*We have worked with our carefully chosen partner Lintbells to bring you this post.
If you have seen your dog experiencing itchy skin then you know that it’s no laughing matter and can cause your dog a lot of discomfort. Itching in dogs can be caused by a number of factors from environment to food and bacteria. However, many of these tend to rear their heads during the warmer spring and summer months due to the change in weather.
To help you keep your pooch’s skin and coat in top notch condition during the warmer months, we have teamed up with Lintbells, makers of YuMEGA Itchy Dog, the UK’s No.1 veterinary skin & coat supplement. As part of their ‘Quit that Itch’ campaign, we will fill you in on some of the ways you can support your pet pooch during times of itchy skin.
BRUSH, BRUSH, BRUSH
Have you noticed your dog suddenly losing a lot more hair than usual? Excessive hair loss and moulting can be a sign that your dog may be experiencing a skin sensitivity. Help your pooch by brushing their coat every day using a suitable tool (nothing too harsh if they are experiencing dry and sensitive skin), as well as using a grooming or slicker brush or even a silicon/rubber material to tease out the under coat. This will help to remove dirt and debris, as well as keeping your pup’s coat in a clean and healthy condition.
USE A GENTLE NATURAL SHAMPOO
If your dog is experiencing itchy skin, look for a good dog shampoo that uses high-quality ingredients, is correctly pH balanced, and doesn’t contain any nasties like parabens, sulfates or artificial fragrances. You could also try an oatmeal-based shampoo, which are known to be soothing and may help with many skin sensitivities.
USE A GOOD QUALITY SUPPLEMENT
Treating from the inside is just as important as the outside. Dry and itchy skin is a very common telltale sign that your four-legged friend’s skin may be in need of a helping hand especially during the warmer months. A great way to support this sensitivity in your pooch is to add a high quality Omega supplement to their food. Supplements such as YuMEGA Itchy Dog from Lintbells are great for itchy skin as it is rich in Omega 3&6 oils, which helps to reduce itching and scratching and supports skin health while also maintaining coat condition. The product is extremely easy to use as you simply add the oil to your dog’s daily food.
CHECK FOR GRASS SEEDS
The British summer time brings with it higher pollen counts and grass seeds galore, both of which can have an impact on your dog’s skin. Rain can also be bad news for itchy dogs, which we know can be a common occurrence during a British summer, as it aids the growth of grass, which can lead to higher levels of pollen.
Just like people, dogs with sensitive skin are more likely to react to ‘triggers’ – that’s things in their environment like pollen, grasses, fleas and dust mites. Contact with these irritants causes your dog’s skin to feel itchy, which leads to scratching and nibbling. If this is prolonged, it can cause skin damage and hair loss – some dogs scratch themselves raw – which makes them uncomfortable, and damages their coats.
Check for grass seeds in their fur, between the pads on their paws and on their ears. It’s also a good idea to wipe them down with a damp cloth after walks to be sure you have removed anything that could cause irritation.
FLEAS BE GONE!
No one wants to spot one of these nasty little critters on their poor pooch, but some dogs experience it more than others. Flea bites themselves can cause itching, but some dogs are actually sensitive to fleas, which is of course more prevalent in the summer months. If your dog experiences sensitive skin, even a few bites will cause discomfort, with signs including an irritated rash, hair loss, and constant biting, itching and scratching.
To help prevent and combat this, it is important to keep up to date with regular flea treatments, particularly during the spring and summer months. There are now a wide range of options to choose from – depending on what you feel is best for your pet – that could prevent flea eggs from hatching, including chewable tablets, and the more traditional spot-on treatments. It’s important to remember that fleas can lie dormant in the environment for long periods, so it’s vital to also treat your home!
CONSIDER FOOD SENSITIVITIES
According to Pet MD, one of the most common complaints related to dietary sensitivities in dogs is non-seasonal itching. Animal proteins including beef, dairy, wheat, and chicken are identified as the usual culprits, as the immune system of the animal misidentifies them as a potential threat. Identifying a dietary sensitivity in dogs can be difficult and requires some commitment from the owner. It can be frustrating to get to the bottom of, so it’s important to discuss with your vet to ensure you are following a proper structure in terms of a food trial. It’s important to speak to your vet about either an elimination diet or a food trial to get to the bottom of the sensitivity.
This article is only intended as guidance, if you are concerned about the health of your dog’s skin, you should always seek professional advice from your vet.
To find out more about Lintbells supplement range and the Quit That Itch campaign you can visit www.lintbells.com