Healthy skin and coat through healthy food

6 March 2019

A beautiful appearance and a cheerful attitude from your small companion are generally a good indication of his/her overall health. The nutritional value of a food will be visible from the tip of his/her head to the tip of his/her tail if both are compatible. Your pet’s environment may also have some effect on coat condition, including electric heating, grooming, and indoor living.  

The skin is a dynamic organ whose function is to protect muscles, tissues and organs from the environment and various microorganisms, viruses or chemical elements that could affect your pet. It also helps regulate temperature, and supports external biological and chemical exchanges. To fulfill its functions, the skin must be well nourished to maintain its vigor and functionality.

On the feline side specifically, cats have several behaviours, including being their own groomer, which contribute to the development of hairballs, or bezoars. Hairballs consist of an accumulation of hairs, food, minerals and mucus that clump together, which can then lodge themselves mainly in the stomach. Their presence inconveniences the animal by slightly blocking this portion of the digestive system, resulting in regurgitation. Regular brushing of the coat, high-quality food containing omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, and a supply of balanced dietary fiber will be effective in reducing the chances of these small masses forming.

Food for skin and coat health

Providing your pet with a premium food, containing specific ingredients of very high quality, will support the health of the animal’s skin and coat. It is nice to feel a soft and silky coat, which accentuates the bond of affection with your pet. You will also find  foods that are specifically formulated to help improve skin condition, often defined under the terms "sensitive skin". Certain ingredients incorporated in high-quality foods, or offered as supplement, may help maintain or improve the condition of the skin and coat.

Ingredients to consider (standalone or in combination)

  • Protein sources: fish (oceanic, white, salmon, menhaden, etc.), chicken, turkey, lamb and duck
    • these ingredients may be fresh or as meal / dried / dehydrated
  • Sources of good fats / lipids (Omegas 3 and 6): fats/lipids are necessary as a source of energy, for essential fatty acids (Omegas 3 and 6), for healthy skin and coat as well as for palatability.
    • chicken and turkey fat (source of Omega 6)
    • fish oils such as herring, salmon, etc. (source of Omega 3 EPA-DHA and Omega 6)
    • flaxseeds (source of omega 3-ALA alpha-linoleic and Omega 6)
    • canola oil (source of omega 3-ALA alpha-linoleic and Omega 6)
    • olive oil (source of Omega 6, and Omega-9 Oleic Acid)
  • Chelated minerals – also known as proteinates or organic minerals
    • chelated minerals are complexes of proteins or amino acids and iron, zinc, manganese or copper. The improved absorption of these trace minerals provides a form that ensures their absorption, without risk of interference or toxicity. Chelated minerals can improve the skin and coat health, allowing a uniform coat growth, less brittle hair and more vibrant colour.

Offering you Lifetime, Wholesome Blend and Naturally Fresh pet foods, the nutrition team from Trouw Nutrition Canada has developed a range of products where each formula includes ingredients offering support to skin and coat health. In these products, you will find key ingredients such as herring oil, chicken and turkey fat, olive oil, flaxseeds, canola oil and chelated minerals combined with natural animal protein sources such as chicken, salmon, turkey, lamb, duck and menhaden fish.

Regular brushing and high-quality pet food containing Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids as well as high quality trace minerals will be effective in maintaining and improving coat health. It is important to regularly observe your pet to make sure that his/her skin is supple and hydrated, and the coat soft and silky. Skin and coat health is associated with good nutrition ... and lots of affection.