How to treat my dog's hot spots & itchy skin

How to treat my dog's hot spots & itchy skin

Posted by Nicole Thompson - Owner, Paws 2 Purrfection, LLC on 21st Nov 2017

SCRATCH! SCRATCH! SCRATCH!

Why does my dog get so itchy?

If you’ve ever owned a dog you may be familiar with canine skin issues.

Rashes, hot spots, dry, flaky patches, dandruff, bald spots... you name it!

We've listed a few things below to help alleviate some of that uncomfortable itch!

Skin conditions can cause persistent scratching, chewing or rubbing against furniture and door-casings, as your dog tries desperately to get some relief from the itch. This can be especially troublesome because the continuous scratching can cause tiny tears in the skin, which can easily become infected. On dogs with longer hair you may not even see the full extent of it until it’s gotten way out of control.

Treatment can range anywhere from a topical spray all the way to an expensive trip to the vet where they may need to shave and clean the area and administer a shot of antibiotics, plus send your pooch home with a follow-up course to continue until the infection clears.

So what causes these skin conditions?

It could be a number of different things…

It could be related to environmental conditions, such as something new that’s in bloom or an insect bite. It could also be related to the shampoo with which they are being bathed. This could be that they have not been rinsed thoroughly enough and the shampoo has built up on their skin or they could be experiencing an allergic reaction to one or the shampoo’s ingredients.

Another possible cause could be something in your home. Have you recently installed a new carpet or started using a new air freshener? Air fresheners mist out into the air and help make nasty odors less noticeable, which can sometimes be necessary with a dog, but that mist also falls down onto the floors and bedding and can cause your dog to experience skin irritation when their skin or paws come into contact with there synthetic ingredients that we use to make our homes smell good. A better option may be to use Essential Oils diluted in a mister bottle.

Could my dog's diet be a factor?

Since the domestication of dogs, their daily diets have changed immensely. Out in the wild it’s highly unlikely that dogs would be eating cornmeal, wheat flour and over processed byproducts found in all too many of today’s pet foods.

This change in their diets has lead to a massive list of health issues from which today’s dog now suffers.

There are so many ingredients in some pet foods that are not only possible allergens, but downright deadly! Imported foods can contain high levels of pesticides that wouldn’t pass regulations in the USA. Pesticides that aren’t even legal to use in the United States because they can permeate the grains and not come off completely when they're washed for processing. Your dog is then consuming these toxins and feeling the effects which can manifest in all sorts of ways, skin conditions being one of them.

It’s important to remember that ingredients matter when it comes to your dog’s food.

When reviewing the list of ingredients, note that they are listed in order of quantity. So if the first ingredient is cornmeal, that food contains more cornmeal than any other product in the list. The same would be true if the first ingredients is chicken, beef, lamb, etc., so read labels and be sure to choose carefully.

There are lots of healthy alternatives to these “cheaper” foods that have all these nasty things in them, but most expensive doesn’t always mean better. Never trust the price tag. When selecting your dog's food, the ingredients list should be your bible.

Some other great alternatives to these foods would be a grain free variety with minimal ingredients. We like Blue Buffalo Blue Freedom Grain Free in our house but there are several other options available.

You also have the option to feed your dog a raw diet. While there has been some controversy associated with this, there is also a lot of merit to it as well. Do your research and make sure you choose a good quality raw food that has been tested and approved in the United States, like the Natural Balance Dog Food Roll. These foods will need to be refrigerated to stay fresh between feedings, and won’t keep as long as the dry foods, but the dogs seem to just LOVE them!

Below are a few products we recommend to help keep your pup itch free!

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Hot Spot & Itch Relief Medicated Shampoo Corigem Balm Pet Wound Antiseptic & Antifungal Cream Wild Omega 3 Fish Oil for Dogs & Cats