We’ve all seen our furry friend embark to scratch that itch that just won’t go away. While there can be many reasons for this itch, a sure-fire way to combat your dog’s discomfort is with food!
Altering their diet now is a great way to beat the next seasonal change, preparing them for the spring season where we see the scratch in full effect.
Why do dogs itch?
Before we outline remedies, it’s important to understand the why. Like us, there is an array of reasons why a dog can develop a nasty itch – a major one being allergies. This can cover a wide scope of things from certain foods, to environmental factors like pollen, insects or plants – some signs to look for can include:
- Itchy flaky skin
- Hair loss
- Itching ear infections
- Licking of the paws
- Patchy or irregular skin
Steer clear from stale cycles
An allergy isn’t commonly exposed in the first instance your pet is subjected to the allergen, rather it can develop as a result to continual exposure. Regardless of the root of your dog’s allergy, diet and quality food and ingredients can play a massive part in combating their itch.
There are 4 main diets that are commonly used in the fight against your dog’s itch, and these include:
1. Hydrolysed diets
This is a trial-and-error diet that starts with feeding your furry friend only the hydrolysed diet for a few weeks. Following this, each week a new protein can be incorporated to determine whether your dog reacts and to which protein type.
How this typically works is that this diet contains protein which has gone through a process called ‘hydrolysation’. This breaks the structure of the protein down into its component amino acids, this ultimately reduces the allergenicity of the protein – minimising the chances of an allergic reaction.
2. Skin care diets
This is more skewed to combat environmental factors, promoting overall skin boost – these can typically take the form of an everyday diet with added skincare nutrients. While ingredients within this diet may vary from brand to brand, it’s common to have properties like:
- B group vitamins
- An essential amino acid – when combined with the B Vitamins these help support ceramides which are the connecting bonds between skin cells and helps the skin barrier to get stronger
- Omega 3 fatty acids – acting as an anti-inflammatory, the effect helps soothe itchy and inflamed skin
- Omega 6 fatty acids – this is utilised to support healthy skin and a shiny coat
- Antioxidants including Vitamin C and Vitamin E – incorporating this helps with the immune system
This one is fantastically favourable for pets with mild skin allergies or sensitive skin.
3. Novel protein diets
Some of the more common proteins can be the most common allergens to dogs, including meats like beef, chicken, and lamb. Therefore, opting for less mainstream and more gamy meats can serve amazing benefits – this is the basis of a novel protein diet.
Try feeding your furry friend meats such as:
Similar to the hydrolysed diets this is a trial-and-error-based diet. Something to note is that not like the hydrolysed diets the proteins haven’t undergone the hydrolysation process and as such still contains a chance of your pet being sensitive to certain ingredients.
4. Fish-based diets
This is a unique one as it is suitable for dogs who encounter both environmental and food allergies – unless that food is seafood.
The benefits of a fish-based diet includes:
- Healthy skin and coat
- Improved vision
- Better heart health
- Fantastic for older dogs as well
The number of pet owners opting for this diet is rocketing and they’re seeing some great results. It’s unsure whether this is due to increased intake of omega fatty acids from the natural fish oils or the exclusion of common meats that are unknown allergen like chicken – but if its working that’s a tick in our book.
Diets and food alterations are a great means to affect long-term change. However, with some of these diets listed, it can take some time to get them right sacrificing a more immediate solution. That’s why it can be an amazing tool to implement some quick fixes.
In addition to diet, explore our range of doggy balms that can offer faster-acting relief – with products including:
A dog in discomfort is a dog in need, if you’re worried about your furry friend’s itch get in touch with us. We’ll figure out the root of the problem and a swift remedy that have them back to their playful selves in no time!
Learn more about sustainable, nutrient, and delicious foods for your furry friend here.