Help Your Dog’s Dry Flaky Skin

As you may or may not know, I love to add Dr. Becker's wisdom to my website whenever I can. The topic of dry flaky skin is particularly important during the winter months but care should be given year round so your dog or cat enjoys a healthy coat every day. So let's gain a little wisdom from the doctor;

Without This, Your Pet's Skin and Coat Can Suffer
By Dr. Karen Shaw Becker

Winter is here in most parts of the U.S., and just as cold temperatures and indoor heating tend to make your own hair and skin feel dry and flaky, the same thing can happen to furry family members. But keeping your dog's or cat's coat in healthy condition year-round, including this time of year, is probably easier than you think. More often than not, a pet's flaky skin and dry coat are due to one or more factors, including:

  • Dietary deficiencies
  • An underlying medical condition
  • Lack of regular grooming
  • Infrequent baths (or in rare cases, too frequent baths)

If your dog's or kitty's coat is in bad shape due to one or more of these causes, winter's cold temperatures and low humidity will exacerbate the problem. Your goal should be to consistently maintain your pet's skin and coat in optimum condition year-round to help avoid seasonal problems.

Insuring Your Pet's Diet Is Rich in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

Lack of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is a common cause of excessively flaky skin in pets. Dogs and cats need an abundance of omega-3s to be healthy from the inside out. Processed pet food is manufactured at very high temperatures, and since omega-3 fatty acids are sensitive to heat and light, they are inert by the time they are packaged.

Even if you feed your pet homemade raw meals, if you're not following a balanced recipe that calls for extra essential fatty acids (omega-3s from seafood), your dog's or cat's diet is probably unbalanced for fatty acids. In my experience, dietary deficiency of omega-3s is the number one cause of excessively flaky skin in pets.

Whether you feed a commercial or homemade diet, you may need to supplement with essential fatty acids. My favorite omega 3 is krill oil, but I also see good improvement in flaky coats when coconut oil (which does not contain measurable omega 3s or 6s) is supplemented.

Not only are omega-3s important for your dog or cat, so is the dietary ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s. Most pet foods, whether commercial or homemade, are rich in omega-6 fatty acids.

Because the average pet diet is heavy in omega-6s, supplementing with additional omega-6s in the form of corn, olive, safflower or even flax oil (which contains some vegetable sources of omega 3s, but also omega-6s) can create an imbalance serious enough to cause skin problems.

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If dry flakey skin can be helped or eliminated with a simple supplement, there's no reason not to give it. Our four legged friends are worth it!


Extreme Weather Can Harm or Kill Your Dog

<img src="lonely-dog-outside.jpg" alt="Lonely Dog Outside" />I don’t get it!  I don’t understand how a dog owner can leave their dog outside all the time. To me, what is the point of having a dog if he’s left outside and not allowed to be a true member of your family? My personal opinion is that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment; not only physically but also psychologically.

Dog’s are very social creatures and don’t do well in isolation. He or she probably wags their tail when they see you but don’t mistake that for a happy dog; they’re just happy to see ANYONE. If you live where there are extreme weather conditions, as I do, your dog is just as miserable and at risk as you are on hot muggy days and brutally cold days and nights. They can suffer from heat stroke and death on hot days and frostbite, hypothermia and death on very cold days.

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Please Consider Adopting An Older Pet

Senior dogOne of the saddest situations we see in shelters is senior pets who for various reasons are no longer wanted. Some of those reasons are legitimate, like the death of the owner but many more are just plain selfish.

Senior cat

These once loved pets stand very little chance of being adopted and face a sad and uncertain future instead of living out their golden years with the people they have loved their entire life.

There are many reasons to adopt a senior pet and this article touches on 12 of them;


12 Reasons to Adopt the Least Adoptable Shelter Pet

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Trimming Your Dogs Nails

Trimming your dogs nails is the most stressful job in maintaining your dogs health. Unfortunately it's also necessary. Your stress is no secret to your dog who will join you, thus making the task harder than it has to be. 

Here's a video from Dr. Becker demonstrating how to trim a dogs nails and how to make it as stress free as possible:

Having caused a few bleeders over the years I can't stress how important it is to have styptic powder at the ready. The amount of blood that can come out of a nail cut too short is alarming so be prepared. Use the powder and pressure to stop the bleeding.

Once the bleeding has stopped I apply a drop of Krazy Glue and allow it to dry before releasing the dog. I don't know how many vets would endorse this practice but it keeps the flow of blood from reoccurring.

Of course the other alternative is to let your vet do it. It's not expensive and some vets will even do it for free for regular customers.

The Dirty Truth About Some Top Selling Dog Foods

Beneful I received this email from "The Whole Dog Journal." It's a solicitation for a subscription but that's OK because it's a great publication. More importantly, this is a message that needs to be repeated over and over until all dog lovers get it!

Forget the fancy advertising and beautiful pictures on the bags of dog food you see advertised all the time! KibblesNBitsThose wonderful colorful pictures of meat and vegetables and healthy happy energetic dogs usually have no connection to what's actually inside the bag.



Alpo What's important is the actual list of ingredients on the back of the bag! It's so very important to understand that list to insure you are really feeding your dog something you would want him to eat. Believe me, these are not the only culprits in the mediocre to downright garbage dog food category. Following is the actual email:

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Don’t Turn Your Back On Your Aging Dog

I regularly check out the shelters in my area. While the lack of homes for millions of cats and dogs is upsetting enough, I've begun to notice a very disturbing trend; the amount of senior dogs, basically being thrown away in their golden years. The chances of a senior pet being adopted is slim to none. The looks on the faces of some of these dogs is heartbreaking.

senior-dog-1I'm sure a small percentage have been put up for adoption for legitimate reasons; ie. death of owner, illness, etc., but I suspect the overwhelming majority are there because their owner just didn't want to deal with the problems that may arise with an aging pet. What a crappy thing to do to your loyal companion. So sad.

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Dog Toys – Choose Carefully

You can buy dog toys in many different places; drug and grocery stores, dollar stores, big box stores, online, in pet stores and more. Finding dog toys is not an issue. The question you really need to answer is "are you buying the correct toys for your dog?"

Below you'll find some important advice from Dr. Karen Becker;

Pamper Your Pet, but Please Avoid These

Dangerous Playtime Mistakes

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How to Remove a Tick

Tick RemovalRemove a tick by grabbing the tick close to the skin with tweezers and applying firm pressure to pull the tick out. Make sure the head of the tick is removed to prevent infection.

Expert: University of Manitoba tick expert Kateryn Rochon

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Too Many Dogs! I’m So Disgusted!

When will we get it? When will we, as a society stop living with indifference to the suffering, the over population, the abuse and the extermination of so many of man’s best friends.

Yes I’m talking about dogs; one of God’s gifts to mankind.

When will we, as dog lovers, take responsibility for the explosion of accidental litters, backyard breeders, and puppy mills that pump out puppy after puppy just to make a buck without a care in the world about what happens to those babies, much less the lives of the imprisoned puppy making adults they keep in horrible situations with the sole purpose of producing puppies so they can line their wallets with cash?

When will we get serious about stopping and severely punishing the scum that fight dogs?

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