The Integumentary System in Pets

What is the Integumentary System on Bioresonance Testing?

Have you used bio-resonance scanning for your pet, and are asking what is the Integumentary System on your test? Are you wondering about the role it plays in your pet’s body? Or should we say ON your pet’s body, as the Integumentary System is the hair, skin and nails that are on your pet!

All of these work to protect your pet from the elements, the environment, and to keep the body in a state of homeostasis. This includes loss of water, keeping in warmth or even having protection from abrasion.

The Integumentary System in pets consists of hair, or coat, scales, feathers, hooves, and nails. This system has a variety of functions; it may serve to waterproof, cushion, and protect the deeper tissues, excrete wastes, and regulate temperature, and is the attachment site for sensory receptors to detect pain, sensation, pressure, and temperature. It seems that this is connected to the Nervous System too!

The Integumentary System is a complex system, affected by both the body and the external environment.

When you think about it, most of your pet is probably covered in fur.

That fur is made up of protein. According to, the integrity of the coat of your pet is directly linked to nutrition. 

Just like humans, the skin under that fur is the largest organ in the body. It might represent anywhere from 12-14 percent of your pets weight. Skin turns over and renews, fur sheds and replaces itself. Considering that the hair structure in pets is mostly protein, this is a macronutrient that needs to be front and center (1).

What about the microbiome of the integumentary system, specifacally the coat of your  pet? Just like your skin, the coat of your pet is home to  many species of bacteria, and fungi, as part of the microbiome.  Some of the beneficial microorganisms play a role in protecting the skin from harmful bacteria, making them an essential part of the integumentary system.

The balance of bacteria can change in the skin, hair, and nails. Both hair and nails can be affected by toxins like yeast and fungus.

Many dogs exhibit itching of paws, and ears. Pet owners find confusion when this comes up. Is this an allergy, a yeast on the skin, or a behaviour issue? First, we always want you to visit a licensed pet professional to make sure your pet does not have a health condition. 

What is the Integumentary System and Structure?

The structure of the Integumentary System in pets is similar, but not the exact same, as humans. 

There are exocrine glands in the skin. These include sweat glands, which are an important part of natural temperature regulation and detoxification. These also include sebaceous glands. “Skin glands in mammals are classified into holocrine (e.g., sebaceous glands), and merocrine (e.g., sweat glands)(2)

Skin in mammals is made up of the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the most superficial layer of the skin that acts as the body’s major barrier against the environment. It protects agains infection. The dermis, meanwhile, is the deeper and thicker layer of skin underlying the epidermis. There is another layer as well, called the hypodermis. 

Pets do not have sweat glands like we do. They have some limited glands on their paws, but this is why it is important to be mindful of the heat with your pet.

Functions of the Integumentary System

Besides a primary function to act as a barrier to protect the body from the external environment the outer layer of the Integumentary System prevents water loss and the entry of bacteria and other harmful agents into the body. The skin also contains specialized cells that produce melanin, which serves to protect the body from ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

In some cats, like the siamese, pigment production is the result of a certain enzyme, that depends on temperature (3). The extremities on these cats are cooler, and often darker, than other parts of the body.

In addition to these protective functions, the Integumentary System plays a role in temperature regulation. The sweat glands in the skin help to cool the body when it becomes overheated and the constriction or dilation of blood vessels in the skin help to conserve or dispel heat. When it comes to toxicity, we know that sweating is a helpful detox mechanism in humans, but what about pets?

Paying attention to the liver, the kidneys and the gut in your pet is important. Limiting the exposure to toxins through the skin, or paws, is also important in keeping the environmental load low.

The Integumentary System also plays a role in sensation, housing a multitude of nerve endings that respond to touch, pressure, temperature, and pain stimulus.

The dermis, the layer beneath the epidermis, is composed of two layers of its own: the papillary layer and the reticular layer. The papillary layer is the most superficial layer of the dermis and contains fine collagen fibers. The reticular layer is the deeper and thicker layer of the dermis, containing coarse, dense fibrils of collagen.

Collagen is part of the Integumentary System and your Locomotor System.

Collagen production in any body depends on protein in the diet, and other nutrients like zinc, vitamin c, and copper.

How to Keep Your Pet’s Integumentary System Healthy

Having an intact coat is best for protection and warmth.  Here’s a few tips to keep your pet’s integumentary system healthy.

  • Keep nails properly trimmed, to prevent pain, splitting and overgrowth. 
  • Feed your pet a balanced diet, focusing on species appropriate foods
  • Pay attention to the pads of your cat or dogs feet. Are they dry or cracked? A pet appropriate salve may be in order.
  • Wipe paws regularly after walks, especially where road salt or pesticides are present. 

Remember, maintaining the health of your pet’s integumentary system is part of immune health. Adequate nutrients in your pet’s diet to support skin maintenance and collagen building are essential, This includes:

    • Essential Fatty Acids. These support oil production, skin hydration and suppleness, and may help those pets with skin conditions. These fatty acids tend to be the Omega 3’s and some Omega 6’s. Linoleic acids are limited in the skin, and are essential to support the Integumentary System, specifically skin (4).
      The Omega 3 acids EPA and DPA are particularly linked to hair, along with brain and Nervous System Health. Choose foods for your pet like sardines, and other types of fish, in the appropriate amounts for your pets weight and health status.

      If essential fatty acids came up energetically sensitive in your pet’s report,  look at their digestion, and see if there is an enzyme connection, namely lipase, which supports fat digestion.
    • Minerals. Zinc is a cofactor in using certain proteins to make collagen in the body. It’s linked to the activity of an enzyme called collagenase. Bone metabolism is altered in animal studies, when zinc is lacking (2).

      Copper. Copper and zinc need to be balanced in the body, as copper also helps build collagen structure through enzymatic activity.

      Selenium. Did you know that selenium is needed for the synthesis of more than 35 proteins? Low selenium is linked to loss of hair pigmentation (3).

Other nutrients related to the Integumentary System include: Vitamin A, C, D, E, along with iron, Vitamins B2, B12 and Biotin (3).

Top Takeaways to Support Your Pet’s Integumentary System

The skin, fur and nails are the initial protectors of your pet. They help keep them warm, protect, and safe.  The skin and coat itself relays sensations to the Nervous System. If the skin or nails are not intact, there is a stress on the Immune System, as invaders can get into the body. 

The coat and paws do breathe, and these are places where toxins can be absorbed through the skin.

There are many toxins linked to the Integumentary System that may show up with bioresonance testing, These Include:

  • Mold & Mycotoxins
  • Candida
  • Rickettsia
  • Parasites
  • Nickel and other metals

You can support your pet’s Integumentary System with regular grooming, to increase circulation, decrease dirt, decrease any potential of fleas or ticks, and aid in skin cell turnover. You can also support your pet’s Integumentary System through diet, watching simple carbs, making sure the right amount of minerals and protein are present, and making sure that any itchiness in the skin and the ears is being addressed. 

Need clarification on your bio-resonance scanning report?  Book a consult with one of our trained team here. 

DISCLAIMER: Balanced Health, LLC/CBH Energetics and any parent, subsidiary, affiliated or related entities and companies do not provide medical advice or services. This post and the bioenergetic products and services offered by Balanced Health, LLC/CBH Energetics including, but not limited to, bioenergetic tests, bioenergetic scans, bioenergetic reports and related products and services (collectively the “Bioenergetic Products and Services”) are designed for educational and informational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, condition, complaint, illness or medical condition and are not a substitute for professional services or medical advice. Testing is not used for the purpose of obtaining information for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease or the assessment of a health condition or for identification purposes.