5 Questions You Should Ask Your Vet about Your Pet Skin Health Friday 16 October 2015 @ 10:33
Though the overall health of your pet is important, the health of its skin and coat is perhaps the most important because you and your kids caress your pet. When you first come in contact with your pet’s skin the transfer of diseases can be in both ways and so, you should be extra careful about your pet’s skin. Here are five important questions you should ask your vet so as to remain well-informed.
1. How Often Should I Bath My Dog?
Your dog should be given a good bath at least once every three months. But you should also remember that every individual, whether it is a human or a dog, is different and a rule cannot be 100% applicable to everyone.
The cleaning of your dog depends on many other factors too, like the breed of your dog, her/his skin sensitivities, whether s/he is allergic to a particular skincare product, type of your dog’s coat, season and climatic conditions, activity level of your dog, how dirty s/he becomes and also the shampoo you use. E.g. if your shampoo contains only natural and gentle ingredients which are very soft on your dog’s skin, you can confidently bathe your dog every week.
2. Is it Okay to Use a Gentle Human Shampoo for a Dog?
No! It’s because a dog’s skin is almost neutral regarding pH, just like that of water, whereas human skin is far more acidic. Therefore, the pH-balancing shampoos created for humans are extremely irritating for the dog’s skin. Moreover, the human shampoo can corrode the protective layers of the pet’s hair in the long run. This may result in irritated skin and a lifeless coat. So, better you use a dog shampoo prescribed by your vet, because the vet knows about your dog’s skin better.
3. What’s the Remedy for Flaky, Dry Skin?
Natural substances like aloe, oatmeal, tea tree oil etc are great pacifiers for skin irritation; they boost healing and moisturize dry and sensitive skin. So, they are extremely useful for dry, flaky skin. Aloe vera is renowned for its excellent soothing effect. Tea tree oil is famous as benefitting skin irritations, itching and insect bites. Therefore using these natural products on the itchy and flaky skin of your dog gives her/him relief from these skin problems. You can discuss with your vet regarding what to use amongst these.
4. What to Use for Brightening Your Dog’s Dry White Coat?
If your dog is white, it’s wonderful to look at her/him if her/his coat is shining with all its health and glory. But unfortunately this is rarely the case. The coat slowly turns yellow. Consult your vet to know about the products containing special minerals (called optical brighteners) that can keep your dog’s coat shining white. These products are soap-free and don’t wash away the topical flea medicines. And the dog need not be only white to use them. Black and other colored dogs my benefit from these products.
5. How do I Help a Dog to Ward off Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitoes?
This is a very important question depending on where you live. With the arrival of summer, you should find effective ways to fight these pests. Bathing your pet regularly with a natural, gentle shampoo is the first essential measure against fleas and ticks. You can get quality shampoos in the market for flea prevention which contain natural products like citrus oil which soothe skin and alleviate itching caused by insect bites.
Concentrated citrus oil in these shampoos brings out the natural glow of your pet’s coat and offers it a brilliant luster.
Another natural ingredient – Orange Peel Oil – is extracted from oranges and extremely effective for killing fleas.
Harlene Truong is a content writer for Gordon Vet in Ku Ring Gai. She always wanted to be a vet and she achieved her goal by completing her education from Sydney University. She is an animal lover, a pet parent and a mother of three children living happily with her husband.