If your dog is experiencing skin issues and allergies, you know the stress that can come from balancing their health and comfort. Dogs with skin sensitivities and allergies struggle to live a happy life when they’re constantly itching, scratching, and licking their fur in response to discomfort. But don’t worry; we’ve got a few tips for raising dogs with skin issues so you can keep them healthy and happy.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
The first step to taking care of a dog with skin sensitivities and allergies is to talk to your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to prescribe a diet that’s best for your dog and recommend medications like Apoquel for dogs. They can also provide supplements like fish oil or probiotics, which can help balance their skin and coat health.
If you’re hesitant about changing your pup’s diet, know that there are many prescription diets in the market specifically designed for sensitive dogs’ needs. You’ll need to work closely with your veterinarian when choosing one of these foods, and after some time on such food, you’ll see positive changes in how easily irritated their skin is.
If none of these options sound appealing, or if you’d give up meat altogether, consider trying an allergy shot regimen instead. It involves weekly injections over an extended period until symptoms are gone, and it might be worth considering if other treatments haven’t worked so far.
Keep Your Pet Away From Grass, Pollen, and Other Triggers
The next step to caring for a dog with skin sensitivities is to keep your pet away from the pollen, grass, and other allergens. The best way to accomplish this is by keeping your dog indoors during the grass pollen season. Take them out during the morning when fewer allergens are floating around outside.
You may also want to consider a dust bath for your dog as an alternative method of removing some of the allergens on their coats. A dust bath will help remove dirt, dead skin, and dander before it builds into thick mats that can cause additional irritation or allergies in our dogs’ skins.
Switch to a Hypoallergenic or Limited-Ingredient Diet
A dog with skin sensitivities and allergies may not be able to tolerate a regular diet. It’s essential to check what type of food you’re feeding your dog, as some brands can contain ingredients that could irritate their skin or cause other problems. In addition, many commercial dog foods are packed with harmful chemicals and ingredients your pet may react negatively to.
Instead of buying something like this at the grocery store, consider switching to a hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diet for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies. Such diets usually have very few (if any) grains and sometimes none. The same goes for artificial coloring, preservatives, and flavorings like sodium nitrite found in hotdogs. These are things worth avoiding if possible since they can trigger allergic reactions too often caused by food sensitivity issues.
Check the Label on Treats and Chews
Treats are a great way to reward and train your dog, but you should check the ingredient list before feeding them. Some treats may contain ingredients that cause allergic reactions in dogs with skin sensitivities or allergies. If you see corn, wheat, or soy on the label —or if any of the first five ingredients includes these three grains— you should avoid giving your dog these treats.
Another item to look for is added sugar, which can cause digestive problems in some dogs. Avoiding artificial colors, flavors and preservatives will help prevent skin irritation from these chemicals and allergic reactions from chemicals found in food dyes. Finally, be sure to avoid meat by-products, including hooves and feathers, as they have been linked with pet food recalls due to health risks (such as salmonella) associated with those ingredients.
Limit Chemicals and Cleaners in the House
To find the right cleaning products that are safe for your dog, it’s essential to know what chemicals are safe and which aren’t. First, steer clear of strong scents and whichever product you choose, make sure it doesn’t have a strong scent that will irritate your dog’s skin. Second, avoid toxic ingredients like bleach and ammonia. Third, don’t use products that are toxic for people as well as pets.
If you’re buying natural cleaners at the store or online, ensure they’re free of alcohol or perfumes. You can also make your cleaners at home using things like lemon juice to disinfect surfaces in the bathroom or kitchen, vinegar mixed with water as an all-purpose cleaner, baking soda mixed with olive oil to scrub down tile floors, and more.
Use an Indoor Air Filter to Reduce Pollen and Dust
An indoor air filter can help reduce allergens and irritants in your home. As you may know, indoor air filters remove particulate matter from the air, which helps reduce asthma symptoms and allergy problems. In addition to removing pollen and dust particles, they also remove bacterial content such as mold spores.
Indoor air filters come in various forms; some are made for specific rooms like the kitchen or bathroom, and others are intended for use throughout your entire home. If you’re unsure how to decide which is best for you and your pup, consult a veterinarian about what would work best for your furry friend’s sensitivities.
Bathe Your Dog Weekly With an Oatmeal-Based Shampoo
Bathing is integral to the grooming routine for dogs with skin allergies and sensitivities. Regular bathing can help reduce the severity of symptoms and keep your dog clean, but it’s essential to use a shampoo that doesn’t irritate their skin.
After washing your pet’s coat using an oatmeal shampoo, it’s vital to rinse thoroughly before allowing them back in the house after bathing. You should also use conditioner if needed but make sure not to apply too much as this could cause dandruff issues later on down the road.
While skin sensitivities and allergies can be frustrating for your dog, there are methods and treatments that you can employ to help alleviate your pup’s discomfort. The first step is to talk with your vet and identify the source of your dog’s reaction. Then, you can start implementing the tips we listed above. With a bit of extra care and attention, you can ensure that your dog feels better in no time.