Sensitive skin is a common problem in humans, but it may surprise you to learn that our beloved canine companions are just as likely to suffer from skin issues as we are. Fortunately, there are things that can ease their irritation and other symptoms and improve their quality of life – including specialist dog shampoo for sensitive skin.
What causes dogs to have sensitive skin
The most common reason why dogs have sensitive skin is because they suffer from allergies. An allergic reaction is the body’s response to a normally harmless substance. When your dog’s body detects this substance, it will set off defences against it in the form of a release of chemicals called histamines. Histamines cause the symptoms we associate with an allergic reaction – including itchy, irritated and sensitive skin that is prone to rashes, infection and more.
Food allergies – this is where a dog is allergic to one or more foods or food groups, for example, corn-based products.
Seasonal allergies – some dogs suffer from seasonal allergies too. These can be to things like pollen, grass or dust mites.
Environmental factors – external elements can also contribute to sensitive skin. For example, dryness caused by indoor heating system or air conditioning, or even cold weather can trigger irritation, dryness and soreness.
Parasite infestations – parasites live on your canine’s body and can easily irritate their skin. Flea saliva contains toxins that are highly irritating and could make your dog’s skin extremely sensitive. Many dogs who are allergic to flea saliva itch and scratch constantly as a result, and this can cause broken skin, infection and more.
Signs that your dog has sensitive skin
Some of the most common signs that your dog may have sensitive skin include:
- Excessive scratching, particularly at night. This scratching may be severe enough to keep them or you awake at night. It could also cause damage to the skin.
- Hair loss/bald patches.
- Dry or flaky patches on their skin.
Why choosing the right dog shampoo is important
Your dog’s skin is their largest organ and plays a vital role in protecting their vulnerable, inner organs and body tissues. This means that keeping your dog’s skin healthy is extremely important. Washing your four-legged friend with specially formulated dog shampoo that is designed for sensitive skin will help to keep your furbaby feeling comfortable, as well as supporting the overall health and condition of your dog.
One of the main reasons why choosing a dog shampoo is very important is because human and canine skin have different pHs. This makes human shampoos completely incompatible with doggy skin, and if anything, likely to cause sensitivity rather than make it better. Choosing the right dog shampoo is also essential since there are so many varieties – not all of them suitable for canines with more sensitive skin.
How to choose the best dog shampoo for sensitive skin
There are a huge range of dog shampoos on the market and trying to make sure you choose one that is suitable for your canine pal’s sensitive skin can be a big responsibility. If you already send your doggo to a professional groomer and the products they use don’t seem to irritate their skin, you can aways ask them which shampoo they use. You may also want to ask the advice of your vet, particularly if your dog has been diagnosed with a skin condition.
There are a number of shampoos that are specially formulated for dogs with sensitive skin. Some of these are medicated solutions that are only recommended for dogs with specific, diagnosed skin conditions, while others contain ingredients which are shown to be particularly soothing and rehydrating for irritated, sensitive skin. If your dog has been diagnosed with allergies, a hypoallergenic dog shampoo can help keep their allergy symptoms under control.