Our Solution To Itchy Dogs
Do You have an Itchy Dog ?
Are you fed up with the itching, scratching, gnawing and biting. Over the broken sleep from profuse licking and the constant battle with your dog's skin?
In this special article, we have the answer for your itchy dog! Keep on reading and if you have any questions or need personalised advise, please do get in touch!
When you have an itchy dog, you may have already been through a lot trying to find the right solution for them. You may have tried countless 'sensitive foods' & elimination diets, spent countless amounts of money at the vets only for your pup to end up with medicated washes, injections and apoquel or prednisone to help their flare ups yet still have ongoing issues and at a loss as to what could actually be causing the itching. Here at Northland Petfood we work with you to find out what is likely causing your pup's symptoms and help you in a staged, holistic approach.
Lets take a look at the most common causes and how we go about finding what works for your dog.
*Please note this is a guide only. Some dogs will need more in-depth advice and recommendations depending on the severity of their symptoms and the nature of their breed etc. Please do not take your dog off of any medications unless advised by your vet. Our advise is not intended to replace that of a vet.
Common Food Allergens For Dogs
When it comes to food, beef, chicken & wheat can be the biggest culprits.
Food allergies can present in many different ways from upset tummies, anxiety & behavioural problems to skin issues which is what we most commonly see. With food reactions, you will notice itching/scratching all over, with red/pink, warm skin in the armpits/groin and around the muzzle especially. The symptoms usually stem from the protein in the food (beef & chicken) with some dogs reacting to grains/wheat. *If you see chicken fat as an ingredient in food, this will not cause an allergic reaction for a dog who is sensitive to chicken as the problem protein is only found in the meat. If you are also seeing ear issues such as yeast infections in the ears or even on the skin - we recommend removing grains/wheat as this is what yeast tends to feed off of to thrive.
With our staged approach, we often recommend switching onto a fully hypoallergenic diet over the course of a few days. This can be onto a hypoallergenic kibble or raw food if your pup likes a bit more than just dry food. This hypoallergenic diet should be sustained for at least 3-4 weeks by which time you should start seeing an improvement in their skin & coat health. We also often recommend putting your pup onto a broad spectrum probiotic during this time. This will replenish all the good gut bacteria which can be affected and often wiped by steroid therapy. It will help strengthen their immune system and help manage reactions or flare-ups.
If your pup has food allergies presenting through itchy skin, by the 3-4 week mark, you should see them healing. If you still see symptoms and itching/scratching/redness, you are then dealing with an environmental allergy which we can also help with!
On rare occasions dogs can be allergic to additives etc in certain foods. Our NATURA range is completely natural, additive free, preservative free and colourant free, made right here in New Zealand.
Here are our top-recommended hypoallergenic foods for itchy dogs:
NATURA Itch Buster
The perfect clean, natural, New Zealand made fish & rice based hypoallergenic food for itchy dogs. Medium - Large Breeds.
NATURA Grain be Gone
Grain-Free, hypoallergenic & natural New Zealand made fish & potato based food for grain-sensitive itchy dogs. Medium - Large breeds
BlackHawk Fish & Potato
This blend from BlackHawk is a great nutrient-dense option for itchy dogs. Medium - Large Breeds.
The Addiction Range
Natural, New Zealand made and Grain-Free! Choose from four flavours to keep your pup satisfied. Small - Medium Breeds.
Hypoallergenic Wet Dog Food
Compliment your dry food with New Zealand Made hypoallergenic wet food! Any tinned food with a pink background or border, is safe for itchy dogs.
MicroMed For Dogs
Both oral & Topical probiotics great for gut health. Soothing & antimicrobial this promotes healing of the skin. Watch Video HERE.
Dynavyte for Dogs
A fantastic broad-spectrum probiotic for all dogs restoring the gut bacteria especially after steroid therapy.
A great natural probiotic for all pets including dogs who do not have yeast issues.
NATURAL Lamb Marshmallows
The ultimate hypoallergenic treat perfect for ALL dogs!
Common Environmental/Contact Allergens for Dogs
Once you know that food isn't the cause of the itching, we can then safely assume that something in their environment could be irritating them. It can be anything from grasses, seeds, pollens detergents or even carpets, fleas, mites etc. Environmental or contact allergies can only be managed - just by being on a clean diet and having a good probiotic in place, you will give their body a better chance at dealing with these flare-ups. Contact allergies normally present in itching/redness & discolouring in the feet & belly and can also be in the ears if they have yeast infections they are transferring from their mouth to feet to ears. Often times their feet will also have staining.
You can implement simple things such as having a container of water with some baking soda mixed in by the door to dip their feet into neutralising the allergens when they come in from outside, wiping them down with apple cider vinegar and using topical treatments. If there is a grass allergy present, you can try keeping your pup off of fresh cut grass for the first 24 hours when the sap is most active.
Here are our top-recommended topical treatments & supplements to help your dog deal with environmental allergens:
The Washbar Range
This range is natural, New Zealand made and ultra-soothing for itchy skin, providing instant relief for your pup! The wash doesn't strip the skin microbiome like medicated washes do.
The BioPet Range
Homeopathic & safe, this range works on calming the immune system soothing the overreaction from allergies.
Paw Gentle Ear Cleaner
Keep your pet's ears clean year-round with PAW's gentle ear cleaner product. Help to prevent your cat or dog from developing an ear infection.