A dog’s skin and coat are a barometer to his overall health. Soft, shiny coat and supple skin without redness or flakiness are signs of a healthy dog but dry itchy skin, brittle rough coat, redness, scratching and hair loss are all indications that your dog may not be feeling at his best and may need a visit to the vet’s. Skin and coat ‘issues’ are all signs of what could be a variety of health issues in dogs ranging from allergies, parasites, infections, illness, side effects and nutritional deficiencies.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and acts as a protective barrier between the external and internal environment. It also gives mechanical support to the body, acts as a neurosensory receptor, helps regulate body temperature, etc. To have a glossy healthy coat, your dog needs healthy skin. The hair coat acts an insulator between your dog’s skin and the external environment protecting him from the cold in winter and from the sun and heat in summer.
Dog coats are of various types and different breeds can have any or combination of some of the common types given below:
Smooth Coat: The coat is thick and plush with long smooth hair without any curl to it. Breeds like Labrador, Beagle, Doberman, Boxer, etc. all have smooth coat. This type of coat is fairly easily maintained with regular brushing and bathing usually once a month is enough.
Long Silky Coat: These dogs have long, flowing silky coats that need frequent grooming to prevent knots and keep the coat shiny. Afghan Hound, Irish Setter, Silky Terrier are some of the breeds with this coat.
Wiry Coat: The coat is bristle-like wiry and feels coarse to the touch. A lot of Terriers, Schnauzers and Wire-Haired Dachshunds have a wiry coat. This type of coat needs regular and expert grooming including hand stripping the coat.
Curly Coat: The coat can have either tight curls like a Poodle or wavy curls like Irish Water Spaniel. Other breeds include Curly Coated Retriever, Bedlington Terrier and Bichon Frise. This type of coat like wiry coat requires expert and regular grooming.
Double Coat: A double coat refers to two layers or types of coat- a medium length outer coat which is soft and silky and a shorter fuzzy undercoat the acts as a protective insulator. German Shepherd (GSD), Newfoundland, Bernese Mountain Dog all have this kind of coat. Regular brushing with appropriate brushes keeps this coat manageable.
Hairless: As the name suggest, these dogs are practically hairless and have very little coat or very fine hair on the body. Mexican Hairless and Chinese Crested are examples of hairless breeds. These dogs are very easy maintenance and ideal for people with allergies to pet dander.
Your dog will always benefit from a high- quality diet with the right supplements. Some of the essential elements needed for healthy skin and coat are:
Protein: Hair is made mostly of protein so sufficient protein in the diet is absolutely necessary for healthy coat. Up to 30% of the dog’s daily protein requirement can be used for coat growth at certain times. Give your dog good quality food and dietary supplements like Venttura Fur+ and Venttura Amino+ to promote healthy skin & coat.
Omega Fatty Acids: These are essential fatty acids that are needed in the diet since the body cannot make them. These help in combating inflammation and support skin and coat health. Give Venttura Omega+ for glossy coat, smooth skin overall health benefits.
Zinc and Copper: Zinc improves immunity and integrity of skin and helps maintenance of healthy skin and coat. Copper is required for production of pigments in the colour of hair.
Vitamins A, C & E: Vitamin A is required for formation of keratin, the protein that makes up hair. Vitamins C & E act as antioxidants and maintain skin smoothness and function. Vitamin C is needed to form collagen which is an essential part of skin.
Biotin: Helps support hair quality, improves hair structure and reduces brittleness. Improves coat shine and smoothness.
Choosing the right supplements like Venttura Fur+, that has been formulated with all the nutrients needed for improving skin & coat, and Venttura Omega+ and Venttura Amino+ along with an adequate diet will help your dog achieve a shiny coat and supple healthy skin that exudes good health.