Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pets Shedding & Healthy Coats

Unless you have a Hairless Terrier or a Sphynx, it’s the season once again to expect increased shedding. Dogs typically lose their winter coats in the spring, when it is replaced by a shorter, lighter one for summer. Prevention for hot spots and allergy problems is wise to begin before the heat arrives.

The amount of shedding varies widely from breed to breed. For example, German Shepherds are prolific year-round shedders, while poodles seem to lose little fur at all. While hair cycles are affected by mental state, hormones, and nutrition, changes primarily occur due to fluctuations in temperature and the amount of daylight.

The length of daylight hours is thought to have more impact on the shedding cycle than temperature, which is why all pets shed during particular times of the year, whether they are in Montana or Florida.

Pets that are kept primarily indoors experience fluctuations in both temperature (going in and out of the house) and light (including the artificial light in our homes) all year long. Because they are in a constant state of change, these pets tend to shed their hair, sometimes profusely, throughout the year. Most pets will shed excessively during the winter due to the dry heat in the home. The average humidity of a heated home in the winter is similar to that found in some desert regions. Using a humidifier provides great help in combating excessive shedding during the winter months.

An unhealthy coat can have negative impacts on pet parents, too – most commonly in the form of allergies. Contrary to popular belief, hair is not the main cause of allergies in humans. We are primarily allergic to dander (dead skin cells, like dandruff) and proteins (FEL d 1 in cats and CAN d 1 in dogs) in the oil produced by the sebaceous glands.

A study by the Cornell Veterinary University found that by simply washing a dog or cat, many of the allergens are eliminated. The frequency of bathing depends upon the severity of the allergies, from every two to three weeks or two to three months. If you are experiencing pet allergies, we also recommend brushing or combing daily – preferably outdoors. This will help to remove the allergens from your pet’s coat.

For all of the hair support systems to function properly, they require a variety of nutrients, including fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. The body delivers these nutrients to the primary organs (heart, lungs, liver) first, and the remainder is sent to the sebaceous glands. Additionally, a healthy coat requires protein – and lots of it! In fact, at optimum nutrition levels, almost 95% of the protein that’s ingested is used by the body to support hair production and maintenance.

Just as it is important to feed a high-quality, nutrient-dense food, it is also advisable to give your companion animals a balanced supplement that provides the additional nutritional support necessary to achieve the utmost in a healthy coat and skin.

Liquid oils are not recommended because they can turn rancid quickly. Many find that capsules are difficult to give to their pets. Along with the necessary oils, the supplement should contain a spectrum of vitamins for proper nutrition. Lastly, but equally important, the supplement must taste good to your pets.

HealthyPetNet’s Skin & Coat Formula is a unique formula that provides a perfect balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These oils are certified-free of contaminants and are microencapsulated to increase absorption, so your pet receives the full nutritional benefit.

Skin & Coat Formula contains Vitamins A, D, and E, all of which are necessary for the maintenance of healthy skin and a glossy coat. Skin & Coat Formula is manufactured in a human pharmaceutical plant to ensure the highest product quality, and it has a delicious roast beef flavor that both cats and dogs love.

Source: Healthy Pet Newsletter, a free monthly email newsletter

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