Maybe your dog or cat has already shown signs of sensitive or itchy skin, or maybe you are looking to change to a food that promotes all-around good health, skin and fur included. Whatever the reason, be careful not to focus on just one or two key ingredients or needs. Some pet parents look for high levels of fat in a cat or dog food for a healthy coat. Although ingredients like fish oil are common in marketing cat food for a healthy coat, for example, your furry friend still needs a good balance of vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates. The truth is, well-rounded meals will already protect most cats and dogs from skin and coat troubles. Beauty really does start on the inside.
If you do make a habit of looking at the ingredients and nutrients profiles on your bag or cans of food, here are some of the more common nutrients that help promote healthy skin and coats in pets:
Omega-6: This nutrient is a fatty acid that helps give shine to your pet's coat, as well as helps replace essential oils in their skin.
Omega-3: This nutrient, typically found in ingredients like fish oil can help relieve itchy or inflamed skin as it has an anti-inflammatory effect to it. This ingredient is common in pet foods formulated for dogs with allergies.
Biotin: This B-complex vitamin helps promote healthy tissue growth.
Copper: This nutrient helps maintain hair color and keeps the coat soft and shiny.
Vitamin E: This vitamin is a natural antioxidant that helps protect your pet's skin against free radicals that could be damaging to skin cells.
However, if you've been feeding your pet quality food with a good balance of nutrients and you still notice drier skin, dandruff flakes, or dull-looking fur, it may be time to talk to your veterinarian. Your pet might need a change in food or ingredients. However, never make any changes without first talking to your vet.
The first thing to look for in a pet food to promote healthy skin & coat is one that is made with high-quality ingredients and promotes complete, balanced nutrition. This alone can help promote a more luxurious and luster-filled coat. If your pet is scratching a lot or has persistent skin issues, it's a good idea or talks to your veterinarian to help determine the next steps. They can help determine the cause of the itch and recommend a food formulated for sensitive skin or even recommend a therapeutic food specially formulated to promote healthier skin and coats.