You’ve probably heard about how some people have very sensitive skin (you may be a victim too) and that is perfectly normal. Well, some of your furry friends too are in the running and for some breeds such as Retrievers, Terriers, and Maltese, sensitive skin is a problem. The greater problem though is for pet owners who have to identify and understand this condition and learn how to address it.
First things first though-
Symptoms in a Dog with Sensitive Skin
Dogs itch and scratch all the time, but if there is no real underlying cause, it’s possible that they are having a ‘sensitive skin’ reaction to something. This could trigger red spots or hives that are rather irritating. Dry, flaky skin is visible beneath the coat or there could just be open sores that are red and weeping. Scratching and biting only aggravates the condition and the never-ending cycle of itching and renewed irritation continues.
Reactions of Flea Treatments on Sensitive Skin
Woe betide if dogs with sensitive skin are flea-ridden! The conventional flea treatments may trigger allergic reactions- itching increases, dogs begin to drool and become agitated. Really severe cases could set off tremors and trigger seizures too, calling for immediate veterinary attention.
So, if your pooch is having a reaction to the products or chemicals touted to kill fleas, then how do you get rid of them? Good question? Well, here’s how- try the natural alternatives that are at least safe for your pet.
The good old lemon and orange to the rescue. Mix lemon and orange juice, dilute with warm water and rinse your pet’s coat after a bath. The smell will repel fleas. Take a spray bottle, add to it three parts of water, tip in a couple of spoons of lemon juice and shake the mixture well. Spray it regularly on your pet’s coat and brush it through to ensure it reaches the entire body to keep fleas at bay. Adding apple cider vinegar or diluted vinegar to drinking water has also proven to be effective. This helps strengthen the immune system and make the dog less prone to allergic reactions.
Surprisingly a mixture of Dawn dish soap and water applied to your pet’s body and brushed through has the same effect that citrus juices have.
Diluted essential oils can be used as shampoos or sprays. Lemon-grass, peppermint and Lavender oil mixed with a carrier oil or diluted with water are good flea-repellents. Add a few drops of essential oil to shampoos or add diluted oil to your pet’s collar to keep fleas and ticks at bay. A combination of lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus oil diluted with water makes a very effective spray to repel fleas. Coconut oil, which contains lauric acid can either be rubbed on your pet’s body, given orally or a teaspoon can be mixed daily with pet food. This oil not only repels fleas but moisturizes the skin too.
Organic Flea Repellents
Most of the flea powders, dips, sprays and shampoos contain chemicals that could trigger allergic reactions in sensitive dogs. Opting for organic flea repellents and natural anti-flea solutions that contain d-limonene citrus kills the larvae, eggs and fleas too. Remember as these solutions are less strong than its chemical counterparts, lengthier applications are required.
Condition Your Pet’s Skin
Hydrate your pet’s skin after a flea infestation, especially if it’s dry and sensitive. Natural conditioners like jojoba oil or lanolin will do the job. If these products are added to the anti-flea preparation, there’s nothing like it.
Supplements to Fight Fleas
Garlic and brewer's yeast supplement have a special place in dog food. When these are metabolized, odors are emitted that will repel fleas (and possibly you too!!). Exercise caution while using garlic powder or fresh garlic as the wrong amount can be toxic. You can read our buyer’s about oral flea pills for your dog.
Don’t forget the efficacy of the good old flea comb! This will help filter away the eggs, larvae and fleas. Comb your pet’s hair on a regular basis and see how effective it is.
Keep the Surroundings Flea-Free
Clean pet bedding and carpets regularly and then coat them with a light sprinkling of diatomaceous earth. Work the powder into the rugs and bedding. Spread the powder in the yard too. The food-grade powder is harmless even when ingested.
If you have a pet pooch, fleas are bound to find their way in. Catch the invaders before they turn your pet into an itchy, scratchy dog.