My cat
Advices from our vets

The structure of the skin and hair

Your dog’s skin is in many ways similar to yours! This elastic and waterproof layer acts as a barrier. It protects the body from external aggressions (pollutants, bacteria, microbes) and protects the internal environment from dehydration. It also contributes, with the coat, to regulate internal temperature. It contains numerous nerve endings, thanks to which it is also considered a sense organ. Finally, contrary to our skin’s pH, which is slightly acidic, a dog’s skin has neutral pH. That is one of the reasons why we cannot use the same washes.

Skin is made up of three layers:

  • A superficial layer: the epidermis
  • An intermediate layer: the dermis
  • A deep layer: the hypodermis

It is in the dermis and hypodermis that the skin appendage is located:

  • The sebaceous glands that secrete sebum, a hydrolipidic film that protects the epidermis
  • The hair follicles, that produce the hair. These follicles are linked to the sebaceous glands
  • Sweat glands, that are responsible for the production of sweat. They are not very important in dogs

The hair is born from a hair follicle. The emerged part of the hair is made up of keratin. That part is called the shaft. Once the hair reaches its normal length, it stays put for a time before dying, and eventually falling off. Each hair follicle has its own cycle, which means the life expectancy of each hair is different and that coat renews itself progressively and constantly over the entire body. This process may be accentuated, depending on your companion’s lifestyle and hair type, in the spring and in autumn. This is what is called seasonal moulting.

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