No one likes dry itchy skin, and that goes for dogs too! It’s uncomfortable, irritating and an all round inconvenience. Who wants to feel a need to itch when you’re in the middle of playing fetch right?
The most obvious symptoms are excessive scratching, biting and licking which can sometimes lead to injury. Other symptoms include hair loss from scratching and the appearance of scaly skin which can develop into loose dry flakes.
Here are 5 common causes and treatments...
Fleas, mites or mange
Bites from parasites can irritate your dog’s skin and some dogs can develop an allergic reaction to the parasites saliva. But also these little critters running around in your dog’s fur is no fun. Your dog will show signs of a flea infestation by excessively scratching. You may spot the signs of ear mites if your dog keeps shaking their head violently. As for mange, you will often see sores, hair loss and scabs.
Be sure to spot check your dog regularly (at least weekly) and should you discover your dog has flea, mites or mange, seek veterinary advice and treatment.
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies too. But one of the most common allergies (more recently) is wheat and grain. It’s important to note that when dogs were in the wild, their restricted diet consisted of meat and a small amount of plant/vegetable matter, no grains and wheat. These are found in an abundance of dog foods which leads to excessive consumption. They’re not harmful ingredients, but can lead your dog to be uncomfortable if they develop an allergy. Common symptoms include; skin irritation, digestive issues, ear infections and affected anal glands.
What to do? Change your dog’s diet to wheat, gluten and grain free. It’s commonly known that dogs who switch to a raw diet have benefited from the natural, varied and nutritionally dense meals that have treated them for the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.
Cold, windy weather combined with indoor heating can take a roll on your dog’s skin. If your dog is prone to season changes then bathing them less frequently in winter can help your dog retain their skin’s natural oils and valuable moisture.
Brushing your dog regularly and feeding them a high quality nutritionally dense meal that’s high in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids can also benefit your dogs coat and skin.
Irritating shampoos/ Products
If you like your dog smelling fresh then you may be prone to bathing them too often which can cause sensitive skin. However another reason your dog’s skin could be irritated is down to the products you’re using. Harsh shampoos containing fragrances can dry your dogs skin out.
Switch to a more natural shampoo containing moisturising ingredients such as oats or rose and bathe less often.
We’ve briefly touched on this within ‘Allergies/Intolerances’, but a low quality diet means your dog isn’t getting the essential nutrients they need for a healthy skin and coat. Switching to a higher quality diet (which doesn’t always mean more expensive!) can not only help to keep your dog fit and healthy, but also benefit their skin issues and prevent them!
Fancy giving us a try? Grab yourself a Faff Free Frozen or No Stress Cold Pressed Taster Box for just £10 and we’ll even throw a little something in there towards your first box.