If you have an itchy pet your first question must be, why is my pet itching? All pets can be itch sometimes and this itch can have a number of causes. The first has to do with the condition of the skin itself: Is it infected? Is it too oily? Is it too dry? Of these three, dry skin is a frequent occurrence. The second major cause is allergies. Your vet is the best person to provide a good diagnosis of any skin problem but we thought we can help you a little bit.
Is It Dry Skin?
One common cause of itching is dry skin. If you live in a region with low humidity, it’s more likely that your dog will have dry skin, which is fairly easy to recognize. When you part your dog’s hair, you see flakes of dandruff in the undercoat, and the skin itself may be cracked and tough. The slightest stimulation of the skin—your gentlest touch—can provoke your dog to scratch violently.
Dry skin can be influenced not only by environmental factors, but also by diet. Commercial pet foods process out the good oils that contribute to healthy skin and a lustrous haircoat. Dry pet foods have an even more dehydrating effect on skin and hair and also stimulate increased thirst, which only partially compensates for the drying nature of these diets.
Another common cause of itchy skin is allergies. Allergies may make your dog’s skin dry, greasy, or slightly dry and oily, and are accompanied by frequent scratching, licking or chewing. Whatever the cause, allergies are difficult to address. In the worst cases, afflicted dogs require strong (and potentially toxic) pharmaceuticals just to get some relief. Though allergies are rarely cured, early identification and intervention can keep them under control, and in some cases, can substantially diminish them.
If you haven’t already had a check-up with your vet, take your pet for an assessment and your vet will tailor a program to your needs. Allergy testing and immunotherapy are other options that can give you and your pet relief. For some dogs, food changes may be necessary and there are certainly medications that can be used to control the allergy and treat secondary infections.
This skin condition is in some ways similar to a condition we humans sometimes get on our own scalps. Everyone knows someone with dandruff and itchy scalp. So imagine how annoying and uncomfortable it is for a dog that has hair all over their body. Overactive sebaceous glands in the skin secrete a greasy, waxy substance that is trapped on the skin by the hair. tIt sometimes collects on the belly, under the armpits, and in the ears, elbows, and ankle area. However, any part of the coat can be involved. It's this fat-laden greasy accumulation that causes the distinctive "doggy odour." Secondary ear and skin infections are very common with seborrhea. Good thing is that it is not contagious.
Dogs with Seborrhea will have itchy or flakey skin, and sometimes an odour due to the excess oil. In some cases, there may be some scabbing.There are a variety of treatments as suggested by your vet. In humans, this condition can be treated by using a shampoo with an anti-yeast ingredient, A dog, however, should have a very mild shampoo with ingredients as lickable as possible and combined with a cream with anti-yeast ingredients. This will clean the excess oil from the skin without irritation, and also control the yeast that can be causing the problem. This will normally keep the skin of your dog healthy and everyone will be happy.
Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common causes of chronic itching in dogs. Atopic dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction (hypersensitivity) to one or more substances in the environment. Various substances, called allergens, can trigger atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis is usually a chronic condition, with frequent flair-ups occurring seasonally. Dogs with severe skin inflammation or skin infections may need to be treated with oral, topical or injectable medications to manage their disease. Anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines and corticosteroids are frequently used to treat the effects of dermatitis in dogs.
What can you do?
First, try to identify where your pet is itching most and see if you can identify the why or if there's is something triggering the itch. Then, talk to your vet. Medicines such as corticosteroids and antihistamines can also be given to control or reduce itching.
Is there a natural alternative?
If you are a pet parent with an itchy pet looking for natural alternatives or if you are currently using anti-inflammatory or steroid creams and you want to try something new, we have a few tips and products that can help your pet.
1) A natural bath
You wouldn’t believe how many harmful ingredients can be found in human and pet products. The majority of grooming products on the market contain synthetic fragrances and sulphates which can be highly irritating and can often cause skin conditions and problems such as dermatitis, allergies, itching, redness & irritated skin. We have had many cases where pet's itchy skin is caused by that synthetic commercial shampoo with the big brand name that pet parents use thinking is great because of the size of that brand. For example, all commercial shampoos use the detergent Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) in almost all wash products. SLS is the ingredient that creates the foaming action but it can also cause irritation to the skin, dryness and in some cases even dandruff.
2) A natural cream
Dr Zoo’s Irritable Skin Cream is designed to help soothe irritated, itchy skin using edible oils and other soothing ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Chamomile and Colloidal Oatmeal, which is a well-known calming ingredient for pet’s skin. This balm is ideal for applying to pet's itchy areas. We also use natural, concentrated anti-inflammatory extracts such as Centella Asiatica, for further calming. Pets with skin problems and allergies are more common every day and our Irritable Skin Cream is an ideal follow on treatment for pets who have completed a prescription course of medicated steroidal creams after the worst of the inflammation has been brought under control. It also is a good alternative for those pet owners that may be concerned about long-term Cortisone use, seasonal allergies or frequently dry spots. For the past four years, our customers have known first-hand the benefits of our cream and thanks to their word-of-mouth recommendations, and we have been helping more and more pets.
Antifungal and anti-inflammatory ingredients
We use Edible oils which means pets can lick as much as they like
Free from harsh chemicals, cortisone or steroids