Dog Skin Problem Prevention

Dog skin problem prevention is a daily chore, but it can save your dog a lot of discomfort in the long run. Preventing skin problems in dogs saves you money on veterinary bills, and it can also save you a lot of time, since many skin problems are difficult to treat. Here's how you can practice dog skin problem prevention.

Preventing Dog Skin Problems Starts with Good Nutrition

One of the easiest things you can do to ensure the health of your dog's skin and coat is to make sure his diet offers adequate nutrition. Commercial dog foods are nutritionally balanced to meet your dog's needs, but of course some foods are better than others. Choose a quality food that will meet your dog's nutritional needs. You don't have to buy the most expensive food, but don't buy the cheapest food either; remember that organic foods are more filling and more rich in nutrients, and look for a food that contains omega-3 fatty acids, as these can help support your dog's skin health.

Groom Your Dog and Keep Him Clean

Grooming and hygiene are essential to the health of your dog's skin. A dirty, ungroomed dog is more susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections of the skin, and will more frequently experience dryness, itchiness and irritation. Brushing removes dirt and dust from the fur and spreads the natural oils in on your dog's skin throughout the fur, for a shining, healthy appearance. Brush and bathe your dog at least once a week.

Yeast infections of the ear are one of the most common fungal skin infections, but they're easy to prevent by keeping your dog's ears clean and dry. Trim the fur around your dog's ears and make sure you dry out the insides of your dog's ears carefully after bathing or swimming, especially if your dog has large, floppy ears. Yeast thrives in the warm and damp environment inside the ears, so keep them as dry as possible.

If your dog has especially dry and itchy skin, use a moisturizing shampoo. If your dog is susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections of the skin, medicated shampoos can help. Your vet can recommend a quality shampoo. If you don't feel the need to use a medicated dog shampoo, that's okay; just make sure the shampoo you use is formulated specifically for use on dogs.

Keep Allergies Under Control

Allergies cause most dog skin problems. Excessive licking and scratching are among the symptoms of dog skin allergies, along with rashes and fur loss. Your dog may be allergic to fleas or ticks, or to inhalant irritants or other substances like wood or wool. Allergic skin reactions are most commonly caused by contact with an allergen, but skin symptoms can appear as a result of food or inhalant allergies as well. Find out what's triggering your dog's allergies and treat the allergy to eliminate dog skin problem symptoms.