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Your dog’s diet does a lot more than just provide them with energy. It also helps them to obtain and maintain a healthy body condition. Not all dog food is created equal, and some can actually make your dog’s skin and coat condition go bad. So how do you know what is the best food for your dog? With a little trial and error and some research, you are sure to be able to find the perfect food for your dog’s needs.
How To Help A Dogs Itchy Skin
What Ingredients Are In Your Food?
Commercial pet food companies sometimes put a big emphasis on skin and coat condition in the title of their food. Some foods claim to be designed to enhance skin and coat, but what is in them that makes the company make these claims? Ingredients with Omega 3 fatty acids have a tendency to make skin healthy and gives off extra oils to make coats shiny.
If your food isn’t working for your pet, there is a chance that they are actually allergic to one of the ingredients in the food. If your pet has a slight skin allergy to an ingredient, it can present itself as a rash, flaky skin, itchy patches, and more. It can be a long and difficult process to figure out what your pet is actually allergic to, and can become expensive. You will want to consult your vet to see what the best course of action might be before jumping all over the place with your pet food choices. They might have some common ingredients that you can start with an elimination diet to see if it helps to improve your pet’s condition. Knowing where to start is half the battle.
High In Protein
A diet that is high in protein might help your dog maintain a healthier coat. Research has shown that 25-30% of the protein in your dog’s diet actually goes to help them maintain a healthy coat and skin. That’s a lot of protein! When you think about it, the skin is a dog’s largest organ. Just like a human, the skin covers the entire outside of the body. Plus, a dog’s fur is made out of 95% protein. In order to maintain something that is 95% protein, you will need to put more protein into the dog’s system. It’s just basic science.
Animal Based Protein
Not all proteins are created equal. Think of a wild dog. A wild dog hunts and eats other animals. If they are not able to hunt, then they might resort to eating plants and berries and other food sources. First and foremost, they are hunters. Now, that is not to say that a dog can’t survive on a vegetarian diet. They actually can, and some are happier that way. Most dogs prefer animal-based proteins in their diet. The amino acids in chicken and beef based foods match up better with a dog’s natural diet than the proteins found in plants and soy products. The animal-based proteins give dogs a higher gloss to their coat and help them to maintain healthy skin cells.
We’ve all heard about healthy fatty acids and how they help us by now. The same holds true for dogs. In order to maintain a healthy coat and skin condition, dogs need the proper balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These ingredients help to moisturize the skin from the inside out, giving it a healthy glow. They also help to reduce any inflammation that your dog might be experiencing. Itchy skin conditions can stem from inflammation, and the Omega 3 and 6 acids can help to calm that down. Look for a food that contains salmon as an ingredient or other natural sources of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Studies have also shown that Omega 3 fatty acids have the ability to help the skin block out other allergens in the environment from entering the skin and irritating it further. This means that if your dog has an external allergy to something in the environment, increasing their fatty acids may help them fight off the allergens, leaving you with a happier pet.
What To Look For
When reading the list of ingredients in your dog’s food, you should be able to recognize most of them. There should not be a lot of ingredients that sound like they were manufactured, but rather things like chicken, beef, stock, and other ingredients that sound like real food. If you can see ingredients like flaxseed and fish oils included in the ingredients, it means that someone thought about the fatty acid content of the food and wanted to add a little extra boost for your dog’s skin and coat. This is a great sign that you are looking at a food that is going to give you good results.
A good diet can actually make or break the condition of your dog’s skin and coat. Making sure that you pick the right food with the right ingredients will help your dog to stay healthy and comfortable. A healthy happy dog is less likely to encounter health issues along the way, saving you money and heartbreak. Look for a dry food that contains about 10-20% fat, plus extra vitamins and minerals. Animal proteins will give your dog a diet that is based more on their natural feeding behaviors, but check with your veterinarian to see if a vegetarian diet might be right for your dog. Start off feeding a good dog food and never look back.