One of the most common comments people make when first meeting Rocco is how “soft he is”. Obviously, as a husky, he has a very thick coat, but it wasn’t always soft. When we first adopted him, his coat had the quality of a bristle brush – it felt rough, brittle and oily. Rocco came to us a with a number of health problems. Chronic diarrhea due to food allergies needed the most urgent attention – he was barely a yearling and his growth and health were already compromised by nutritional deficiencies. The deficiencies most clearly manifested in his compromised immune system, poor coat and skin quality, dull eyes and low energy.
We spent months trying to figure out a diet that would calm his allergies and provide him with high quality nutrition. I have written about our feeding woes in a previous post. Over a two-year period, we experimented with a few different brands before finding one that suited Rocco’s needs best. The common theme with all the brands we had tried was that the primary protein was fish based. That’s when we saw the amazing change in Rocco’s coat quality – it was soft, shiny and oh so fluffy!
The current food we are using right now is based on bison protein. It is an excellent quality food, but does not provide Rocco with the same amount of fatty acids as the fish based products. Which is why I’ve been looking into fish oils for dogs to supplement his diet and make sure he gets enough omega-3 and omega-6 in his diet.
There are many benefits to using fish oil: better joint lubrication, improved immune system, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and of course improved skin and coat.
I notice that summer is especially hard on Rocco’s skin and coat. The sun, frequent swims in the ocean, many allergens all lead to a more sensitive and itchy skin. Often baths are a doubled edge sword, even though they remove the salt and dirt, they dry out the skin further. It’s a complaint I often hear from my clients and other dog owners I meet at the beach. It’s been my experience that supplementing with vegetable and fish oils helps to relieve dogs skin problems.
There are many reasons why your dog may be experiencing skin problems, so it is always important to consult with your vet for a diagnosis and for proper dosage of any supplement appropriate for your dog.