Dogs are our loyal and beloved companions, but like us, they can experience skin irritations and itchiness and as dog owners we want to ensure our pets are happy and healthy. If your furry friend has been scratching excessively or seems to be uncomfortable, there are a variety of reasons why this might be happening.
1. Fleas and Ticks
One of the most common causes of itchy skin in dogs is fleas and ticks. These tiny pests can cause a range of problems for our furry friends, from mild irritation to more serious health issues. If you suspect that your dog has fleas or ticks, it's important to take action right away. There are a variety of treatments available, from flea collars to topical treatments, that can help keep your pet safe and comfortable.
Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from allergies. These can be caused by a variety of things, including food, pollen, dust, and even mould. Allergies can cause a range of symptoms, from itchy skin to digestive problems, so it's important to talk to your vet if you suspect that your dog might be suffering from allergies. They can recommend treatment options, such as special diets or medication, that can help alleviate your pet's symptoms.
3. Skin Infections
Sometimes, dogs can develop skin infections that cause itchiness and discomfort. These can be caused by bacteria, yeast, or even parasites, and can range in severity from mild to severe. If you notice that your dog has red, inflamed skin, or if they are scratching excessively, it's important to take them to the vet for a diagnosis. Treatment may involve antibiotics or antifungal medication, depending on the type and severity of the infection.
4. Dry Skin
Just like us, dogs can also suffer from dry skin. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including low humidity, poor diet, or even certain medical conditions. If your dog has dry skin, they may be scratching or biting at their skin, and their coat may appear dull or flaky. There are a variety of treatments available, from special shampoos to dietary supplements, that can help moisturise your pet's skin and keep them comfortable.
In addition to fleas and ticks, there are a variety of other parasites that can cause itchiness and discomfort in dogs. These can include mites, lice, and even ringworm. If you suspect that your dog might have parasites, it's important to take them to the vet right away for a diagnosis. Treatment may involve medication or topical treatments, depending on the type of parasite involved.
6. Stress and Anxiety
It's important to remember that dogs can also suffer from stress and anxiety, just like humans. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including changes in routine, new environments, or even separation from their owners. If your dog is experiencing stress or anxiety, they may be scratching or biting at their skin, and their behaviour may be different than usual. There are lots of ways to manage stress in your dog, but it starts with identifying where the stress stems from. Training techniques to help with separation anxiety, boredom and behavioural stress have been found to be very effective. In addition supplements in your dog’s diet can be very helpful. Try adding our Stress and Anxiety into your dog’s food to help calm your dog.
These are all valid reasons for a dog being itchy, but many of these manifest due to poor gut health. The gut is responsible for breaking down food and absorbing nutrients. It also plays a crucial role in the immune system, with up to 70% of the immune system located in the gut. The gut microbiome is essential for maintaining gut health and overall health in general.
Recent research has suggested that the health of the gut microbiome may be linked to itchy skin in dogs. One study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dermatology found that dogs with itchy skin had lower levels of beneficial bacteria in their gut microbiome compared to healthy dogs. This showed it can cause the things we discussed above like dryness, allergies, and skin infections. While this isn’t the case for all dogs with these issues, for many treating the gut is the best way to stop itchiness in dogs.
Another study published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science found that supplementing a dog's diet with prebiotics, which are substances that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, improved skin health and reduced itching. Improving your dog’s diet with nourishing ingredients is a great first step. It is essential to avoid feeding dog food that contains ingredients that can disrupt the gut microbiome, such as artificial preservatives, flavours, and colours. Instead, opt for a high-quality, natural diet that supports gut health.
Supplementing with prebiotics and probiotics to encourage the repopulation of good bacteria in the gut is also key to rebalancing their gut and stopping the itching. Try adding our Gut and Immunity Supplement into their diet to help target the problem at the source. For extra support, add our Mega Oil to supplement their diet with essential fatty acids for skin health and overall immunity.
Itchy skin in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, parasites, and infections, but can also be a deeper issue of overall low immunity and gut health. When the gut microbiome is disrupted, it can cause an immune system imbalance, leading to inflammation in various parts of the body, including the skin. Therefore, dog owners should prioritise maintaining their dog's gut health to improve their overall health and improve itchy skin.
Visit our socials for more info!