Does Your Dog Have Dry Skin?

You’ve noticed your dog has dry, flaky skin. If you’re able to rule out parasites like fleas or biting lice, which can cause excessive scratching, or mange, which can lead to dry, inflamed skin, you can try to incorporate a skin and coat supplement or switch to a fish-based food to see if either improve the quality of your dog’s skin over time. Since dry skin can be indicative of an underlying health issue, if the problem persists, it’s best to take your dog to the vet to eliminate possible concerns.

What Causes Dry Skin on Your Dog?

Your dog’s dry skin could simply be caused by the environment. Just like with humans, cold weather causes dry skin in dogs. Warm environments can also dry out your dog’s skin.

Do you give your dog a bath every week? Bathing your dog too much can also contribute to dry skin. No matter how gentle a shampoo you use, the moisture in a dog’s coat is depleted with each bath, especially if you are using human shampoo. Be certain you use a shampoo and conditioner designed for dogs to reduce the risk of dry skin and decrease the frequency of the baths you give.

In some cases, dry skin can indicate nutritional deficiencies. Adding more omega-3 fatty acids may be necessary to combat dry skin in this circumstance.

Allergies or environmental factors can also play a role in skin issues. If your dog’s skin is dry and inflamed or red, this may be the case. Adding a fish oil supplement could alleviate dry, red skin but a trip to the vet for prescribed allergy medications is necessary if your dog needs immediate relief from constant scratching.

There are underlying health issues associated with dry skin that would also require veterinarian assistance. Autoimmune issues or hormonal imbalances can result in dry skin. Your vet can help narrow down to these issues with testing and hopefully rule any serious issue out.

Supplements for Dry Skin

To combat dry skin, try adding Prudence Skin and Coat or Alaska Naturals Salmon Oil or Pollock Oil for increased omega-3 fatty acid intake, which is a strong anti-inflammatory. They also help maintain the health of your dog’s skin and coat on a molecular level. Both supplements are in liquid form. You simply squirt a drop (or more depending on your dog’s size) on top of your dog’s food. They typically love the taste too.

You’ll want to try skin and coat supplements for a 60-day period in order to be able to notice the benefits. If for some reason the dry skin persists after trialing the supplements and your vet has ruled out any of the serious underlying issues like an autoimmune disorder, try switching your dog’s food to a higher quality food. Or if you’re already feeding a high-quality dog food, try changing the formula to incorporate a different protein. Any of our Feed Team members will be happy to help you select a new food for your pup!

Should You Use Training Pads with Your New Puppy?

You just picked out a new puppy and are planning out what pet supplies you need. You’ve heard mixed reviews about puppy pads, so you aren’t sure whether to include those on your list. Below we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using puppy pads with young puppies, especially those learning house training.

Training Pads for Older Dogs

It’s important to note that puppy pads are extremely useful for senior dogs or dogs with mobility or incontinence issues. If your dog is unable to walk outside to go to the bathroom, having a puppy pad available as the designated bathroom spot is necessary.

Where Does Your Puppy Live?

Very young puppies must go to the bathroom every hour or so until their bladders develop the ability to hold it for longer periods of time. They are physically incapable of holding it and will develop the ability to hold it for longer periods of time as they grow. If you live on the tenth floor of a high-rise apartment building, getting your puppy down to the grassy area on the ground floor can be a challenge.

This is where using puppy training pads comes in handy. The attractant added to the pad coaxes your puppy to use the pad and having the pads in the same spot in your apartment trains your puppy to only go to the bathroom in that area on the pad.

If you live in a house with a fenced in backyard, you’re less likely to need the training pads. As long as you’re able to let your puppy out on a regular basis (at least thirty minutes after any food or water), you shouldn’t need to incorporate training pads into the process.

However, if you are not able to let your new puppy out multiple times during the day, puppy pads are essential. Best way to keep your puppy safe is to keep him or her contained in an exercise pen and have a potty pad in one corner of the pen.

How Many Puppies are You Taking Care of?

How many puppies are in your care will also determine whether you need to use training pads or not. If you are fostering a litter of puppies, it will be almost impossible to take every one of the puppies out to potty when needed.

Many puppy fosters always opt to use an exercise pen or sectioned off safe area in the home and have puppy pads available for them to use. This also cuts down on the amount of mess to clean up.

Why Can Puppy Pads be Counterproductive Sometimes?

Using puppy pads out of convenience rather than necessity can sometimes backfire when you want to discontinue using the pads. You’ve trained your puppy in their formative development stage that the puppy pad equals going to the bathroom. This makes it difficult to teach them to associate outside as the designated potty area.

Therefore, it may take a longer time to get your puppy accustomed to using the bathroom outside. One tip to help with the transition from pads to outside is to keep a training pad outside where you want your puppy to go. Eventually, you’ll be able to remove the pad from the yard, and your puppy will be potty trained.