I've noticed lately that both of my dogs have been itchy. They've been rubbing against the rugs and furniture, biting and licking at themselves, and just plain scratching! This time of year, my first thought is, "Oh no, FLEAS!" But both dogs are on Frontline, and when I brush them down with a flea comb I don't see any bugs. They're clean, but they are noticeably more itchy than normal. This could be a variety of things. Itchy, dry, flaky skin is often a symptom of a food sensitivity (also called food allergy), but I haven't changed their food recently, and the fact that both of them are itchy makes that unlikely. Fleas may have bitten them and then died or jumped off, or then could even have mosquito bites that are bugging them (ha!).
I emailed Dr. Cohen at Center City Vet Hospital to ask about some over the counter remedies for the dry, itchy skin I see in a lot of dogs this time of year, and he replied that it's most likely allergies. He said that for some dogs only steroids will stop the itch, but omega 3 fatty acid oils (Grizzly Salmon oil or Halo Dream Coat cod liver oil) as a food supplement can really help. He also suggested shampooing with a gentle oatmeal based shampoo (Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe) will take some of the allergens away from their coat, then follow with a conditioning spray (Earthbath Hot Spot Spritz) to replace some of those oils, and get them on the omega 3's.
If your dog has been bothering at an itch for so long that it's turned into a Hot Spot, we've had great success with the Lumino Cool Balm. Read this blog article about it.
- Frontline - kills fleas and ticks. Can be applied every 3 weeks this time of year
- Grizzly Salmon Oil - Omega 3 supplement to help dry skin and coat
- Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo - Oatmeal to soothe skin and rid coat of allergens
- Earthbath Hot Spot Spritz - Tea Tree oil to moisturize and condition skin and coat