6 Things You Can Learn From Keeping An Eye On Your Dog's Skin

Your dog's skin is the biggest organ on their body. The skin on your dog can change based on their overall health, hormone levels, and nutritional levels. Here are six different diseases that can be spotted by keeping an eye on your dog's skin.

#1 Allergies

One of the easiest things to notice by watching your dog's skin is if they have any allergies. With dogs, both environmental and food allergies often present in the skin. When your dog has contact with an allergen, be it food or environmental, their skin often reacts by getting red and itchy. If you notice your dog's skin getting red or itchy, try to pay attention to what foods they eat when this happens and what they encounter differently in their environment.

For example, if your dog's skin is fine when it goes outside at home, but then gets red and rash-like when you take them to the park, that indicates something in the environment at the park is causing your dog's allergic reaction. This is important information to share with your vet and could help them more accurately diagnose your dog's allergy source.

#2 Canine Hypothyroidism

Dogs, like humans, can exhibit hypothyroidism. This is actually a really common disease in dogs. Hypothyroidism happens when your dog's thyroid gland does not generate the right amount of thyroid hormones. One of the side effects of not creating enough thyroid hormones is that your dog's skin may start to look scaly, which can lead to skin infections developing more easily. Your dog's coat may also start to look duller and they may lose more fur than they should.

#3 Cushing Disease

Cushing disease, which is referred to as hyperadrenocorticism by its formal name, is when your dog's body produces too many cortisol steroid hormones. Too many hormones can be just as bad for your dog as too little. When your dog gets too much cortisol in their system, it can make both their skin thin and their fur thin. This can decrease your dog's ability to protect its skin and lead to more skin infections and long-lasting wounds.

#4 Zinc Deficiency

If your dog is not getting enough zinc, the effects are most often seen in their skin. You will start to notice your dog losing too much fur. You will see redness or crusting develop around their eyes, and their joints will look red and seem stiff when they move them.

Keep an eye on your dog's skin. Any changes in their skin or fur that you can't explain should be brought to your vet's attention, since your dog's skin and fur can tell you a lot about their overall health.

Contact a company like Center-Sinai Animal Hospital for more tips.