If your dog has started to itch and scratch more than normal or if you notice that their skin is becoming inflamed, then it may be due to one of the causes noted below:
- Parasites (fleas, lice or other insects): fleas are most active in the summer and winter are more likely to lie dormant, but for most dogs a year-round flea treatment plan is best to ensure they don’t bring these home.
- Bacterial or fungal infections: there can be a number of different reasons these start, but open wounds or cuts can become infected and cause your dog to scratch or lick at the wound areas.
- Seasonal or environmental allergens, like us, dogs can be sensitive to pollen, feathers, certain plants like grasses or trees.
- Food sensitivities: these are normally a reaction to the protein in the food or treats your dog has eaten. With some dogs, they will have a digestive upset or loose stools as well as skin irritation and often ear problems too.
Consulting your vet about new symptoms is always a good idea as they will advise on medication to treat or soothe the skin and supplements to help support skin health. But for some more immediate relief, try reviewing your dog’s diet, flea treatment regime, walks, and general health to see what might have changed.
Simplifying their diet so that there are fewer treats and extras may make it easier to spot an ingredient that isn’t suiting them and ensuring that their food is a healthy one containing essential fatty acids from linseed and fish oils to support skin health and target any skin inflammation.
For dogs where food sensitivities are suspected, moving onto either a hypoallergenic or grain-free diet may provide the solution. Here at Gilbertson & Page we offer both hypoallergenic and grain-free recipes for dogs which need these diets restricting common allergens and providing easy-to-digest formulas that are gentle on the stomach.