Dealing with reddened, irritated, and itchy skin can be stressful for both pet owners and their dogs. After all, we all want our pets to live comfortably and healthily. Like humans, some dogs have sensitive skin that triggers symptoms caused by various factors such as what they eat, what was applied to their skin, and the environment they live in, among other things.
Don’t stress, there are several ways to manage and treat your dog’s sensitive skin. These remedies can be done by any pet owner and are usually recommended by veterinarians.
Read on further to find out how to take care of a dog with sensitive skin.
Ways of Managing Sensitive Dog Skin
Signs of Sensitive Skin in Dogs
Dog skin issues are caused by different factors. Some may assume that it’s caused by ticks or parasites, and while that may be the case because of how common it is, not all sensitive skin issues are caused by it. Depending on your dog’s skin type, signs of what makes their skin sensitive differ.
Here are the signs that show your dog has sensitive skin:
- Excessive scratching and licking of different body parts
- Rubbing themselves on furniture or other objects for itch relief
- Hair loss or bald spots (alopecia)
- Having dry, flaky skin
- Pink or reddened skin
- Changes in behaviour i.e. suddenly averse to touching or handling
- Digestive or gut problems
- Bad odour emanating from the skin
If you see these changes on your dog’s body and how they behave, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get this checked and treated.
Causes and Treatments for Sensitive Skin in Dogs
To properly care and treat your dog’s sensitive skin, finding the cause is the first step. These can be caused by parasites, genetics, external factors, food, allergies, and changes in weather.
These are the most common causes of skin issues and sensitive skin triggers. They are caused by fleas, mites, and ticks. The bites left behind can result in excessive itching, scratching, hair loss, and hot spots. The treatment for these that veterinarians would usually recommend is getting anti-parasite related treatments like flea collars, anti-tick powers, anti-parasite shampoos, and more.
Diet and Nutrition
Always check what you feed your dog since food-related allergies can happen unexpectedly. If you are feeding your dog something new, make sure to check to see how they react to it afterwards. Food allergies can be triggered by any type of food such as chicken, meat, gluten, and many more. Aside from that, not feeding your dog a balanced and nutritious diet can cause skin sensitivity, so make sure they are well-fed to avoid skin issues and health problems. Your vet will most likely suggest you stop feeding your dog the food that caused the trigger and switch up their diet to a better one.
Gut health problems can also cause sensitive skin issues for your dog. The bacterial imbalance can trigger inflammation and show up on their skin. You can add veterinarian-approved food, vitamin supplements, and medications that contain prebiotics and probiotics.
How you groom your dog affects its skin and coat. The common causes of skin sensitive issues include using harsh products, being too rough with how you wash their body, not using the right water temperature, and not properly rinsing off your pup afterwards. To prevent sensitive skin issues, switch to gentle cleansing products, use a skin-friendly brush, bathe with lukewarm, and thoroughly rinse off your dog afterwards. Avoid bathing them regularly since it could dry their skin out.
Environmental Factors That May Cause Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin causes can be found in and outside your home. Some everyday products you use may induce skin issues like detergent, sprays, soap (for humans), cleaning materials, and more. On the other hand, your dog may develop sensitive skin when exposed to dust, pollen, mold, grass, plants, flowers, and more. Make sure to stir them away from allergens and treat them with barrier creams and antibiotics.
Changes in Weather
Some dogs are more sensitive when it comes to changes in the seasons and weather. Add soothing creams in dry and affected areas, use more gentle soap and shampoo, administer medications or antibiotics recommended by your veterinarian, and add food and supplements that are good for your dog’s skin.
Changes in Location or Lifestyles
Sudden changes in your dog’s routine – whether lifestyle or moving to a new place – can trigger anxiety and stress which could affect your dog’s skin. For these, you can try using behavioural modification training, stress relief products, and calming practices to soothe your pet.
Dogs having sensitive skin can be uncomfortable and stressful. It can affect not only their skin, but how they behave in their daily routines. It is the responsibility of the owner to be aware and know what causes them before applying the needed remedy to cure it.
Pet owners can remove the factors that cause sensitive skin issues by making changes in how they groom and feed their dog. We recommend bringing your pet to the vet to help get them checked and get the proper treatment necessary to cope with skin issues.