Have you noticed your dog’s personality change, alongside their itchy skin? Feeling uncomfortable in their own skin can impact your dog’s mood state. Prickly skin sensations might mean they find it harder to settle, impacting their sleep – which in turn leads to them feeling more anxious and hyper-vigilant. You might see that they’re barking more frequently or that they’re more sensitive to the outside world.

The good news is that by following Dorwest’s 4-Step plan you’ll start to see improvements not only in your dog’s skin, but in their mood too! Click here to read more on the 4-step plan.

While many of our dogs suffer from skin issues due to environmental or food allergens, there are times when a behavioural challenge might be at the root of the problem. Some anxious dogs will start licking or nibbling their body when they’re feeling really stressed, such as when home alone. Licking of their own body can also indicate pain, so it’s always worth booking in a wellness check with your vet. What starts out as a self-soothing process can end up appearing to be a skin condition.

Stress impacts many of our dog’s bodily functions, such as the immune system and even the flow of blood to their skin. Working with a force-free behaviourist to emotionally support your dog is a great way to get on top of any skin issues that might be caused by their psychological state.

We can be proactive in raising our dog’s mood level by adding in fun activities they enjoy – such as sniffing for scattered food or a yummy natural long-lasting chew. Sniffing and chewing are great for boosting calming, happy hormones which will also help their overall feeling of wellbeing. There’s also playtime with you or short training sessions! Alongside increasing your relationship with your dog, these activities create the wonderful “bonding” hormone oxytocin which will leave your dog feeling great.

When we’re tackling any behavioural challenges your dog is having, it’s so important to look at your dog as a whole – that includes emotionally and physically. With the skin being the largest organ in a dog’s body, it’s definitely not one to ignore! Starting by bathing them in Dorwest Soothe & Calm Dog Shampoo will ease their skin sensitivities and help them get better rest, thus an improved mood state. Adding in the calming Skin Balm to any sensitive areas can also boost the healing process.

Written by Caroline Wilkinson, Certified Animal Behaviourist & qualified dog trainer