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At this time of year so many people feel the effects of hayfever and other allergies, especially when they are out of the house. But, it’s not just people who experience it – allergies can affect dogs too, with them itching constantly because of it!
So many dogs experience flare ups in the summer – and lots of dogs have a poor barrier function – making their skin more vulnerable to irritants and allergens. I know from experience that our family dog, Jasmine, gets itchy from running through long grass and the more she itches the more itchy her skin becomes and it’s hard to know how to make things easier for her at this time of year.
But dogs can be allergic to not just grass and tree pollens but also dust mites and flea dirt – meaning that good flea protection is essential for dogs with itchy skin. But, you can’t really keep a dog away from grass and the great outdoors can you? – dogs just love to run, play fetch and be outside – so what can you do?
Well Lintbells, makers of YuMEGA Itchy Dog, sent us a hamper of their YuMEGA Itchy Dog product and other gifts to help both Jasmine and her family get outside and enjoy more of the summer months. The hamper included a pack of dog snacks, a portable water bowl for Jasmine and a water bottle for us, a dog toy, biodegradable poop scoop bags and a microfiber cloth to prepare us for irritations and itches, letting us give Jasmine a wipe down whenever she needs one.
There was also plenty of YuMEGA Itchy Dog to keep Jasmine itch-free all summer long. It contains a mix of omega oil, Golden Flax, Starflower oil and Salmon oil which help to soothe itching and calm sensitive skin.
We are now planning on taking Jasmine with us for plenty of picnics – or Pupnics! Picnics are a great way of walking the dog but with more purpose, combining it with seeing new places and really just having a slower pace of life.
If you have an itchy dog, here are 10 ways to help reduce their itching:
- Do make an appointment to see your vet if your dog has an itch – broken skin can become infected with bacteria, yeasts or fungi and the more your dog scratches the more damage they can do.
- Do wipe your dog down your dog using the microfiber cloth after they have been outdoors to reduce exposure to allergens that have attached to the coat.
- Do talk to your vet about regular flea treatment – many skin problems are associated with fleas and they may not always be visible as they can jump on and off your dog.
- Do use YuMEGA Itchy Dog to support skin health – simply add YuMEGA Itchy Dog to your dog’s food
- Do feed a good quality diet but be aware that some omega oils are easily damaged during processing and storage of food and giving a high quality supplement such as YuMEGA Itchy Dog is the only reliable way to ensure you give enough.
- Dogs can experience allergies to inhaled substances like dust mites indoors and pollens outdoors and some are sensitive to certain foods. Do talk to your vet if you think your dog could have a food allergy – it’s not enough to switch flavours, varieties or even brands. Some dogs with food allergies get itchy ears and no other signs.
- Do not ignore the problem hoping it will get better – sometimes dogs can be allergic to one allergen but eventually become allergic to multiple allergens and seasonal allergies can eventually become year round problems.
- Do keep an itch diary – recording when the itch got worse and anything that happened around that time.
- Do bath your itchy dog frequently with a good quality dog shampoo recommended by your vet to help remove allergens from your dog’s coat. Don’t use human shampoos on your dog as they are formulated for human skin which has a different level of acidity compared to dog’s skin.
- Do wash bedding using soap flakes rather than washing powder. Washing at high temperatures also removes dust mites. Toys that can’t be washed can be popped in the freezer in a plastic bag to kill off dust mites.