Like humans, a dog’s skin is their biggest organ. If you have noticed your dog scratching a little more than normal, it could be a sign that something’s wrong.
But it can be easily solved once you know what their itchy skin is a sign of, and so this month we are looking at some of the most common skin challenges dogs face with the help of Veterinary Nurse, Siobhan Griffin who is part of the Lintbells team.
How to tell what your dog’s itchy skin means
If your dog is showing signs of itching, biting and chewing, excessive licking and rubbing themselves on your furniture or carpet for relief, they could have sensitive skin.
Siobhan tells us, "As well as the above signs, your dog might also have red or pink sensitive skin which may feel warm to touch. Itchy skin can be caused by environmental sensitives. Food sensitivities, for example, can vary from different proteins to grains."
Dry flaky skin, which looks like dandruff can have many causes from over or under bathing. A reaction to fleas can also cause sensitivities and itchy skin.
Siobhan tells us how to check if your dog has fleas.
"Checking your dog for fleas is relatively easy, one way is to use a flea comb (or fine tooth comb) to brush through your dog’s fur, if there is any dirt in the fur you have combed out, put onto a piece of white kitchen towel and drop a tiny amount of water on the hair and dirt - if a red ring appears around the dirt or it appears pink then it is likely flea dirt.
"The only way to be sure you keep your pet and home flea free is to apply a flea treatment monthly! Fleas will make all dogs itch and scratch, treat quickly to avoid any further issues developing caused by your dog’s itching!
"Whatever the cause, giving the right balance of EFA (such as YuMEGA) in the diet can help reduce dry flaky skin."
Like hay fever in humans, a dog’s sensitivities could peak during the year
A dog’s skin could tell you if they have a sensitivity to grass or pollen and like humans, reactions can be worse at different times of the year.
Siobhan tells us there are a couple of things that you can do to help your dog cope.
"Firstly, I would say get your dog’s skin in the best health possible by avoiding the places or walks where your dog’s skin reacts the most, if possible. Secondly after a walk rub your dog down with a damp towel, paying particular attention to the paws and feet."
This is really helpful, thanks Siobhan! To learn a bit more about your job as Lintbells’ Learning and Development Executive, we'd love to ask you some quick fire questions, are you up for it?
Q. What three words sums up the ethos of Lintbells?
Passionate, Caring, Exceptional.
Q. Describe a typical working day for you, how does it begin?
There is no such thing as a typical day for me!
My role is to deliver technical support and training. This varies from day to day and includes training new and existing team members, Retailers, Vets, UK and International distributors. I love the variety of my job, one of my favourite parts is speaking to customers (especially at shows where I can meet their pet!) and hearing and seeing the effects our products have! As a Veterinary Nurse, animal welfare is my passion and I love that I can still make a massive difference to thousands of lives from ‘behind the scenes’!
Q. Is your office dog friendly? Can you share any funny or memorable stories about having dogs at work?
Our office is dog friendly of course, and on special occasions, some furry (and scaly!) team members have come to the office! With so many dog owners that work here it would be chaos if everyone brought their dogs to work, so it only happens on very special occasions - like a doggy photo shoot!
Q. Oh, we know only so well what you mean! What three items do you never leave home without?
For dog walks, then poo bags, my phone (in case of an emergency and in case there is a good photo opportunity as Roo hates posing!) and a travel water bottle if we are going for a long walk!
For everything else, keys, phone and lip balm!
Q. Finish the following sentences:
My dog is…my best friend!!
My business is...innovative!
Q. Finally, what's next for Lintbells?
Lintbells are always conscious of staying one step ahead of customers’ needs by continuing to always provide exceptional products and customer service. We are always looking for new ways to reach and help new pets and their owners whilst continuing to support our existing customers.
Many thanks, Siobhan.