Itchy skin is one of the most common reasons that dogs – and particularly small dogs – are taken to the vet.
If your dog has itchy skin, they will be feeling pretty distressed and uncomfortable. As their owner, we understand how it can also be frustrating and upsetting for you!
If your dog is suffering from persistent itching, they will constantly scratch, lick and bite their skin, and all that scratching can lead to secondary skin infections and lesions.
There are many reasons why your dog may have itchy skin, and the best way to identify the cause is by a simple process of elimination.
Your vet is the best person to guide you through this process. They can help you create a plan to figure out the cause of the itch and how best to manage it. If there is a secondary infection or your pup needs help soothing the irritation, they may also need medication or antibiotics.
The most common causes for your dog’s itch are fleas, allergies and food intolerance.
However, itchy skin can also be caused by infections, insect bites or chemicals and irritants found in some pet shampoo & conditioner.
With incessant itching and scratching comes the disintegration of the outermost skin barrier.
Once this protective layer has been removed, the skin can no longer protect itself against environmental allergens and irritants. A vicious cycle, this leads to the skin drying out further and the itch only getting worse.
Fleas are extremely irritating for dogs, just like mosquitoes are for humans.
In some dogs (and other pets), a single flea bite can cause a very aggravating skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis.
If your pup is suffering from this condition, they will frantically scratch and bite their coat, licking themselves constantly.
Humans with allergies tend to get watery eyes, a runny nose and a serious case of the sneezes. But dogs with allergies often present through itchy skin.
Whatever allergy your dog is suffering from, your vet can help you determine the cause.
Ensure flea treatments are up to date and keep your pup protected from fleas all year round.
Choose a flea product that breaks the flea life cycle and be sure to thoroughly clean your pet’s environment – wash all bedding and vacuum thoroughly.
Human shampoo is formulated for human skin and can strip the natural oils from your dog’s. This can cause irritation and itchiness.
It’s important that you use a soothing, natural, hypoallergenic and sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner – this will also help to further protect and nourish the skin.
Houndztooth have a range of natural dog shampoo specifically formulated to target itchy, dry and sensitive skin:
Our favourite dermal topical spray also helps to compliment the above shampoos by soothing and healing irritated skin:
A diet rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids may help reduce the inflammation associated with common skin issues.
Our Australian Hemp Seed Oil is high in antioxidants and omegas 3, 6 and 9. Compliment your dog’s diet with healthy treats full of omega oils and healthy fats like our 100% Australian Salmon clean dog treats. Each of these products contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation, itchiness and irritation.
If you suspect your dog has an allergy to grass, be sure to wipe down their feet and tummy with a damp cloth after any time spent outdoors. This will remove any lingering allergens.
The perfect natural grooming product for this occasion is Frankie & Felix’s Blend No.5 Waterless Shampoo For Dogs & Cats With Oatmeal. Follow it up with our Coco’s Blend No.4 Rescue & Relief Spray for Itchy Skin and your pup will be feeling itch-free in no time!
Dog beds often harbour allergens such as dust mites. To ensure these allergens don’t affect your pup, it is important that you wash their bedding regularly (once a week).
If bedding is more than a year old, consider replacing it – ideally with a hypoallergenic dog bed that is machine washable.