It can be challenging to keep your cat or dogs’ hair coat and skin in good condition during summer time. Mixed breed pets with short hair, tight skin, and standing ears are usually better adapted to Florida’s hot humid weather. Listed below are several ways to help keep your pets’ skin and coat healthy.

Flea control is essential to preventing your pet from itching. This not only means monthly preventatives for all your animals but also treating your home and yard if fleas are present. Monthly coverage on your pet will protect from exposure to flea infested areas. Speak with your local veterinarian to ensure that your animal is properly protected.

Shampooing and grooming on a regular basis with a quality pet shampoo will help the health of your animal’s skin and hair coat. Shampooing every seven (7) to fourteen (14) days can be recommended on pets with skin problems. It is very important to use a gentle shampoo suited for your pet’s specific type of skin and hair coat. Shampooing will give relief of itching in addition to keeping the skin clean.

Omega fatty acid supplementations such a Derm Caps are proven to help the skin and hair. Use of such a nutritional supplement may result in subtle to mild improvements in skin and hair coat health. However in some cases it may take up to 2 months before beneficial effects are achieved.

Nutrition can play a vital role in your animals overall well-being. It is recommended to offer professional veterinary diets composed of high quality ingredients and that are easily digestible. Treats that you offer can affect them. It may be necessary to try a hypoallergenic diet if your pet has food allergies.

Preventing your pet from itching is critical to healthy skin. Anti-itch medications such as antihistamines and immune suppressants may be recommended by your veterinarian. Allergy testing can also be done. The use of hypoimmunization injections can be used with mixed results and have minimal adverse side effects.

Skin and hair coat may be affected by many medical conditions. These may include but are not limited to mange mites, thyroid problems, autoimmune diseases, fungus infections and bacterial infections of the skin. Please consult with your veterinarian for any concerns you may have. Your pet deserves a comfortable, happy life.

Article by Thomas E. Carlos, DVM MS