pet food

How Your Pet’s Diet Affects Their Coat and Health 

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How to Help Your Pet Have the Most Beautiful Coat Possible

Did you know that what you feed your pet can determine how pretty your furry friend looks? It’s true: If you want your pet to look their best, you’ll want to start with a healthy diet. 

This will foster smooth skin and a sleek and shiny coat, and it will reduce tearing from the eyes. When your pet has a healthy canvas to work on, you’re that much more likely to be thrilled with the results from our mobile grooming treatment. 

What your Pet eats affectS Their Fur 

In order to have the healthiest and most beautiful coat possible, it’s important to feed your pet a balanced diet. VCA Animal Hospitals gives a look into the life of your pet’s skin and coat. The skin cells on your pet are constantly and rapidly turning over. Meanwhile, depending on the breed, your pet could be shedding constantly and/or constantly growing fur. 

In order to maintain this delicate and high-flux process, it’s important to feed a well-balanced diet full of vital nutrients. That means your pet will need easily digestible proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals. You should also be making sure your pet is getting the right amount of calories to support a healthy life. 

VCA Animal Hospitals says that failing to give your pet the right diet will result in a dull, dry coat. And it can also lead to excessive shedding, which means more matting and a scraggly-looking coat. 

The tricky part of giving your pet the perfect diet is that each pet is different. Animals have different dietary needs based on age, size and breed. Talk to your vet about what the best diet for your individual furry friend would be. 

Your Pet’s Diet and Their Skin 

Healthy fur works paw in paw with healthy skin. If your pet’s skin is dry and flaky or causing a lot of itching, that's uncomfortable for your pet and it will have a negative impact on any grooming efforts. Dry and flaky skin can be visible in the fur, and excessive scratching can lead to bald spots. 

A study in the Journal of Nutrition discussed the positive role fatty acids can play in managing skin disease in pets. Skin problems in pets can be caused by a lack of omega-6 fatty acids. If a pet is lacking in this vital nutrient, they can have a flaky coat, hair loss, a dull look to the coat, greasy skin and excessive itching, according to veterinarian Dr. Cindy Lizotte

Food allergies themselves can also cause skin issues. Untreated allergies can lead to atopic dermatitis, which causes dry skin, itching, redness and inflammation. That can also lead to skin infections, as the pet is constantly scratching and licking. Think of how uncomfortable your pet must be! 

Food can also impact a pet's Facial Appearance 

It’s not just the skin and coat that can affect how a new grooming style looks. Problems with excessive tearing and mouth health can also affect how a style looks. Excessive tearing and drooling that can come from underlying health problems can make the fur around the face discolored, crusty and soggy. 

A study out of the Australian Veterinary Journal linked periodontal disease in pets to problems with certain diets. It stated that soft diets may lead to periodontal disease because they do not give the pet a hard enough food to chew on. 

One of the common signs of periodontal disease in a pet is drooling, which could even be tinged with blood. The pet may also paw at the mouth, there could be redness and bleeding along the gum line and even facial swelling could be present. 

In addition to the obvious drawback of the pet being in pain, grooming-wise these symptoms upset the balance of whatever style you’re getting. It would make no sense to get the perfect style, and then your pet bleed-drools into their nicely styled coat on their face. Or facial swelling upsets the overall balance of the style. It’s just one more reason to maintain a healthy diet in your pet. 

Another health problem that could have an impact on how pretty your furry friend looks is excessive tearing. This can manifest as reddish-brown tear stains under the eyes, around the muzzle and even in between the toes. That will detract from a great grooming style any day, especially on white, fluffy breeds. 

Some official breed pages recommend closely watching food quality to control tearing, specifically going for a high-quality grain-free diet to minimize allergies and boost overall health. 

As always, if you have concerns about your pet’s health or how they are looking overall, talk to your vet. There may be underlying conditions to treat, and your vet can guide you to the right diet for your furry friend.

And if we see any signs that your pet is at risk of not eating the proper diet, we will be sure to let you know. We want to be your partners in keeping your pet feeling and looking great.