Is your dog allergic to summer?
“When will I get a full nights’ sleep”?
“She’s making herself raw”.
“I just wish I could do something more”.
“She’s just not herself”.
These were words that fell from my mouth freely around 5 years ago. Our triple coated dog suffered terribly with skin issues from the age of 3 until 5 years old. We came to dread the summer. From constant hind inner and outer leg nibbling, to under chin and chest scratching, to sneezing and lethargy.
We did not want her taking prescribed steroids each summer, because steroid therapy only masks the symptoms and doesn’t address the cause. Furthermore, this course of action can have adverse consequences on the liver function later in life. Steroids can cause lesions to occur on the liver as a result of negative changes in the liver cells.
We took the major decision to invest £1180 in order to investigate just what our dog was allergic to via an extensive (and expensive) full scale blood allergy report. Not only did the report show that she was allergic to some meats, but also to a wide number of grasses, including meadow fescue, perennial rye and timothy grass. Well, we live in the Norfolk countryside and our lanes are awash with such grasses. We had to change our walking route. Street walks became the only option and thankfully as we have lots of pretty villages this didn’t pose too much of a problem, even getting in the car to drive to them.
The report shown she was allergic to things we can’t remove from the environment, but we choose to avoid woodland areas; sweet chestnut tree pollen, ash pollen, leaf mould, the list goes on. She’s also allergic to aspergillus and dust mites too. Thankfully she proved negative in respect of cats – yes, dogs CAN be allergic to cats, well their skin dander anyway.
I qualified as an aromatherapist back in the mid-nineties. At the same time as Saskia’s allergy report came in, I was undertaking my Master Herbalism qualification and had also recently qualified as an aromathologist. I decided to implement a few anti-inflammatory and skin supporting herbs, essential and carrier oils into Saskia’s food and skin health regime. Only one herb proved not to be successful in reducing her itching skin and actually seemed to exacerbate it.
It took 3.5 years to build up safe combination profiles of herbal and essential oil remedies dedicated to canines with skin allergies. Many of my clients tested these with there own dogs and the results even astounded me.
Once I had graduated as a Master Herbalist I founded AniScentia in 2016. Drawing on my twenty two-years of experience of working with animals and teaching animal therapy and my experience in treating my own dog enhanced my understanding about just what it means to see our canine companions so troubled by constant nibbling, scratching and self-mutilation.
Sufficient protein and fat content are both crucial for a healthy coat and skin. Roughly 75% of dog hair is made up of protein, so if your dog has a protein deficiency, his coat will suffer. Keep an eye out for dry or brittle fur, or even patches of hair loss; a simple tweak to your dog’s diet, like adding a fresh, high quality protein source, can improve the issue as well as feeding organic canine powders and herbs.
If you take your dog to a dog groomer, once in a while it’s great if you can miss making an appointment and actually groom your dog yourself. I’m a big believer in having as much physical contact with your dog as possible – yes this does include allowing your dog to lick your face! When you are grooming your dog, brushing them in particular, keep an eye on how healthy their coat and skin is. A healthy coat will be soft and shiny no matter the type of breed of your dog. An unhealthy coat however could be dry or greasy and relatively sparse, usually shedding a lot more than usual. Likewise, healthy skin will be comfortable and clean, whereas unhealthy skin could be sensitive, red or irritated. There are many reasons your dog’s skin may be acting up, and introducing them to a high quality diet may be enough to keep their skin and coat in good condition. If you’re not the one to be grooming them, you’re not going to be the one to notice any skin issues until the dogs’ behaviour starts to change.
July is now upon us and some flower and grass pollens are at their height. If you’d like to start taking steps to an doggy itch reduction summer, then my organic canine wellness company – AniScentia offers a wide range of skin and allergy remedies to help all dogs; from serums to help reduce inflamed skin, to hydro’s that help stop the itch, along with nutritional powders and elixirs to nourish from the inside out, including elixir oils to provide support to those dogs with drier skins.
We even produce our Flea Flee! Hydro that reduces flea activity on the dog and around the home when used regularly.
Coolie Cossett – A Hydro to cool and calm reactive skin http://www.thenorfolkapothecary.com/product-page/coolie-cossett-hydro
Soothe Me Serum – A topical blend of organics oils applied to reduce inflamed or dry patches of skin http://www.thenorfolkapothecary.com/product-page/soothe-me-serum
Pro-Derma Elixir – A 99% internal oil that nourishes the body from the inside out
Hot Spot Potty – A topical application for hot spots and moist skin areas, with calendula and myrrhhttp://www.thenorfolkapothecary.com/product-page/hot-spot-potty
Trauma Balm – A 100% organic skin wax with oils to help repair skin traumahttp://www.thenorfolkapothecary.com/product-page/trauma-balm
Ultimate Vitality – A canine superfood of 6 nutritional powders (sprinkled on food or given in a little oil) including nettle and milk thistle – a must for toxin processing and healthy skin http://www.thenorfolkapothecary.com/product-page/ultimate-vitality
Flea Flee! Hydro – A powerful blend of 8 essential oils in a base hydrosol to help banish fleas and their eggshttp://www.thenorfolkapothecary.com/product-page/flee-flea-hydro
You can purchase some of these products in combination packs too: see http://www.aniscentia.com
AniScentia – Unrivalled organic canine wellness. 100% human grade ingredients formulated by Master Herbalist & Animal Wellness practitioner of 22 years. No fillers, binders, phthalates, bulking agents, anti-caking agents, colours, flavourings, additives, toxins. We list EVERY ingredient on our packaging, not just the highlighted ones!
AniScentia – the finest organic canine nutritional and wellness support in the UK.