The short answer is yes, dog food can definitely make a dog itch. This is usually due to a food allergy if the dog food is directly involved. Common allergens include chicken, wheat, beef, oats, dairycorn and rice. Other reasons why a dog may itch include fleas, ticks, infection, or a reaction to something.
Dry skin can often be itchy, so be on the lookout for your dog scratching and chewing at themselves more than usual.
If you notice that your dog has dry skin, it is a good idea to take them to your vet, as a number of things can cause this problem.
Dr Andrew Miller MRCVS sits down with Mat from Pure Pet Food to talk about all things sensitive skin, including everything from symptoms to treatment to even tear stains. Working in practice in West Yorkshire, Andy the vet regularly treats dogs with sensitive skin and helps them on the road to recovery.
So, you’re all set to wage war on those flakes? Here’s how you can set about it. Firstly, check that there’s no underlying illness that’s causing the issue. A quick consultation with your vet will help confirm your dog is otherwise healthy. Make sure your dog is flea-free and that there are no other ‘visitors’ in the fur that could be making their skin crawl.
As with any medical condition, the first port of call should be your vet, to check your dog’s health and diagnose if the sensitive skin is the result of a medical treatment that needs medication. Make sure to keep on top of creepy crawlies that might irritate your dog’s skin, checking regularly for the presence of fleas, ticks or mites. Talk to your vet about the best way to prevent or treat parasite infestations if they should occur. Once the vet has given your pet the all-clear, the question for our furry friends becomes how to cure dogs’ itchy skin.
So let’s assume your dog is tick, mite and flea-free but they’re still scratching like mad: what next? The good news is that there will be a solution.
Don’t be tempted to over-do the shampoo treatments - too much scrubbing with harsh chemicals can strip their skin of sebum, the natural protective oil that keeps their skin supple. Once you have ruled out scenarios such as a change in washing powder or exposure of your dog to a field full of pollen they’ve not experienced before, take them along to your vet who will investigate the root of their troublesome tickling.
A dog with flaky skin will have lots of fine particles of dandruff (basically, clumps of dead skin cells) appearing in their fur. Take a look in their bed or areas where they spend lots of time, as these are likely to contain evidence of their shed skin.
If your dog is scratching excessively, particularly around the tummy, hips and ears and they are pawing at their face or chewing their itchy paws, this is a sign they are experiencing skin irritation. The appearance of excessive dandruff (flaky skin) in their fur suggests dry and probably itchy skin too. Look out for areas of inflamed (red and sore) skin, scabs and bald patches.
Your dog’s skin is vital to their health and wellbeing. It works as one of the first parts of the immune system, creating a barrier between the vital workings of your dog’s body and the germs that can be present in the outside world. This means you want to make sure your canine friends are free from any nasty dog skin conditions, so they can be as happy and healthy as possible.
An allergy to something in the environment or to their diet is a possible trigger for skin problems in dogs. Pollen, fleabites and certain foods are all capable of turning that skin itchy and scaly. Grains and certain protein sources such as beef, chicken, wheat, corn, milk and eggs have all been known to create an allergic reaction in dogs.
Whilst itchy skin is sometimes a sign of an infestation of fleas, mites or ticks, it can also suggest an allergy. An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to certain things in the environment (known as ‘allergens’). The most common environmental allergens that can set off dog skin problems are fleabites (it’s the flea saliva they are allergic to), moulds, pollens, house dust, and irritating chemicals such as those found in flea collars, detergents or cleaning sprays.
The first thing that comes to mind when we see our dogs furiously scratching and nibbling at themselves is parasites like fleas and ticks. Many owners routinely treat to prevent these parasites occurring.
The skin is the largest organ in your dog’s body, responsible for providing a natural barrier against harmful germs. As one of the first lines of defence against infection, it’s really important it stays healthy and intact.
There are lots of other names for flaky skin: scale, scurf, dandruff… whatever you want to call these little clumps of dead skin cells, they can spoil the look of an otherwise flawless, shiny coat. But is it all just a cosmetic problem? Your dog won’t turn a hair at a bit of dandruff on their shoulders but it’s the accompanying irritating itchiness that really gets under their skin.
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