Senior Dogs Skin and Hair Health

Older dogs usually show their age in their coat; it can become less glossy,  and show gray or white hairs, especially around the eyes and snout. Older dogs  can have drier skin and more dandruff than puppies and younger dogs. With these  problems comes increased itching and possible rashes if the dog licks or worries  his paws or belly due to the dry condition of his skin. One solution to this  problem is salmon oil or fatty acid supplements, which will increase the overall  condition and shine of the coat. However, don’t think that a simple fatty acid  pill will solve the problem if your dog’s overall diet is of poor quality. The  best way to avoid skin problems is to feed your dog a high-quality food. In  addition, canned salmon and raw eggs can add healthy proteins and fats to your  senior dog’s diet.

If your dog has upset his skin to the point of redness  or swelling, it’s time to intervene. You may need an e-collar from your  veterinarian for a week or two so that his sores can heal. You can also treat  him with hydrocortisone and Neosporin, as long as he can’t lick the medicine  off. Treat him each day for up to two weeks while he’s wearing the collar, and  then keep track of him afterward. Some allergens such as grass can increase his  discomfort, so be careful how much time you allow him to be outside if he is  having skin problems.

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