Your Dogs Skin Something So Simple Yet So Complex

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Your Dogs Skin Something So Simple Yet So Complex

by Randy Jones

A wrapping of fur is not all there is to your dogs skin. It is also a factory for vitamin D production, it protects the internal parts from injury, bacteria, and viruses, and it contains a sensory system that is unsurpassed. The network of skin nerve cells goes to work when your dog is cold, has a cut, or receives a pat on the heat. In cold weather, the hairs stand erect and form air pockets that insulate against the cold.

Healthy skin and hair coats are flexible, glossy, and free of excessive oiliness, redness, dandruff, scabs, eruptions, or parasites. Run you hand against the hair coat and check for growths or blemishes. There should also be no areas of hair loss. Each dog has its own shedding cycle, which may change from year to year. Some pets shed a small amount all the time, while others lose large clumps at various levels.

Pets can have freckles, concentrations of cells containing the brown pigment called melanin. These can be found anywhere on the skin and even in the mouth. Be sure to check the skin?s special alterations, the mammary glands, the foot pads, the claws, and whiskers.

Frequently check your dogs paws. The thick, pigmented, tough footpads are excellent shock absorbers. The pads are named for their location. Pets have sweat glands in the footpad area. If your dog gets excited at the veterinarians office, you may see sweaty paw prints on the exam table. Check the spaces between the toes. Since your dog walks barefoot and this is a very moist area, the interdigital area can be easily irritated and infected by briars, stones, foxtail, sand, and salt.

Your dogs whiskers or tactile hairs as some veterinarians refer to them, are long, stiff hairs located on the muzzle, upper eyelids, cheeks, and legs. They are used as feelers and are especially handy for navigation at night or in dark areas. There is a fable belief that a dogs sense of balance will be lessened if the whiskers are cut or shortened, but there is no truth to this at all. If any unusual changes or defects are found on your pet, do not hesitate to take him to the veterinarian, as changes can indicate an internal illness or parasite.

Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed On the site, customers can read articles about anything pets as well as shop for the latest dog collars and more for their best friend. Feel free to check out the site at

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