We’re currently seeing a lot of customers in the shops whose dogs are scratching more than normal. There are a number of things to look for and simple ways in which you can help your dog’s skin calm down.
Dogs typically shed their winter coat in spring as the weather starts to warm up. However after a brief flirtation with sunshine at the start of this year, the temperature dropped and many dogs mistakenly starting growing their winter coat again. This means that now with the hot weather finally coming our way, many dogs are going through a second moult. Getting rid of this unwanted hair can make your dog itchy and cause her to scratch in an attempt to get rid of the old fur.
While you can’t stop your dog from moulting, you can help them with daily brushing and a regular bath to remove the old hair and stimulate oil production in the skin. You can also add some salmon oil to the diet to give your dog a smooth glossy coat.
Of course, the hot weather also sees a resurgence in fleas, which will cause your dog to scratch as they are bitten. In order to see if your dog has picked up any parasites, run a flea comb through their fur several times, particularly around the rump, groin and neck. You will either see fleas caught in the fine teeth of the comb, or flea dirt which looks like black specks.
If your dog has fleas you will need to treat your pets, any other pets and bedding. We offer a range of natural remedies, such as diatomaceous earth which you can rub through your pet’s fur and sprinkle on furnishings to kill the fleas, or All Natural Pet’s flea shampoos and sprays. We also stock chemical products including the Johnson’s 4Fleas range. Once you have banished the beasties, keep them at bay with Billy No Mates or the Johnson’s Spot On.
Having had a wet spring followed by drier weather more recently, grass growth seems to have exploded this year and we are in the peak of the grass pollen season. Just as many people are allergic to various types of pollen, so dogs can also suffer. And like humans, dogs can be affected one year and not another. So, if she’s not moulting and doesn’t have fleas, any recent scratching could be due to environmental allergies.
Try walking her away from any long grass while grass pollen is at its peak, and perhaps explore some shady wooded areas this summer or stick to well maintained paths. Wash your dog’s feet, legs and belly when you get home if she has been in or near long grass, or use the Aqueos pet wipes. All Natural Pet’s Silver Cream and Spray can be used to support the immune system and topically on skin problems. Or you could add a superfood supplement such as Phytopet K9 Sure or Vince The Vet Vitality to promote a healthy immune system.
As well as pollen, like humans dogs can also suffer with food allergies and the most common intolerances are to chicken and grain. If you have recently changed your dog’s diet and then noticed scratching it is worth checking the ingredients list. We sell grain-free kibble and wet food in a variety of novel proteins to help avoid these allergens. But the most effective way to give your dog a hypoallergenic diet is to feed raw where you can easily control the proteins.
You can visit us in Winslow Mon-Sat 9am-5pm or at Whitchurch Fri 2-6pm and Sat 10am-6pm for more information on getting the best food for your dog if you think he has any food intolerances.