No fleas or mites are present and nothing seems to help...
Is your dog is suffering from itchy skin or dandruff? has a dull coat or dry/red/inflamed skin or even hair loss?
If so, and there are no signs of fleas or mites then he or she may have a food allergy or some kind of intolerance to something in their diet. This is common and it's important to start taking steps to find the source of the problem as rising temperatures in the summer can exaggerate the problem for both dog and owner.
Diagnosing the Problem
It can be a tricky to determine which food type or particular ingredient your dog is allergic to particulalry as many dog food recipies change regularly. However, there are ingredients which are more commonly known to cause problems such as wheat gluten, corn, beef, dairy products and artificial preservatives.
These ingredients are commonly found in some of the more generic foods, especially those found in the supermarkets, purely because they are cheaper to put in the food and thus the price to the supermarket -- and hence the shopper -- is less.
Trying a Natural Dog Food
To try and identify if your dog’s itchy skin is caused by a food allergy or intolerance, we would suggest trying one of the really good quality dog foods available, such as the ‘Symply’ range of dog foods, especially the lamb and rice variety. Symply don’t use any unnecessary fillers which increase the likelihood of an allergic reaction and they use a fixed formula so you know that the ingredients won’t change from batch to batch, which is a common issue with generic foods.
"Many dog foods also use 'animal derivatives' as a description within their ingredients; try and avoid these if you can"
You’ll be surprised how many foods have these in their ingredient’s list because this can consist of a variety of animal parts such as heads, feet and intestines. They can also come from a variety of animals such as cows, sheep, and horses and it's very difficult to keep a consistent formula in the food and your dog may have a sudden reaction to a batch despite having no reaction previously.
Introducing the New Diet
When changing your dog’s diet, please ensure that you move gradually from the existing food to your new food over a period of 5 days, start with 90% old and 10% new and then do 80% old with 20% new the next day and so on. TOP TIP: feel free to use the individual food ‘kibble’ as a treat as this gets the new food into the dog’s digestive system nice and gradually.
Make sure you don’t use some of the more generic treats available on the market alongside the new diet you are introducing as these treats will probably contain a lot of the ‘nasty’ ingredients that you are trying to avoid. Take a look at the James Wellbeloved Crackerjack and Minijacks treats range or the splendid Lily’s Kitchen dog treats.
Need more help? Think of us as your local Dog Food Advisor. Just a call away.
Need more advice? Contact the We Are Pets team on 01753 886166 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The products we recommended in this articlie are as a result of customer feedback and our experience. We Are Pets does not participate in manufacturer sponsorship or product endorsement of any kind.