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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