Many dogs struggle with looking and feeling their best, especially when they are under stress or as they age, with hormonal changes like pregnancy or nursing, or as they develop chronic health concerns like diabetes or arthritis.
Conflicting information abounds on the internet; everywhere you look suggests different ways of handling it. It can be hard to wade through it all and find something that can truly work for your pooch.
Advanced Skin And Coat Chews: Fantastic Nutrition For A Beautiful Dog
Some sources suggest helpful ideas, like regular thorough brushing with a natural bristle brush or using products containing colloidal oatmeal to soften and heal his skin.
Others are citing sources of dubious validity and it is best to avoid them.
We know you love and adore your pet and want what is best for him. We do too!
So we work hard to provide you with clear science in support of every ingredient we use in our products. Our goal is always purity and quality and ease of use.
Our line of healthcare products now includes an amazing addition specifically for your dog’s coat and skin. It contains every essential component you would expect from our other nutrition-packed vitamin products and is safe and effective.
Why Should I Be Using Advanced Skin And Coat Chews For My Dog?
Your dog’s coat and skin are a good benchmark to determine his overall health. It is the largest, most visible part of his body, and knowing how it functions and what his hair and fur are supposed to look and feel like can help you spot any problems before they get worse.
Some breeds of dogs are more prone to skin problems and may need more oversight to avoid long-term health issues. Spaniels, poodles, bulldogs, beagles, and retrievers are notorious for developing yeast infections and localized irritations.
If your dog has a food allergy he may also be significantly more likely to struggle with dry, flaky skin and dull, dry hair.
Whether you and your pup have one or more of these concerns or not, it is still vital that you be on the lookout for the early health cues your dog’s coat and skin are displaying. It could be a sign of larger underlying conditions, and early detection can be essential in providing adequate treatment.
Your Dog’s Skin
The skin is the largest organ of your dog’s body. Its many essential functions fall into three broad categories: protection, regulation, and sensation. It is the barrier between his vital organs and the world.
- Protects him against infections and parasites
- Guards against the elements
- Helps him maintain a stable internal environment (especially with regards to temperature)
- Prevents the loss of moisture from inside his body
- Allows him to feel changes in temperature and touch
The skin is actually composed of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It is formed by layers of flattened cells resting on top of one another. This is what guards your dog’s body against the pathogens of his environment.
It is also the layer responsible for water exchange: it is water-resistant and only allows so much moisture from the environment, while also regulating the water that is allowed out through transepidermal water loss.
It also contains melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin and give your dog’s skin its color.
The dermis is the second (and thickest) layer of skin. It contains the tough, fibrous, elastic connective tissue that protects your dog from injury. This is also where his sweat glands, sensory nerves, many blood vessels, and hair follicles are located.
One important feature of the dermis is the sebaceous glands. These are microscopic exocrine glands (meaning things only come out of them, nothing can go in) that secrete sebum. Sebum is made of triglycerides and fatty acids. It is the essential oily, waxy chemical compound that moisturizes the skin and makes it waterproof. It also protects against skin-on-skin friction irritation while your dog moves.
The hypodermis is primarily for fat storage. It contains loose connective tissue and globs of adipose tissue (connected fat cells).
It is also where the large blood vessels and nerves lie, as well as an important part of his immune system called macrophages. These cells immediately attack intruders and keep your pet healthy.
If you have ever gotten a vaccine, or given yourself insulin, hormone, or medication shots, you are familiar with the hypodermis. It is where the name of the type of needles you used came from- hypodermic refers to the bottom layer of the skin, the fatty tissue with limited blood flow that allows your body to slowly absorb the medicine injected into it.
Your Dog’s Fur
Your dog’s fur is made up of dead skin cells and the super-tough protein keratin. It grows from the hair follicle, located in the dermis (the second layer of skin), and sometimes each follicle can have several hairs growing out of it (which is different than in a human- each of your hair follicles only has one hair!).
Dogs have many types of hair, with some layers depending on their breed: an undercoat, guard hairs, and whiskers. They are absolutely essential to your dog’s health and survival.
The undercoat is the soft, fluffy, lighter-colored hair closest to his skin. It acts very similarly to down, the soft baby feathers that keep birds warm.
Not all dogs have an undercoat. This layer is often found in breeds that originate from very cold places, like Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies.
The undercoat sheds constantly as new hairs replace older ones. Most dogs with an undercoat also experience two large-scale sheds a year: in the fall, as they gear up for a long cold winter, and again in the spring when they no longer need the extra warmth.
The topcoat or outer layer consists of guard hairs. They lie flat on top of the undercoat. It is an essential layer of water-resistant insulation. The hairs in this layer are typically coarser and longer, and this is what generally determines the dog’s appearance.
Interestingly, each hair follicle in a dog with an undercoat has one guard hair surrounded by 12 to 15 smaller undercoat hairs.
The whiskers (called vibrissae) have a fascinating use: they are like an extra sense! They help your dog judge where he is in his space, as well as alert him when things are close to his face. They can also communicate to the world around him: dogs will often reflexively flare their whiskers when they are feeling threatened.
It is important to note that whiskers are actually NOT part of your dog’s fur, though they share many structural characteristics. Vibrissae have nerve endings in them and are in part directed by the nervous system. They do not have pain receptors, so they are not hurting your dog when he bends one or if they get cut, but it can be disorienting for him to lose one- so it is best to leave his whiskers alone.
Why His Skin And Coat May Be Unhealthy
Your dog’s skin should not be flaky or dry, and it should not be overly greasy. There should be no sore spots or acne marks.
His coat should be pliable and smooth to the touch. If you feel the ends of his hair are larger than the root and they feel tough and brittle, it is likely he has split ends (just like a human hair) and may need a trip to the groomer.
His fur should not be bristly and rough. It should look shiny and lustrous.
It should smell good too, even when it is not freshly washed. Any unusual odors, like that of yeast or rancid oils, necessitate a call to your veterinarian to determine if it is the hair or the skin putting off the scent.
Note any excessive shedding as well.
There are many factors that can contribute to your dog’s hair and skin not being as healthy as they can be:
- Allergies, whether to something ingested (like food or medicine) or to environmental factors (like soaps and yard spray)
- Skin infections (bacterial, viral, and fungal)
- Skin cancers or tumors
- Decreased liver function (or other vital organ dysfunction that can cause a buildup of enzymes and bile salts on the skin)
- Parasites, whether external like fleas or ticks or internal like worms
- Chronic illness that can cause skin hypersensitivity
- An imbalance of hormones (especially during pregnancy)
- Anxiety may manifest as your dog chewing and scratching at his skin, causing sores and hair loss
- Nutritional deficiencies
It is not always easy to determine why your dog looks like he has unhealthy hair and skin. If you need advice or have questions, ask your veterinarian. He may have suggestions or can run tests to figure out what the underlying cause is.
How Do They Work?
The single most important aspect of your dog’s coat and skin looking and feeling great is nutrition.
Food-related nutritional deficiencies can be caused by:
- Low-quality commercial dry dog food
- Low fat intake, or low-quality fats
- Poor quality protein
- High levels of heavy metals or other toxins that may block absorption of vitamins and minerals
- Loss of gut flora, the probiotic yeast, and bacteria that live in his digestive tract
- Lack of digestive enzymes
- Inability to absorb nutrients from food
- Unwillingness or inability to eat sufficient amounts of food
The best thing to do first, of course, is to increase the available nutrition of the food he is eating.
Your Dog’s Food
You can try offering better dry food as a staple. Pay close attention to the macronutrient profile (carbohydrates, fats, and protein) as well as the fruit and vegetable content.
Look for one with whole-food ingredients with a specifically named animal protein at the top of the list. Ingredients are listed by weight, so a quality protein at the top means that makes up the bulk of the food. Protein meal can be in the ingredients too and does not necessarily denote a lack of quality.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can augment your dog’s diet and offer valuable nutrients. This can be present in the food (you may often see blueberries, apples, kale, or sweet potatoes in the ingredients list) or you can supplement with human food- or both! Many of the same produce you eat is great for your pet, like spinach, pumpkin, bananas, and cranberries.
Try and make sure the plant matter is whole, especially if it is high on the ingredients list.
Grains are a source of some contention in the canine feeding world, but if you do feed your dog grains make sure they are whole and unprocessed. Corn, soy, and wheat appear in many dog foods, but they are generally lower-quality byproducts leftover from the production of human foods.
Try to look for a carbohydrate source like peas, oats, rice, or barley. Beans, like chickpeas, can also be a great source of carbohydrates and also provide essential amino acids and nutrients.
Fats, while constantly in and out of the dietary spotlight for humans, are vital to your dog’s overall health. Your pup can not absorb nutrients without fats. Common sources for fats include fish oil, flaxseed, and solid animal fats (like chicken or pork). Many pet owners and veterinarians also suggest adding a hefty dose of coconut oil to his dog food.
Additions And Supplements
If your dog has a lackluster coat or itchy, angry skin, you are probably in a hurry to fix the problem. You may have immediately jumped online to search quick and effective methods of calming his inflammation and redness or filling in his bald patches.
It is important to note that these are often signs of a bigger problem, though, and addressing the underlying nutritional deficiencies (or conditions) causing it will contribute to his overall health and well-being.
Talk to your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your dog’s diet. Some may change the way his body metabolizes prescription medications or treatments like immunotherapy.
The first thing to do to attempt to fix a dull coat and dry skin are more fatty acids. Our Advanced Skin and Coat Chews contain wild Alaskan salmon oil, which is a superior source of fish oil. It is chock-full of omega-3s, which are one of the types of fatty acids essential to good health.
The other type of fatty acid is omega-6, but it is in almost everything you and your dog eat and it is very rare for our diets to be short in omega-6s.
Our coat and skin chews contain all three main types of omega-3 fatty acids for a complete well-rounded fat intake:
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
B vitamins are another popular supplement for dogs with skin and coat issues. Of these, biotin is considered the gold standard for hair, skin, and nails, and is significantly better coming from food sources instead of a manufactured source in a pill.
Leafy green vegetables provide a decent amount of what your dog needs daily, and adding Brewer's yeast to his diet will fill in any gaps in his recommended intake.
Zinc is an essential mineral that many dogs on lower-quality food (particularly with cheap filler meat meals instead of pure meat sources of protein) are deficient in. It is naturally present in animal meat, dairy, nuts and seeds, and legumes.
If you wish to supplement your dog’s diet with zinc, try oysters! They provide more zinc than any other food source possible. Red meat and other forms of seafood are also very high in zinc.
We make the effort to be the best in the industry. Our Advanced Skin And Coat Chews are:
- Ethically sourced and environmentally friendly, made from sustainable ingredients and produced responsibly
- Packaged in BPA-free bottles
- Free of artificial flavors and preservatives. They only use all-natural ingredients.
- Made in the United States so they are subject to strict production and labeling guidelines, ensuring you know exactly what is in our products
All of our products come standard with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Because we know that you are busy, we made giving your dog the best nutrition simple with our Advanced Skin And Coat Chews. Using them is easy: just feed your dog a few chews based on his weight. Dogs up to 35 pounds get two chews per day, 36 to 75-pound dogs get three chews, and dogs larger than that get four. It’s quick and painless! They taste like salmon so he is absolutely going to love them. No more force-feeding him slices of cheap cheese wrapped around a gargantuan vitamin pill!
Your dog does not need to struggle with his coat and skin anymore. Ask your veterinarian to rule out any underlying chronic health conditions, feed him high-quality nutrition-packed foods, and make sure to keep a supply of Advanced Skin And Coat Chews on hand.
Your dog will be looking and feeling his best in no time!
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