Just like humans, dogs can suffer from a number of skin conditions that can cause them discomfort and even distress. From dandruff, to allergies, and the nasty little parasites, there are a number of reasons why your dog could be standing around scratching all of the time.
Nobody wants to see their dog suffer, so if you notice that something might be wrong, take a closer look at the symptoms so you can find out more about what's going on.
Here are some of the most common skin conditions that dogs can suffer from:
When you notice your dog scratching, over-grooming, or rubbing themselves you should first brush back their fur to take a look at their skin. Look for signs of things such as parasites, dandruff, red patches and sores, missing fur, rashes, and lumps and bumps. Take a note of anything you see. Then think a bit about when you noticed your dog start to scratch a lot. Try to judge how much the problem is irritating them. Is it only a mild itch, or a very severe condition? Could it be related to their environment or the season?
By observing your dog's behaviour, and examining their skin frequently, especially in areas where you see them itch, you might be able to make a diagnosis.
Dry Skin & Dandruff
Dry skin is very common for a dog so there is no need to panic. It is uncomfortable, but easy to solve with moisturizing shampoos, conditioners and creams, along with a proper feeding regime. The signs of dry skin include constant itching, and possibly smelly, greasy, or flaky skin, along with the absence of other more serious symptoms that we will mention later. We recommend our Dry Skin Repair Kit as a simple solution. It has a wet shampoo (Mineral Rich Mud Shampoo) made with Dead Sea mud that will exfoliate, treat dandruff, and moisturize. The kit also has a leave-in conditioner (Deep Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner) that acts as a skin moisturizer - much like what you use on your own skin - that will also hydrate their coat and it can be used to remove matts!
If your dog has dandruff then you may notice similar symptoms to more severe conditions, perhaps bumps or pimples, and maybe a bit of hair loss. Again, the solution is to treat your dog with gentle products that will give them healthy fur and skin. Our Mineral Rich Mud Shampoo is also great for treating animal acne and other chronic skin conditions. However, for treating bald spots we recommend our Hypoallergenic Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner because it encourages hair growth on bald spots. It also decreases shedding by up to 75% which might help your allergies too (fur can collect pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens!) On top of grooming, its also essential to feed your pup high quality food, to tackle the problem from both the outside and the in!
Fleas & Ticks
Fleas are small brown fiends that feed on your dog. You may notice them on your dog's skin, or even on your carpet, and you will need to use vet recommended products to rid your dog and your home of these critters.
Ticks on the other hand burrow themselves partially into your dog's skin, and need to be very carefully removed with a special tool, so as not to leave the head in there (gruesome, we know!). They can look a bit like little warts at first glance. If you live in the countryside this is something you should watch for after every trip into any tall grass or forested area.
If you notice or suspect ticks or fleas on your dog, you should seek the help of a vet immediately because they are highly contagious and can carry a host of diseases.
Your dog can be allergic to fleabites, inhaled allergens, some foods, and to some materials that they might come into contact with in their environment. All types of allergy cause itching and irritation, but the different types of allergies can have slightly different symptoms:
Treatment of the allergy involves isolating the cause of the problem, and removing it from the your dog's environment or food. Watch out for prolonged, increased or severe discomfort. Depending on the severity, allergic reactions can sometimes require a trip to the vets and blood tests. The vet may recommend diet changes and other medical solutions.
In some cases, a contact allergy can be caused by your dog's shampoo. It can be caused by an allergy to the ingredients in the shampoo, or a sensitivity to harsh chemicals if you are using a non-natural shampoo. Or, your dog might just have sensitive skin in general which is common for many breeds. Using a hypoallergenic shampoo instead can solve this. Our Hypoallergenic Shampoo is designed for dogs with contact allergies and for dogs with sensitive skin. It can even help mitigate the effects of environmental allergens. It provides immediate itch relief for and soothes irritation on contact. It is enriched with colloidal oatmeal, which, unlike regular oatmeal that dries out the skin overtime, colloidal oats are absorbed better and are therefore more effective and allow the skin to retain moisture.
Dogs can also suffer from bacterial and yeast infections.
Usually your dog's skin condition will turn out to be nothing more than dry skin or dandruff, or a common problem that can be home treated with a quality grooming product. If in doubt, we recommend a visit to the vet in order to properly diagnose the problem.
Here at Soos Pets, we offer a number of shampoos, creams, conditioners, and more that can help keep your dog's fur and skin healthy. Check out our product range today!
As the temperature grows colder and the air dryer, we’re preparing for the drying effects that winter has on our pets’ sensitive skin.
Our pups love the snow– they love to play in it, roll in it and even snack on it! But long play times in the cold and the wet can take its toll on sensitive skin. Pepper, the Labrador Retriever, has especially sensitive skin when it comes to moisture. As a Lab, Pepper loves the water – whether she’s swimming in it, or it’s falling from the sky as rain or snow.
After extended play sessions her skin becomes itchy, and she scratches at it incessantly. To help combat this issue we turned to Soos Pets, a shampoo for pets that uses two times concentrated minerals from the Dead Sea to soothe irritated skin.
Soos Pets products are paraben free, sulphate free and contain 97% natural ingredients like coconut oil, green tea, chamomile, tea tree oil, lavender and Vitamin E carefully selected to cleanse your pet’s fur and relax them at the same time. And… they’re cruelty free (no animal testing)!
We tested out two Soos Pets shampoos; Mineral Rich Mud Shampoo and Anti-Itch Shampoo.
What’s great about these products is that not only are they packed with nutrient-rich ingredients, but they’re safe for use on cats and dogs. If you’re an inter-species household, you’ll appreciate that your shopping list just got a little bit shorter!
The main difference between the two shampoos is their ingredient list. Soos Pets carries a number of shampoo and conditioner options for just about any skin care issue. Knowing a little about the properties that each natural ingredient is best known for may help you narrow down which is best for your needs.
The Mineral Rich Mud has a number of soothing ingredients from coconut and pumpkin seed oil to goat milk, honey and over 71 plant extracts. It also has the highest concentration of Dead Sea minerals and antioxidants out of all of the Soos Pets products.
Mineral Rich Mud is designed to aid in circulation, provide relief for chronic and irritated skin conditions, hydrate skin and coat, and promote cell detox and regeneration.
Yeast is a fungus that grows in moist areas and it is normal for your dog to have some amount of it growing on them. However, in warm and humid seasons yeast can overpopulate, and cause problems, especially if dog's have vulnerable immune systems.
A yeast infection will usually affect your dog's skin, and the fungus will cause irritation and discomfort. Dogs will scratch, lick, bite, and even scoot along the floor in an attempt to soothe themselves.
It is important to know the symptoms of dog skin fungus, and to know how to combat them and alleviate your dog's frustrations.
There are certain things that predispose your pet to yeast infections. Hot and humid conditions are one of them. If your dog has big floppy ears or lots of flappy skin then they are also more likely to get yeast infections, as the flaps will provide a perfect environment for the yeast to breed.
A fungal infection is especially likely to occur if your dog's immune system is unbalanced, or weak. This can happen for a number of different reasons, such as the common fleabite allergy, inhalant or contact allergy, or after a course of steroids or antibiotics. Yeast infections can also stand-alone.
If you see your dog itching and scratching, and licking and biting in certain areas, then keep an eye in them to see if you can see symptoms of skin fungus, such as these:
The main treatment that you can give your dog for skin fungus is a weekly bath using the high quality natural products that contain antifungal properties. You can also use antifungal creams and sprays, and natural conditioners to remoisten the skin. Your vet may also prescribe antifungal drops if your dog suffers from a yeast ear infection.
Soos Pets recommends our Deep Cleansing Shampoo (or our Hypoallergenic Shampoo if your dog has allergies or sensitive skin) and our Home Hydrotherapy Salt Soak because it is specially designed to remove yeast build up from the paws and body. Simply add it to the bath water as you bathe your dog and occasionally pour it over them. Additionally, many of our Dead Sea enriched products, such as our Mineral Enriched Rescue Cream, are fortified with antifungal agents that will help to relieve itching, moisturize skin, and reduce yeast build up by nipping the problem in the bud.
In order to rule out an underlying cause, you should also take your pup to the vet to be examined and treated if necessary. Lastly, your dog's immune system can be enhanced with digestive tract such as probiotics, and supplements such as digestive enzymes, which will stop the fungus getting out of hand in the future.
If you notice your dog scratching, licking, chewing, and gnawing themselves often and in a distressed manner then it is likely that they are suffering from dry skin, and potentially dandruff.
It’s normal for dogs to scratch themselves but if they start to do this all the time to the point that you’re kept awake at night, for example, then the scratching is likely to be a result of an underlying issue.
A visit to the vet is highly recommended, but there are also many home treatments available that are very effective, especially if the condition is not severe.
Dry skin, known medically as pruritus, has many causes including the condition of the skin; it could be infected, too oily, or as is most often the case simply be dry. Another common cause is allergies.
If you live in a place where humidity levels are low, then this in itself can cause dry skin. Other causes include diet. Some pet foods, especially commercial dry food, result in poor digestion and hydration, and can take the essential oils out of your dog's fur.
The good news is that it is fairly easy to spot dry skin. Your dog may have flaky dandruff, their skin can be cracked and tough (and very sensitive to the touch) and they may show signs of irritation such as scratching. Dry skin can also translate into dry hair.
There are many solutions and approaches to relieving your dog's dry skin. A change to diet, added digestive enzymes, and the use of gentle moisturizing shampoos and products can all help to soothe your dog and bring their skin and fur back to a beautiful healthy shine.
Soos Pets offers an Anti-Itch Pet Shampoo infused with green tea, tea tree oil, and chamomile, which is great for use on dogs that have dry skin. Another excellent option is our Dead Sea Mineral Rich Mud Pet Shampoo for improved hydration, circulation and chronic skin issues. Finish off with our Deep Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner to deeply moisturize skin and hair, bringing it back to life without leaving a greasy residue.
Your dog could also be itching and scratching because of allergies. In this case, they may have a slightly oily or greasy feeling skin, but it will still be very dry and irritable. They will probably lick, scratch, and chew the affected area in an effort to relieve the irritation.
An allergy can be difficult to identify, and is rarely completely controlled. Blood tests and vet visits might be required, and pharmaceuticals could be given to your dog in some cases. Mainly, you should try to identify and remove the allergen.
Changes to diet can also help, such as Omega 3 fish oils, and flax seeds. Anti-allergen shampoos and conditioners, like our Hypoallergenic Shampoo and our Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner are very useful if your dog is having a reaction to their usual shampoo, and contain hypoallergenic properties that can decrease the effects of allergens, as well as being moisturizing, soothing, and suitable for sensitive skin.
Many dogs suffer from dry skin from time to time, and often the problem is very mild. If you suspect a more serious underlying problem, then you should visit your vet, but in the case of dry skin and dandruff you can provide relief for your dog at home:
Pet’s get dandruff too. Known medically as Seborrhea, doggy dandruff is usually a result of dry and flaky skin, which irritates your dog and causes them to scratch intensely. The dead skin then falls off and can be seen on the surface as white flakes.
Dandruff is an uncomfortable experience for your dog. The first sign you will likely notice, apart from the visually obvious white flakes, is the irritation your companion is going through. Seborrhea is a mild problem, but still causes a lot of scratching.
In severe cases, your pet's hair will thin or bald as a result of the itchiness. You may also notice scabs, bumps, or pimples on the surface of your dog's skin, although this is not always the case.
Some breeds of dog, such as Doberman and German Sheppard get oily skin when they have dandruff, whereas others, like Basset Hound and Cocker Spaniels, get very dry skin.
Pet dandruff can happen for a number of reasons. A low humidity or poor diet can contribute to the dry skin problem, but sometimes an underlying allergy might be the cause. In this case, you will need to consult a vet and deal with the root cause. However, in most cases your pet's dandruff can be treated very simply at home.Treatment For Doggy Dandruff
In order to prevent dandruff, and treat it if your dog already has it, you just need to bathe your dog regularly, groom them, and use the right products to keep their skin moisturized.
If your dog has dandruff then you will need to treat this by increasing how often you bathe them. If it is severe, then this could be as often as every other day for the first week. Once the majority of the dandruff is gone, you could go down to twice a week, and then to once a week.
It is essential that you use the right shampoos and products during this time. You don't want to bathe your dog too often while using a heavy chemical product, as this will draw the essential oils out of their fur and skin. Instead, try to use gentle natural products.
Soos Pets offers a wide range of kind and healing products that can help to rid your dog of dandruff, and keep their fur and skin healthy for life.