In this article, Frontier Pets’ resident vet Dr Kathy Cornack examines treatments for skin problems that cause scratching in dogs. You can learn more about Frontier Pets and their nutritious dog food options at their website!
If your dog has itchy or smelly skin, they could have skin problems. Skin issues range from mild and occasional through to intermittent hot spots and chronic on going, constant irritation. None of these should be ignored. Skin conditions – scratching, hair loss, and hot-spots make up a large percentage of the time you spend at the vet. They also make up most of the money you spend there as well! Skin problems are becoming more and more common, but they practically didn’t exist just a few decades ago.
There are whole array of skin conditions that could be affecting your pup. The majority are some kind of dermatitis, or inflamed skin. Frequent culprits include:
- flea allergy dermatitis;
- contact allergy;
- acute moist dermatitis (hot spot);
- allergic dermatitis;
- pemphigus (bacterial skin infection);
- atopy (hay fever).
Ear conditions, like ear infections, are also linked to allergic skin conditions. Ear infections may be a sign that your dog will progress to having skin infections later in life. It isn’t known exactly why these types of conditions are more common these days. However, a variety of factors are thought to contribute. Some possible reasons include genetic damage and weakness, more allergens in the environment, poor feeding practices, and early desexing.
Could the scratching be due to food allergies?
Dogs can certainly suffer food allergies and food sensitivities. This usually results in being itchy all over, especially after eating certain types of foods containing the offending ingredient. Wheat and corn are common allergens and should have no place in dog food. Grains also take a long time to be digested and contribute to inflammation. For this reasons grain-based diets can be pro-inflammatory. Itching is due to inflamed skin so it makes sense to feed a diet that reduces, not contributes, to inflammation.
In what other ways is food important when to comes to skin conditions?
To have healthy skin, dogs should consume a balanced diet of whole, fresh foods. Fresh foods are very nourishing to the skin because they have not been processed. Most processed food are cooked and cooking destroys about 70% of any of the good nutrients in meat. Feeding raw is therefore better than feeding cooked for most dogs.
Ground green vegetables are especially important as they help to cleanse the liver and contribute to healthy skin. Meat and small amounts of liver are important too to nourish the skin.
How can I find healthy, raw, unprocessed whole food option?
Preparing your own raw, whole food diet can be a pain in the butt, difficult to do, and very confusing. If you don’t have the time, or don’t really know what a raw diet should contain, then Frontier Pets could have just what you’re looking for.
Frontier dog food is a freeze-dried raw food. The freeze-drying process extracts the water from the raw ingredients, leaving a dry food that you can just keep in the cupboard. When you’re ready to feed, you just add the water back in, or you can feed as is like a dry kibble.
What you will likely find is that after just a few weeks of feeding raw is that your dog skin will start to look healthier. If they’ve got itchy, smelly skin this will very likely reduce. Hots spots and allergic skin type conditions are also likely to reduce too!