How to Relieve your Dog’s Itching
Skin allergies are the second most common reason dogs visited the vet in 2015¹. If this comes as no surprise, you may be one of the thousands of pet owners looking for a solution to their dog’s itching skin problems.
Constant itching is painfully frustrating but there are some things you can do to help remedy the problem.
Itchy skin, reoccurring ear infections, yeasty paws, hair loss, hot spots, stinky body odor, and the more are often the symptom of dog allergies. Your dog’s diet, as well as the environment, can trigger allergic inflammation. Even in dogs that eat hypoallergenic dog food.
Dog Itching is Miserable for Pets and Owners
Dog allergies are miserable and can become more serious than a minor discomfort. The constant scratching and inflammation can break down healthy skin causing skin eruptions or tears in the skin that lead to yeast overgrowth or bacterial infections.
Pet owners often complain that even after spending hundreds of dollars on prescription dog food and medications that can cause serious side effects, the underlying problem is never resolved.
Dog Allergies are Expensive
Last year, Americans spent $15.42 billion at the vet² and a large portion spent was spent on atopic or allergic skin disease, allergic dermatitis. The most common treatment, expensive medications and prescription dog food, only suppress the symptoms of a much bigger problem and the cycle seems unending.
Why Do Dogs Itch?
Dogs itch because they have allergies. It sounds so simple. But in truth, allergies indicate your dog’s body systems are out of balance. Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. When a dog comes in contact with an allergy trigger, the immune system of a dog with allergies unnaturally responds by flooding the body with histamines.
In dogs, these histamines cause the skin, paws, and ears to itch. Why some dogs have allergies and some don’t is as complex as it is in humans. Genetics, environmental exposures, immune systems, vaccines, stress, nutrition, all play a role.
The itch will not go away until the immune system is balanced. The best way to sooth an over- active immune system is with real species appropriate nutrition and eliminating the triggers that cause the sensitivity.
The typical remedy:
1. Steroids that provide temporary relief by suppressing the immune system (a fix that actually makes the immune system weaker and can shave years off your dog’s life).
2. Dog food that lacks real nutrition and contributes to more health problems down the road.
Dogs with Food Allergies
Dogs may suffer from environmental or food related allergies. Both are caused by immune system dysfunction.
Food allergies may exhibit as face and paw itching, gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, gas, belching, and vomiting.
Those symptoms also signal a food intolerance to ingredients your dog can’t digest, cause inflammation (also an allergy trigger), and shouldn’t be eaten by carnivores in the first place.
Toxic ingredients and the way in which dog food is processed, under extreme high pressure and heat, removes all the nutrients that can sooth an over active immune system.
Your lovable pet carnivore was designed to eat without being allergic to food but in the world we live in, sometimes it’s hard to know what the best dog food is.
Help for Dog Allergies
What is the best dog food? Food your dog was designed to eat without worry of consuming ingredients that cause inflammation and allergies. Nutrition is a Law of Health that can’t be ignored without repercussions and the foundation upon which health and longevity are built. There is no way around it, kibble and canned dog food (no matter how trendy or expensive) are processed the same and lack the live nutrients and vital enzymes your dog needs to build a strong immune system and fight allergies.
It’s only after the food is processed that manufacturers spray on the vitamins, minerals, and add the flavorings that your dog finds so tasty. Even the highest rated grain free foods that have probiotics and enzymes added to the mix, lack vital nutrients. Think of kibble as the fast food of dog food; a meal in a bag; often tasty but not healthy!
It’s also packed with allergy triggers, such as:
Meat meals, byproducts, petroleum derivatives, molds, wheat, corn, anti-gelling agents, stabilizers, preservatives, colors, artificial flavorings, ethoxyquin, gluten…I can go on and on.
The Solution to Dog Allergies
Species appropriate fresh food is the best dog food for building a strong immune system. Dog food that is free of additives, preservatives, chemicals and all the other nasty fillers can help heal your dog’s immune system and ultimately reduce itching and allergy related problems.
Vitamins, minerals, enzymes in their natural state can be absorbed by your dog’s body to fight infection, cancer, arthritis, and sooth and over reactive immune system.
Feeding fresh food and customizing food ingredients can help allergies or intolerances and is a much healthier way to give your dog a healthier, happier quality of life. In many cases, the money you’ll save at the vet and on prescription dog food will help pay for fresh, unprocessed food.
The speed of how fast your dog responds to a diet made from unprocessed food depends upon many factors-age, overall health, severity of the allergies, toxicity levels, vaccines, and much more.
I have experienced the frustration of an allergy dog and still am. However, since switching my allergy dog to a natural diet, he’s off all medication and his monthly ear infections are a thing of the past. He still has itchy days but no longer suffers intense symptoms. We manage allergy flare ups with natural supplements.
To learn more about:
• Common dog food ingredients that trigger allergies and disease,
• What the “4 D’s” are and why you should avoid them like the plague,
• How custom food can help your pet stop itching, and
• Why fresh, organic, healthy is the best dog food.
Visit Top Dog Dinners – for more information about serious dog nutrition.
There are many nutritional supplements that can help relieve an overactive immune system and build overall immunity. Consulting with a Small Animal Wellness Coach can help get you going in the right direction.
Dog itching can be the sign of other serious health problems. This information does not take the place of veterinary advice. You should always consult your vet before making a diagnosis, or stopping medications-which in the case of long term steroid use, can be dangerous.
We wish you and your pet nothing but the best of health.
¹VPI, Veterinary Pet Insurance, Top 10 Reasons Pets Visit Vets
²American Pet Products.org, Industry Trends
By Cheryl Olmstead
Natural Health and Wellness Coaching
Student of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy,
Small Animal Wellness Coaching Certification