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Skin and Coat Care: Importance and Function


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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When a dog confidently walks into the clinic with a sleek, shiny haircoat, rippling with every movement, we can’t help but think that his owner is taking great care of him, from nutrition, to grooming, to flea and tick control.

Supple Healthy Skin:
Healthy skin provides a barrier against harmful microorganisms like bacteria and yeast. Once the skin is inflamed or broken, it can be much easier for these organisms to multiply and cause infection. Fatty acids produced by oil glands in the skin form a protective barrier and help reduce the amount of moisture that is lost from the skin. The skin has many other functions as well, including immune regulation, the storage of electrolytes and fats, and the production of Vitamin D. Healthy skin is essential to a healthy animal, and in our experience, few things can make a dog feel more miserable than itchy, inflamed, and/or infected skin.

For a healthy, glossy haircoat...
Our top recommendation is Premium Plus Skin & Coat Liquid. We formulated this product with safflower oil, a premium source of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is the primary Omega-6 fatty acid and associated with maintaining the lipid layer of skin and supports proper function of the sebaceous (oil) glands.

Did you know...
a glossy haircoat reflects more sunlight and is a better insulator?

Glossy Haircoat:
Although the hair that makes up your pet’s coat is no longer considered living, the hair follicles from which the hairs develop are very active and alive. A primary function of your pet’s hair is to help with temperature regulation. A full, clean, well-groomed coat will provide much better insulation than a sparse matted one. It will also help protect the skin from the sun and environmental pollutants.

Keeping Skin and Coat Healthy:
Since hair is primarily protein, healthy skin and coat begin with proper nutrition. Also important are regular bathing and grooming with shampoos made especially for pets, such as our Premier System products or our other veterinary formulated shampoos. Healthy skin is parasite free. We recommend the use of flea and tick prevention products such as K9 Advantix® or Advantage® to keep it that way. Omega-3 fatty acids help support the normal immune function of the skin year-round, including the pollen season. We think our Premium Plus Omega-3 Series with two easy-to-use forms: gel caps or soft chews, is a perfect addition to a healthy skin regimen.

 

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