By Liz Hanson, Veterinarian (DVM)
Probiotics are commonly thought of as an oral supplement used to help maintain a healthier digestive tract, however, current research is finding that regular topical probiotic use can prove beneficial to healthier skin as well. One of the most common skin conditions in our pets is skin allergies with secondary pyoderma (bacterial skin infection). Researchers are now seeing how the “healthy” bacteria applied topically with products such as Skout’s Honor probiotic shampoo and conditioners may benefit these skin conditions.
In pets with pyoderma, bacteria on the skin triggers the immune system to react by creating an itchy, inflamed, bumpy skin rash. Probiotics applied topically can help prevent the itchy skin rash from forming by blocking skin cells from recognizing the bad bacteria. In addition, topical probiotics could also contribute to killing the bad bacteria with its antimicrobial properties. Lastly, other research has shown that probiotics can help reduce the sensitivity of skin cells to signal the immune system’s reaction towards the bad bacteria.
Those pets bathed with the Skout’s Honor probiotic shampoo and conditioner have already shown positive results! Some of Dr. Hanson’s clients have used the Honeysuckle, Lavender and Unscented probiotic shampoo and conditioner to maintain the health of their pet’s skin. There has been overwhelming positive feedback on the cleanliness, smell and soft feel of their pet’s coat and skin. Those clients who have dogs diagnosed with skin allergies have also seen less pyoderma flare ups with weekly use of the probiotic shampoo.
Skout’s Honor Testimonials:
“My 2 year old chocolate lab mix has been treated off and on for pyoderma and skin allergies for the past 6 months. Dr. Hanson told me about a new honeysuckle scented probiotic shampoo by Skout’s Honor and I have been using it weekly on my Labrador. His coat condition has remained free from pyoderma and is less itchy. He also has a healthy sheen and super fluffy coat. I love the smell of the shampoo after he is bathed and how soft his coat is now.” Amy Directo – client of CDM Animal Hospital
“I have worked as a groomer at CDM Animal Hospital for 20+ years and feel the dogs and cats bathed with Skout’s Honor shampoo and conditioner have a much softer and cleaner coat. I have used the unscented shampoo on those dogs with sensitive skin and have seen great results with no allergic reactions. For those long haired dogs and cats such as the Maltese, Bichon, Persian and Himalayans who come in for grooming, using the detangler has made my job much easier!” – Nellie de Leon, Groomer at Corona Del Mar (CDM) Animal Hospital
5 Natural Remedies to Keep Your Pet’s Coat and Skin Healthy
1. Fish and Sweet Potato Diet
Feeding a fish-based diet will provide a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids which has anti-inflammatory properties for the skin. This type of diet may also help those with food allergy based skin conditions. It’s recommended to try the diet for 6 weeks before assessing if it is benefiting your dog’s skin. For those dogs and cats with suspected food allergies, a dietary food trial can help eliminate those foods that trigger skin allergies.
2. Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids
Giving your pet Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help reduce inflammation and itchiness to their skin which will promote a healthier, shiny coat. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid found in corn, soy, flaxseed, and other nuts. Omega-6 fatty acids help pets with dry, flaky skin. Dandruff, thin and discolored hair, and increased shedding are all associated with low linoleic acid levels in the skin and diet. These fatty acid supplements can be found in capsule and liquid form as an additive to your pet’s diet.
3. Probiotic Shampoo and Conditioners
Weekly baths with probiotic shampoo and conditoners such as Skout’s Honor probiotic shampoo products can help maintain the health of your pet’s skin and luster of their coat. Using a probiotic shampoo has shown benefits to help prevent infection, combat hot spots, rehydrate dry skin, naturally deodorizes, and prevents matting and excessive shedding. Probiotic shampoo and conditioners is on the forefront of a natural way to help restore the health of your pet’s skin and maintain the luster and sheen of their coat.
4. Monthly Flea Control
If more conventional flea products such as Comfortis, Simparica, Revolution, etc. are not used, external applications of coconut oil high in lauric acid and diluted essential oils have shown some benefit. Using a daily flea comb in combination with weekly baths with shampoos such as Skout’s Honor Probiotic Shampoo is also a natural alternative for flea control. However, heavier flea infestations may need environmental and flea medicine treatment.
5. Regular Grooming
Weekly brushing helps to keep your pet’s coat free of mats, burrs, and tangles and their skin free of fleas and ticks. With regular brushing, it will alert you if your pet needs treatment for fleas and ticks. If your pet has a heavier amount of mats and tangles, clipping their coat and removing their mats by a professional groomer may be necessary. Using a detangler, such as Skout’s Honor Probiotic Detangler will also help remove the mats and minimize your pet’s discomfort during grooming. Additional benefits of regular brushing are reducing the amount of shedding in your home and serving as special time for you and your pet to bond. Lastly, with weekly brushing, pet owners will also be able to find lumps, injuries, rashes, and painful mats that may otherwise be missed. In fact, early detection of finding potential cancerous growths could help save your pet’s life!