Itchy Skin

With warmer weather comes sunshine.. and scratching!

There can be many potential causes for this … fleas, mites, bacterial or fungal infections,, diet, and environmental allergies to name a few. It is important to discover the reason why your pet is scratching to be able to manage it effectively.

Firstly, treat with a comprehensive flea, tick & mite treatment such as Revolution or Nexgard. This will break the life cycle of the parasites and eliminate them as a potential cause of the itch. If using a spot-on treatment do not bathe the dog for 24 hours prior and post treatment. Don’t forget to vacuum frequently and wash bedding on a regular basis as 90% of the flea lifecycle is spent off the pet.

Secondly, visit your veterinarian to rule out infectious causes. Your vet will take a sample from the skin to diagnose bacterial or fungal infections which may need medicated shampoos or tablets to resolve.

If you have ruled out or resolved the above and your pet is still scratching, then it is likely they are suffering from an allergy, either to food or to something in their environment. There are lots of ways to manage allergies holistically.

Look at your dog’s diet – incorporate some omega 3 fatty acids into it as these act an anti-inflammatories. Fish are an excellent source of omega 3 so consider a fish-based kibble or if you raw feed, adding a tin of tuna or sardines in the daily portion. Green lipped mussel is an excellent supplement and is available as dried whole treats, powder or incorporated into tablets.

Tripe is also a great additive for an itchy dog as it is rich in fatty acids and can help with yeast infections.

Calendula is great for bathing hot spots and itchy paws. Simply make a strong tea and let cool, then dab or spray liquid onto itchy skin. It can also be added to drinking water.

When washing your dog be careful to use gentle products so the natural skin oils are left undisturbed. Every dog’s skin is different, so you may need to trial a number of preparations before you find the one suitable for your pet. The ideal shampoo and conditioner will reduce your pet’s itch immediately after bathing a for at lease 3-4 days after the bath. Consider products with oatmeal as it helps to soothe the skin and provides a barrier effect. Be very careful with products containing essential oils such as lavender or tea tree – many dogs with delicate skin will act to even small amounts of these potent oils.