Itchy, sensitive skin and allergies are one of the problems that seems to be really bothering lots of our pets.
The main symptoms of allergies in dogs are as follows:
- Increased Scratching to face, body and ears.
- Red, moist or scabs to the skin
- Runny eyes and tear stains
- Recurrent ear infections
- Chewing or licking of paws
- Rubbing face against furniture, floors etc.,
There can be lots of causes of allergies from food ingredients through to environmental issues such as dust mites, storage mites and grass and tree pollens. It is worth keeping a diary to see if the problem is something that occurs at certain times of the year, as some dogs can suffer from hayfever type allergies, which are usually from around March to October.
Your vet can carry out allergy tests but these don’t always prove to be conclusive.
Allergies can occur at any age but is more common in dogs over 12 months.
We would always recommend in the first instance to change the diet to something that is completely different to what has been fed before. If you have always fed a grain based diet then we would recommend to go grain free. Always use either a single protein source or even a novel protein source which is something your dog has never tried in the past.
We would recommend you give the new food at least 12 weeks to see if the symptoms improve and during this time we would recommend cutting out all treats and titbits.
If you see an improvement in the symptoms then you can add one treat at a time and if your dog reacts then stop that particular treat immediately but you may keep adding additional ones, one at a time, until you find what your dog can tolerate.
For dust mite allergies wooden or tiled flooring is better than carpeted floors and simple bedding such as vet bedding tends to work better than pillow type beds. Always use shampoos that are suitable for sensitive skin and unperfumed.