A healthy animal will also have healthy skin. If dog skin problems occur, it generally indicates that the dog has an underlying condition. These conditions can be caused by multiple factors, including infections, pests, and allergies. Stress or metabolic disorders can also create problems. When a pets external appearance noticeably worsens in any way, medical help should be sought. Letting conditions become chronic can cause further damage to the health of a pet. In addition, some untreated conditions are contagious and can infest other animals. Some can even be passed to humans.
Dog skin problems are discovered by simple observation. If a dog frantically scratches or frequently licks or chews itself, these are tell-tale signs something is wrong. Another behavior a pet performs to show its discomfort is rubbing against carpets or furniture. These behaviors should signal to owners that a closer look at their pet is necessary.
If there are any scabs, scaly patches, bald spots, rashes or lesions, a veterinarian should be notified. Other reasons for concern include redness, blood, pus, swelling, lumps or discoloration. There are many different conditions that can cause these symptoms and they are best detected by a professional.
Pests may be the source of problems. The bites and droppings of fleas can create lingering irritation. Some pets may even be allergic to the saliva in a flea bite, making matters worse. In addition to this, certain flea control methods readily available on the market can be aggravating.
All kinds of infections can occur on the skin. Fungal, bacterial, or yeast infections are all possibilities. Ringworm is a common type of fungal infection. It manifests itself in bald spots, scaly patches and irritation. If these are observed, the animal should be taken in for treatment immediately. Ringworm is highly contagious and can be transmitted to both pets and humans. Any infections caused by bacteria or yeast signal a more serious underlying problem. Both normally occur only when skin has already been damaged in some other way.
Allergies can affect skin as well. These may be aggravated by naturally occurring irritants from the outdoors or allergies to food. Outdoor allergies improve or worsen with the seasons, and depend on the circulating amounts of dust, pollen, grass, or mold. Foods that typically cause reactions contain chicken, beef, soy, corn or wheat based ingredients. Food additives, such as colorings, can also be aggravating.
Problems may also have a behavioral component. A dog living in a very loud environment may experience heightened levels of stress. As a result, it may lick and gnaw at itself. It can also perform the same behaviors simply if it is bored. This is one reason why daily exercise and attention are very important for pets.
A majority of these problems can be avoided. One such method is by using only gentle and dog intended products. Pets should be fed healthy and nutritious meals with limited artificial or nutrient empty ingredients. Hypoallergenic diets are highly recommended. Make sure the dog has a quiet, calm and clean environment. This will reduce stress and make it harder for pests to thrive. Veterinarians can also provide methods to prevent parasite infestations and to treat fleas.