Our furry friends, just like us, can also be prone to various allergies and bothersome skin problems, often associated with excessive scratching and licking, fur loss and even hot spots and other skin lesions.
The most common causes of skin problems in dogs and cats are:
- Flea saliva – A pet with a flea allergy is usually allergic to flea saliva and is generally always scratching. As soon as the flea bites your pet the affected area will become incredibly itchy and in some cases hot & inflamed. If this is the case, remember that prevention is better than cure. This means that your pet should be as “flealess” as possible. For pets with a flea allergy, even one flea can cause a problem! We highly recommend using a natural flea powder that doesn’t contain any harmful toxic ingredients so if it is licked off by your pet it will cause no harm. Vondi’s Khakibos Flea Powder or Spray can be used on your pet and also on blankets, carpets and in kennels to help keep fleas away.
- Mange – This is a very common skin disease often found in pets who have been subjected to harsh conditions although, because it is caused from mites, it can affect any pet. Mange usually causes fur loss, is incredibly itchy and can also cause inflamed sores on the skin, which can be really painful and uncomfortable for your pet. We suggest treating this condition with Skin & Coat Tonic and also using our Hot Spot Relief Balm to soothe and treat the affected area. Mites can also get into your pet’s ears, which would make them very itchy inside, this can easily be helped and treated with Ear Dr.
- Ringworm – This highly contagious fungal disease presents itself on your pet’s skin as circular in shape with a crusty bald top. As contagious as ringworm can be it can be easily treated by using an antifungal balm or spray.
- Food – Most conventional pet food is full of preservatives, flavouring and colouring and can be very harmful to your pet in the long run. Not only that, repeatedly feeding your dog and cat exactly the same food every day can cause an allergy to develop! To establish if your pet has a food allergy you would need to do a trial and error exercise and change your pet’s food to see if symptoms improve. If your pet does have a food allergy they would often be itchy on the face, ears, toes and around the anus area.
- Chemicals, grass or pollen. Many pets develop skin allergies, or contact dermatitis from grass, pollen or from exposure to household cleaning chemicals. If you have a pet who has itchy skin on the tummy and paws, then grass is probably the culprit. If you or your pet are prone to allergies, switch to natural cleaning materials in your home. It will be better for you AND the environment too!
Environmental allergies are more common in certain breeds and can often be genetic and passed down from mom to pup. Pets usually only start to display these kinds of allergies after about the age of 3 years, especially when they come into contact with environmental allergens like pollen, grass or dust mites. If this is the case, then just like a human with allergies, you would need to control your pet’s allergies on a daily basis by following some of these helpful tips to control itchy skin allergies:
- Use an allergy preventative like AllergiClear Pets or Herbal Pet Allergy Formula and if your pet does have an itch attack then be sure to have Allergy Itch Ease on hand, which will calm your pet and help reduce the irritating itching. These pet products have been formulated for pets that battle with allergies and they are completely natural, without the side effects often caused with conventional medications like cortisone.
- Be sure to keep your pet’s immunity strong and healthy with Immunity & Liver Support. Pets with poor immune systems can often become more affected by allergies. You can also add a multi-vitamin to your pet’s diet. We recommend Vondi’s Multi-vitamin or Herbal Pet Everypet Formula.
- Try and keep your pet as clean as possible with regular grooming. Grooming can help eliminate bacteria from building up and also help shed some of the allergens from your pet’s fur like pollen, dust and grass. If your pet has a grass or pollen allergy, try to rinse paws when returning from a walk.
- Many pets with food allergies have benefited from a raw food diet or home food which is lightly cooked. Try Doggobone raw food or Vondi’s, both available from the Feelgood Health shop in Westlake, Cape Town.
We hope we have helped you to find out what could be causing your pet’s skin issues and also offered useful ways of naturally treating and preventing your pet’s skin allergies. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us!