Step 1: Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
As obvious it may seem there are some really simple things to address if your dog suffers with itchy skin which can really prove really beneficial. In some ways when your dog is suffering it is easy to go straight down the route of medication but we always encourage customers to tackle the problem in its entirety (holistically). That’s how we developed the ‘4 Step plan’.
So here we are at the beginning and let’s start with Step 1…. Bedding and sleeping
Dogs spend an awful amount of time in their beds sleeping! So this can be a haven for dust (and therefore dust mites) particularly in coated breeds. Therefore it is really important to wash your dog’s bedding regularly and try not to use scented fabric conditions or anything similar – any synthetic fragrances or colours are only more likely to cause irritation. Also don’t forget dogs can pick up allergens (pollen, dust etc) on their coat when out on walks or in the garden and this easily transfers to the bedding when they come home, so washing regularly has a two-fold benefit.
Dust mites unfortunately are a common trigger for skin disorders, domestic homes are chock-a-bloc with them especially human beds. So as much as we love a cuddle at night with our dogs, if they suffer from itchy skin, a very warm environment combined with dust mites can really exacerbate the problem. When deciding where to put your dog’s bed, try to keep it away from radiators too so they don’t get too hot when having a snooze.
We often forget what our particular breed of dog was originally bred to do, for example if you have a Poodle or even a Poodle cross remember these were originally water retriever dogs used for hunting. Poodles have a really dense curly coat (perfect for hunting water dogs, but not so good for domestic dogs living in warm houses!) and even if clipped right back this is extremely warm particularly when living in a domestic household with central heating. If this dog with it’s nice warm coat then sleeps on a warm bed with other warm bodies (us humans!) plus lots of dust mites, it is not that surprising the skin starts to react and become sensitised making your dog a little ‘Hot under the collar’!
• Wash your dog’s bedding at least once a week in a non-perfumed washing powder this will help reduce dust mites and remove allergens picked up from the outside environment
• Restrict or even stop your dog sleeping on your beds, especially in the warmer months
• Don’t put your dog’s bed near radiators if they are prone to itchiness
So easy and so effective!