Sensitive skin is not something that most people necessarily associate with dogs. While it’s very common for humans to have sensitive skin, what you might not realize is that it’s frequently found in dogs too.
For some dogs, their skin becomes irritated in certain weather conditions, while many get an adverse response from particular materials. Others suffer allergic reactions to various aspects of their environment.
Some of the telltale signs that your animal is suffering from sensitive skin are excessive scratching or general discomfort. If you haven’t noticed them being actively uncomfortable but have spotted dry spots, bald patches, or flaked skin, it’s likely that their skin has dried significantly.
Not only is this uncomfortable for the dog, but it can also be quite dangerous. Dogs have been known to scratch until they wound themselves. These can get infected and lead to severe injuries. What’s more, constant scratching will leave you with a lot of loose hair to clean up.
If your dog is showing signs of sensitive skin, here are some tips for treating them.
What helps dogs with sensitive skin?
Regular, human shampoo is unsuitable for dogs, especially those with sensitive skin. Strong soaps, gels, and perfumes are too acidic for their skin and can cause damage. A dog’s skin has a different pH level to a person’s, so dog-specific shampoo or products that are pH balanced for pets are best suited.
Regularly washing your dog with shampoo gets rid of potential allergens or irritative materials in their fur or on their skin. This also re-moisturizes the skin and keeps it from getting dry.
Grooming and brushing your dog’s coat doesn’t just keep it looking good and healthy, but it is also important in maintaining good physical health.
Brushing helps with the removal of dead hair, dirt, knots, dust, and dandruff. This frees up their coat and gives their skin better ventilation. Frequent brushing also helps with the production of the natural oils in the dog’s fur. These natural oils are spread through the coat, giving it a healthy sheen and providing natural moisture to the skin.
If you regularly groom your pet, you can check the condition of their body. Spotting a skin issue early on makes it a lot easier to treat and prevent the issue from getting worse.
Another great tip is to wipe your dog’s feet after they’ve spent time outdoors. If they’ve tread on allergens or harmful chemicals, this is an effective way of stemming the spread.
What food is best suited to dogs with sensitive skin?
Something that’s often overlooked when it comes to the health conditions of your dog is their diet. The food that they eat has an enormous effect on their health, particularly on the health of their skin. Skin and regular allergies can be treated effectively by improving the quality of their diet. In fact, many common ailments suffered by our canine companions can be avoided if they are regularly consuming nutrient-dense foods.
Here are some key points to consider when choosing dog food for your pet with sensitive skin.
Limited ingredients diet
It can be quite difficult to decipher what a dog may be allergic to you. Without the power of speech, you will have to closely monitor what it is consuming. Limiting the ingredients of their diet makes it easier to find out what exactly your dog might be allergic to.
If your dog is diagnosed with some specific allergies, they may be prescribed hypoallergenic foods by a vet. These foods are chemically altered to diminish the effects of an allergen on your pet’s immune system.
As many skin conditions are due to allergies, hypoallergenic food can be highly effective in treating them.
Avoid overly processed food
Highly processed food is a major contributor to obesity and health problems among people. Why would it be suitable for dogs?
Common preservatives used in processed dog foods include wheat, corn, gluten, and soy. These are also typical examples of allergens for dogs. Consuming these foods every day can bring about skin irritation, rashes, and other issues for your pet.
Probiotics can be added supplementary to a dog’s diet to combat the development of allergies in the animal. These are most effective when the dog is young as it reduces the amount of time the allergies have to develop.
Probiotics are not very expensive and are completely safe for your pet. Preventing harmful allergies from developing can save you and your dog a lot of hassle throughout their lives.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Oils
Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils are excellent supplements to improve and maintain healthy skin. A lot of processed dog food contains these fatty acids, but they also contain harmful preservatives and poor quality ingredients.
One of the best ways for a dog to consume fish oils is through supplemental oils, gels, or pills.
Another great source of omega-3 fatty acids is through fatty, coldwater fish, such as salmon, mackerel, or mussels. These are all fantastic protein options for a dog.
Healthy dogs require a protein-rich diet. Protein is essential for building and maintaining healthy hair and skin. Ensure that your dog is getting healthy proteins from unprocessed sources. Some excellent protein choices are lamb, beef, chicken, and eggs.
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