The Single Most Important Factor In Canine Skin Allergies
Your dog just won’t stop scratching, licking and nibbling. His constant fussing is driving you crazy, but more than that, you know he must be going out of his mind with itching! What are the common causes of skin allergies and irritation in dogs? And, more importantly, what can you do to help ease your pup’s symptoms?
The Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
While incessant scratching is a very common indication your dog has a skin problem, you may notice your dog doesn’t want to be touched in certain areas and is snappy or generally grumpy. Hives (lumps and bumps under the skin), bald patches, constant itching or rashes can all indicate an allergic reaction or potentially atopic dermatitis.
In a really serious case, your dog may vomit, have trouble breathing or collapse, though such severe reactions are rare. Most often caused by insect stings, spider bites, snake bites or a reaction to an antibiotic, a severe allergic reaction can be deadly, so if you suspect this is the case, get your dog to the closest vet immediately.
Most Common Cause of Itchy Skin in Dogs - Fleas
Fleas are the number one culprit when it comes to causing skin irritation. Make sure your dog is on a regular flea prevention program (check with your vet and refer to our blog post about tick prevention - some medications will provide a defence against both of these nasty creatures). Any dog will itch if infested with fleas, but a dog that has an allergy to flea bites will react from even a single bite.
A Close Second - Food Allergies
Many commercial dog foods and dog treats are loaded with ingredients that can cause allergic reactions in our dogs.
If you feed your dog these read the label and check for dairy, corn, wheat or soy. These common filler ingredients are not necessary in a dog’s diet and can wreak havoc on a sensitive dog’s system.
A raw dog food diet, like the one specially formulated by Rawmate, doesn’t contain any of those troublesome filler ingredients and is free of any artificial colours or flavours.
Omega-3 fatty acids are super helpful when it comes to reducing the inflammatory response and easing allergy symptoms. Our complete and balanced meals include a healthy amount for omega-3 fatty acids, all from natural sources.
We include some vegetables in our meals, but we make sure those are sourced locally and are free of pesticides.
Dogs may be also allergic to scented shampoos (don’t use anything fancy when bathing your dog - a plain shampoo intended for babies works well or a shampoo formulated for dogs - the fewer the ingredients, the better). And speaking of baths, most dogs don’t need to be bathed very often.
Too many baths dry out the skin by removing natural oils and this can cause skin rashes - dry, flaky or itchy skin. While too many baths can cause problems, regular brushing and grooming are good for your dog, particularly if you have a breed that sheds.
Removing dead hair and skin with brushing can help reduce itchy symptoms.
Many Skin Allergies Respond Well to a Diet Change
Some dogs also suffer from inhaled allergens like mould and grass pollen.
Like humans, some of our pups are sensitive to strong cleaners, paints, detergents or insecticides.
We should be limiting our use of (and exposure to) strong chemicals for our own health, the health of the planet and, yes, the health of our dogs too.
Even when the cause of the skin irritation is external, feeding a good diet can help support your dog’s natural immune systems response.
Genetics Plays a Role in Dog Allergies
Certain breeds of dogs may be more susceptible to skin problems.
The German Shepherd Dog is one breed that may be susceptible to skin irritation.
Educate yourself about your particular breed’s unique needs, but recognise that any dog will benefit from a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Rawmate Premium Meal Plan Features All-Natural Ingredients
Despite what our current doggy handlers have to say, Rawmate is NOT a miracle food with magical secret ingredients. That said, members of our pack have had profound improvements in allergies across the board, but we credit this to providing our pack members with an excellent, high quality, well-rounded diet.
We think it’s what we leave out of the meal plan that makes all the difference.
In our meals you won’t find any meal, by-products, colouring, artificial flavourings or unnecessary carbs.
We can’t guarantee that your dog’s skin condition will improve if you switch to a Rawmate raw food diet, but we won’t be surprised when you let us know that the itching has subsided and both you and your dog are much happier!