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Is a skin condition impacting your dogs behaviour?

Have you noticed your dog’s personality changes, alongside their itchy skin? Feeling uncomfortable in their own skin can impact your dog’s mood.  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 are barking more frequently or that they are more sensitive to the outside world.

You are not alone if you have started to notice any behavioural change in your pooch, as many dogs suffer from skin issues caused by the environmental or food allergens.  The most common types of dog skin conditions include contact allergies, bacterial infections, fungal infections and parasite allergies.  In some cases anxious dogs will start licking or nibbling their body when they are feeling really stressed.  What starts out as a self-soothing process can end up appearing to be a skin condition.

It is a sad fact that stress impacts many of our dog’s bodily functions, such as the immune system and even the flow of blood to their skin.  However, you need not feel despondent, you can be proactive by creating fun activities they enjoy thereby helping to lift their mood.  For example, you could add a treat to a rubber toy, which has a hollowed cavity, which encourages them to sniff and scratch the treat out.  Sniffing and chewing are great for boosting happy hormones which will also help their overall feeling of wellbeing.  Having playtime with your dog not only increases the bond and relationship you have together but these activities create a hormone oxytocin which will leave your dog feeling great.  So the next time you walk in from work why not dedicate 5-10 minutes of your time to your pet and chase them around the garden or anything that will help the two of you create that special bond.

There are many skin conditions and the signs of these can be very similar, so it can be tricky for your vet to diagnose what is causing your dog’s skin condition.

Your vet will typically examine your dog and carry out a few tests, they will also want to know what recent activities have been done which will help them reach a diagnosis and identify the cause. This might take some time, so don’t get despondent and make sure you provide them with as many details that you think might be helpful.  For example, does your dog have symptoms at a particular time of day (maybe around mealtime) or at a certain time of year? Have you used any new products in your home that could have caused any irritation and take these with you when you visit the vet? Have they been anywhere different, maybe taken them on a different walk?  Anything you can think of could hold the key to finding the cause of your dog’s skin condition.

After a two-week elimination phase and a blood test we discovered that our Labrador had a grass allergy which only appeared when he turned 5 and lasted one season!  Yes, we have our own pet stories, and we would love to hear yours so please do share your experiences with us below and let us know if you found our blog helpful. 

You can purchase our GudFur Coat and Skin Conditioner which contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 to help maintain a shiny dog's coat and support healthy, soft skin.  It can help dogs who suffer from dry, itchy skin irritation, excessive moulting, and allergies.  This nourishing oil is derived from the finest Scottish salmon fish oil to hydrate skin, aid joint mobility and promote a pretty coat.  All you need to do is add it directly to your dog’s food.

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