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. A reaction to fleas can also cause sensitivities and itchy skin, under bathing too can cause skin issues, so one solution is to research shampoos for sensitive skin.
Article continues below >>
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 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."