like YuMEGA Dog and YuMEGA Itchy Dog don’t just help doggy dry skin – they’re great for coats, too.
- Try a coat booster like YuMEGA Boost – especially if the coat is thin or they’ve moulting excessively.
- Investigate their diet – a dull coat can be a sign of sensitive digestion.
Skin and hair red flags – when to visit your vet
If you spot any of the following, it’s worth talking to your vet. Though many skin and coat niggles can often be simply solved through nutrition and changes to your routine, some can be a sign that there’s something more serious going on...
Lumps and bumps
Don’t worry or assume the worst – most lumps are benign cysts, warts or skintags – but do always get your vet to check.
Changes in pigmentation
Like humans, dogs can get skin cancer, so watch out for changes in pigmentation. An overall darkening of a large area (tanning) is probably fine, but suddenly changing or appearing spots – like human moles – are a cause for a check up.
A single hotspot that heals quickly is usually nothing to worry about, but if your dog has more than one – or gets them regularly – it could be a sign of an allergy, food sensitivity or underlying issues, especially if your dog is older and has never had hotspots before.
Alopecia (bald patches)
This can be caused by over-grooming (licking and chewing at an area) and hormonal changes (‘throwing the coat’ when a female is pregnant or in heat), but can also be the result of ringworm, ticks or fleas.
Are there any other skin and coat care topics that you’d like to know more about? Or do you have some ideas for coat care to share? We always love to hear from you, so please do leave a comment below – or say hello on our Facebook page.