By far, the most common cause of skin allergies and itching in dogs is fleas. These tiny insects survive on a diet of fresh blood, and their bite will make your dog nibble and scratch at his skin to try and ease the irritation. They’re not fussy; if there are a lot of fleas around, you’ll find they’re quite happy to feast on your blood, and you’ll start scratching too.
Although most dogs are bothered to some extent by fleas, some are actually allergic to them. When a flea bites, it injects saliva into your dog, and it is this saliva that causes a severe reaction in sensitive dogs.
Skin changes asssociated with flea allergy typically appears on your dog’s rump, along the top of his tail and down his hind legs. His skin will be red, and his scratching can actually break the skin, leading to infection and open sores. The infection is also itchy, and so the scratching continues.
Treating flea allergy takes effort.
Firstly, you need to treat the inflammation and infection in your dog’s skin. If his skin is particularly bad, you’ll need to visit your veterinarian. She will prescribe anti-itch medication such as corticosteroids or antihistamines to stop his scratching, and antibiotics if secondary bacterial infection is present.
Choose a shampoo carefully, as the wrong product has the potential to make his skin feel worse. Comfy Dog shampoo contains colloidal oatmeal which has been approved by the FDA to relieve itchiness, and its gentle formulation won’t dry out or irritate his sensitive skin. After rinsing, follow up with Fur Butter conditioning treatment, which also contains oatmeal, as well as shea butter and all natural herbal extracts. His coat will feel soft and shiny, and smell great!
The second part of controlling flea allergy is to keep your dog flea free. Even though you don’t see fleas on his skin, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It doesn’t take many fleas to make an allergic dog itch.
Although you can use flea shampoos, they aren’t the best option for flea control. With sensitive skin, it’s better to use a soothing shampoo such as Comfy Dog to keep your dog’s skin in good condition, and rely on other methods for flea control.
There are a variety of products that are available for flea control, from monthly tablets to products that are applied to your dog’s skin once a month. Flea the Scene is an important part of any flea control regime. Peppermint oil and tea tree oil are effective natural insect repellents, and it is safe and gentle enough to use frequently on traumatized skin.
Keep in mind that the fleas you find on your dog’s body are only a tiny part of your problem. The majority of your fleas can be found in your environment, in the form of eggs, pupae and larvae. To get the most effect out of any flea control program for your dog, you must stop fleas from breeding, and prevent these immature fleas growing into adults.
One option is to give your dog a tablet once a month which contains an insect growth regulator. This will break the flea lifecycle by interfering with its development within the egg and preventing eggs from developing into adult fleas. Another option is to use a chemical spray in your home or yard which contains a similar insect growth regulator.
If your dog has an allergy to fleas, you can’t be complacent. Keep him flea free with Flea the Scene, and control his itch with Comfy Dog shampoo and Fur Butter, and you’ll help to prevent him developing red, itchy infected skin. He’ll be a much happier dog.