Do your pups get itchy, irritated skin? Spring and summer are difficult months for dogs suffering from skin sensitivity. Some skin conditions and imbalances can be because of genetics (a common problem for certain breeds such as Terrier and Retriever breeds) or environmental factors like allergies such as grasses, pollens, flea/mite allergies and other contact irritants.
All these conditions can be made worse by an imbalance of the oil and moisture content in their skin which can cause dry, itchy skin. This reduces the skin's ability to provide a protective barrier for the body.
You will definitely need a visit to the vet for treating skin allergies and infections but here are few things you can do to improve your dog's coat and skin, making them far more comfortable this summer.
Groom your dog.
Seems like a splurge, but one session with a professional groomer can do wonders for bringing your dog's coat back to the best it can be. Plus, a professional groomer knows all about dog skin issues… and remedies! So why not get your dog professionally groomed!
If you don't already have a groomer, and you live in the Mesa, Arizona area. We highly recommend our friends at Wagging Tails Pet Resort! They not only do amazing things for all our rescue dogs, but our personal dogs as well. PLUS, they have a huge heart when it comes to helping dogs!
Use a dog shampoo.
This may seem obvious, but I know in a pinch many of us have used whatever shampoo we have available to wash our dogs. However, using the wrong shampoo could actually cause dog dry skin. So unless your dog is in dire need of a bath for whatever reason, don’t use human shampoo on your dog. Human shampoos are formulated for human pH levels.
Brush your dog.
Did you know that brushing your dog not only removes the loose hair but also dander that’s accumulating near your dog’s skin! We highly recommend a good undercoat brush like the Furminator. Simply brushing your dog, helps their skin by clearing away the irritants that are trapped and hovering around your dog’s skin. It also stimulates the release of your dog’s natural skin oils which will make his coat healthier and shinier over time.
Change your dog’s diet.
If your dog has dry skin the most common problem is the food he’s eating. Your best bet is to try a 100% natural dog food. Don’t trust the the proclamation of "all natural" alone, check the list of ingredients to be sure. Even better, go for a grain free food (dogs weren't meant to be eating grains)
While better dog foods tend to cost more than the most popular store brands, they’re much better quality. And since they have no fillers and preservatives, your dog actually needs less of it in order to feel full. For a list of a few of our favorites, check out our blog post on our favorite foods.
Baby wipe feet.
Every time you go out on a walk with your dog, paws get exposed to all different kinds of possible allergens in the environment. Have you ever seen your dog chew and lick his paws? Well, those allergens can be affecting his paws and also entering his body and creating more of an imbalance. So, if you think this might be happening, you could
try wiping down his paws after his walks (you can use baby wipes). This step could reduce some itchy symptoms plus keep your house cleaner!
Try some Vitamin E.
Vitamin E will work on your dog’s dry skin just break open a capsule and rub the oil directly on your dog’s dry, itchy areas. Not only does the oil feel good to him but also the massage action warms the muscles and helps the Vitamin E penetrate faster to problem areas.
I add a little teaspoon of plain, low-fat yogurt in my dogs food everyday. My vet told me it keeps the good bacteria in your dog’s intestines in balance and helps keep yeast infections at bay. A little bit of yogurt in your pet’s diet is not only a healthy treat, but can boost the immune system so that skin and ear yeast infections can’t take hold.
Dogs pick up all kinds of dirt and foreign particles on their fur when they play outside. So anything that’s on their fur and skin is brought into the house when they come inside. Ultimately landing it in their bedding or yours if they sleep with you. Cleaning your dogs bed regularly will help to reduce negative reactions to these possible allergens. If your dog has sensitive skin, use a detergent that will not further agitate any skin condition. Dogs can be allergic to detergents as well.
Lastly, I love using coconut oil, not only for myself but for my dogs as well. So check out all these coconut oil benefits for your dog!
I hope these ideas help you sooth your pups skin this summer, or all the time for that matter.
Thank for reading this weeks blog! Check back next week!