Many pets experience sensitivities and some of the most common areas of concern for pet parents include tummy upsets and a dull coat with dry, itchy, flaky skin. Up to one third of pet parents report seeing skin flare ups once in a month in both cats and dogs1 and “skin issues” is a commonly internet searched pet topic. Digestive issues are unpleasant and can be very worrying when you see them in your pet.
What can cause these sensitivities
Your pet’s itchy, flaky skin may be caused by a number of factors including parasites & fleas, environmental allergens such as dust, pollen and mould, bacterial and fungal infections, lack of skin specific nutrients and sensitivities to certain kinds of proteins in their food. Cats may also experience hormone imbalances that can make them prone to skin problems.
Digestive disorders also have a variety of causes which can range from eating something inappropriate or new – we all know that pup who explores the world with his mouth first – to food intolerances or sensitivities, infections, inflammation of gastrointestinal organs and even stress! Some breeds are more prone to particular digestive problems and flatulence including German Shepherd Dogs, Labradors, Pugs and Bulldogs, and Sphynx, Rex and Ragdoll cats.
What to watch out for
Ideally your pet’s coat should be clean, for cats fluffy, soft & smooth and for dogs shiny and relatively soft & smooth even on short or wirehaired breeds. If you see any of these signs your pet may have a skin condition that requires treatment.
- Red patches, spots or pimples
- Scabs, crusts or thickened skin
- Dry, flaky or scaly patches
- Dull hair with excess loss
- Bad skin odour
- Itching, scratching, licking or rubbing
- Ear infections
Although a little more unpleasant, digestive problems are also easy to spot and consist of one or many of these symptoms:
- Vomiting or regurgitation
- Diarrhea or soft stools
- Change of appetite
- Stomach gurgling
- Sudden inactivity or depression
As both these issues can be serious health concerns we recommend that you consult your veterinarian for any persistent or severe symptoms or if you are in any way concerned.
Ruling out more specific conditions, even healthy pets can experience occasional tummy upsets or flatulence or show signs of dry, flaky or itchy skin and a dull coat. It’s not uncommon for sensitive stomach and skin issues to occur at the same time.
The right food can help
Even when the cause of your pet’s sensitivity is not related to nutrition, a high quality food formulated especially for sensitive stomachs or skin can help. At Hill’s, they study pets’ biology to understand how nutrition impacts digestive & skin health. Prebiotic fibre is important for the gut microbiome, the unique mix of bacteria essential for a healthy digestive system. Vitamin E, Omega-6s & other nutrients help maintain & protect skin.
HIll’s Science Plan Sensitive Stomach and Skin is one delicious food ideal for pets with sensitive skin, sensitive stomachs – or both. It’s precisely balanced to support healthy skin and gentle digestion with: .
- Easy-to-digest ingredients & fibres to encourage nutrient absorption & stools that are easier to pick-up
- Prebiotic fibre to fuel beneficial gut bacteria and support digestive health
- Enhanced levels of omega-3’s & -6’s and Vitamin E to nourish the skin and replenish natural oils for a healthy skin & luxurious coat
Science Diet Sensitive Skin Omnibus.April 2000, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.