A dog’s skin is an important part of the immune system and an indicator of their overall health. But when your dog is dealing with itchy, sensitive skin, they aren’t experiencing optimal health. The following tips will help you recognize the signs of sensitive skin and give you helpful ways to stop the itch, naturally.
Causes of Sensitive Skin
Canines can suffer from sensitive skin for many reasons. Grass, leaves, pollen dust, dust mites—there’s no end of things in a dog’s environment that can irritate sensitive skin. Even turning on the furnace causes dryer air which can lead to dryer skin. In fact, about 10 to 15 percent of dogs are allergic to something they breathe or come in contact with in the environment. The result is itchy skin.
How often do you bathe your pet? Over-bathing can lead to dry skin. Once a month is standard unless your dog is smelly or dirty. This schedule will ensure your pet maintains the amount of oil their skin needs to stay healthy. When you do bathe your pet, opt for a natural shampoo since some chemicals can increase the risk of contact dermatitis.
What do you feed your dog? Just like people, some dogs may be sensitive to soy, gluten, or other common ingredients in dog food. These food sensitivities can trigger skin issues.
Then there are fleas. We all know fleas are a nuisance, but did you know some dogs react to protein in fleas’ saliva? One simple bite can cause itching all over their body.
Pet Parents to the Rescue
If you notice dry, flaky skin, itchiness, an unpleasant body odor, or increased hair loss, it’s time for action! Fortunately, we have answers.
First, make sure to use a canine-specific shampoo that is pH balanced for dogs. Human shampoo is not made for a dog’s skin. Check the label to make sure your pet’s shampoo is free from harsh chemicals like parabens and sulphates.
If your pet plays outside or you take them for walks or to the dog park, be aware of the environment. Once back in the house, take a damp towel and rub down your dog. Pay special attention to their paws.
It’s also important to work with your vet to make sure your dog isn’t eating food that may increase the risk of skin sensitivities. Common ingredients that may affect some dogs include the proteins in meat, as well as grains, milk, and eggs.
Finally, support your pet’s sensitive skin with dog-specific supplements designed to maintain an adequate skin moisture content. Among the most effective are essential fatty acids (EFAs). These healthy fats are critical for promoting healthy skin and fur, yet they are not produced in a dog’s body. That makes supplementation, vital. Giving your dog a full spectrum of omega fatty acids from organic plant oils can be an excellent way to improve canine skin moisture. In a two-month clinical research study, dogs with atopic dermatitis who received supplemental omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids experienced an improvement in the structural layers of their skin.
Another study found that adding a blend of omega-3s and omega-6s to dog food stopped severe itching due to atopic dermatitis in as little as seven days. Over a 12-week period, increasing healthy dietary fats significantly improved coat glossiness and softness. Want these same results? Try adding a liquid omega skincare product to your pet’s food that includes omega-3, -6, and -9.