Skin Problems

Information on healthy skin and the causes skin problems in cats and dogs.

Select a Topic

  1. What are Skin Problems?
  2. Diagnosing Skin Problems
  3. Help for Skin Problems

What are Skin Problems?

The skin is the largest organ in the animal body and comes into contact with the environment more than any other organ. It makes sense then, that an animal’s skin is susceptible to many conditions.

These include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Rashes
  • Flea bites (and Flea-Bite Dermatitis)
  • Stings and bites
  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Dandruff
  • Skin allergies
  • Hot spots
  • Wounds, cuts, burns and scrapes

Diagnosing Skin Problems

Diagnosis and treatment will depend on the specific skin disorder or skin condition. Most animals will experience irritated and inflamed skin at some point in their lives, and with the right care, most skin problems are easily corrected.

Help for Skin Problems

Depending on the cause, treatment may involve topical creams and may include antihistamines and anti-inflammatories; however these may also have the potential for side effects.

There are many things that can have a soothing effect on irritated or broken skin and can naturally promote skin health without doing further harm.

Tips related to skin problems:

  • Do not change diet suddenly as this may cause intolerance to certain foods and consequently a skin allergy.
  • Check for fleas, and de-flea your animal regularly.
  • Never use human cosmetic lotions on your animal’s skin. These products contain rich chemicals that can cause irritated skin.

A tablespoon or two of olive oil added to the food a few times a week can help improve skin and coat health by stimulating natural oils in the skin.

  • If you suspect that a dietary intolerance may be the underlying cause of your pet’s skin problems, start by providing your pet with a natural, unprocessed diet.
  • Dry your pet thoroughly after washing, as shampoo residue can dry on the skin and cause itching and rashes.
  • Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy skin. Sources include carrots, squash and sweet potatoes that can be added to your pet’s diet.
  • Clear all garden utensils form the yard – these are potential hazards for your pet and may cause superficial or serious skin injuries.