Itchies and Providing Relief
Poor Atka has been feeling really itchy lately. The most frustrating part? We have absolutely no idea why he’s itching. Every time we think we have the cause narrowed down, something new happens that throws us off. I have dry skin and allergies so I know constant itching is no fun.
Itching can be caused by several reasons and sometimes no reason at all. Here’s a brief run-through of the main causes for dog itching.
Dry skin is probably the most common cause of itchy skin in dogs. It’s fairly easy to determine if your dog is suffering from dry skin. Simply part your dog’s fur and check for any flaking skin in the undercoat. You may also see skin that is tough and visibly cracked. Dry skin can be caused by both environmental factors and diet, making it a bit more complicated to address.
To address dry skin, first consider your dog’s current environment. Do you live in an area with relatively low humidity? It is dry dry dryyyyy here in Montana, which is great in the summer, but boy are the winters rough. We have to keep humidifiers going 24/7 to keep all four of us comfortable in this weather.
Your dog’s diet can also contribute to dry skin. When your dog digests any commercial dry food, it has dehydrating effects on the skin and hair. Choosing a food with added essential oils or adding digestive enzymes can help to negate these effects. Digestive enzymes help to improve the release of nutrients and beneficial probiotics to assist in the digestive process.
Allergies can also be environmental or diet related. Unfortunately, allergies are much more difficult to diagnose and ultimately address. This is especially problematic because more dogs than ever before seem to be suffering with allergies. The cause is unknown, but many believe it is due to the increase in poor breeding practices and processed pet food.
A dog’s skin and coat will look slightly different when afflicted with allergies. Aside from the presence of dry skin, the skin and coat may also be greasy or slightly dry and oily. Licking and chewing of itchy areas is also frequently seen.
Many dogs suffering with allergies will see relief with a strict diet change as well as the addition of probiotics, high doses of fish oil, flaxseed, and in some cases, antihistamines. It is important to remember that it can take three months for these changes to take effect, so give the tactic plenty of time to work.
Our main method for dealing with the itchies is by adding salmon oil to each meal (coconut oil can be extremely beneficial as well). We also use a soap-free shampoo to avoid drying the skin too much during baths. If I see one of the pups itching incessantly, I will also spritz them with some itch relief spray.
Currently, our favorite soap-free shampoo is from the Bayer ExpertCare line, which you can read more about here. Bayer also creates the itch relief spray that I use in between baths. You can read all about the spray here.
Since we love those two products so much, we’re holding a giveaway! Enter the widget below in order to win one (1) bottle of Bayer ExpertCare Itch Relief Shampoo and (1) bottle of Bayer ExpertCare Itch Relief Spray.
Does your dog suffer from the itchies? How do you address the discomfort?
I am not being compensated to talk about Bayer and the giveaway is being hosted by us here at It’s Dog or Nothing!