Understanding skin allergies in dogs

Over the last few decades, we’ve seen more and more dogs with allergic dermatitis, food intolerances and immune-mediated diseases. We can try to limit the causes to a certain point and we can give the dog prescribed medication, however, this usually only provides short-term relief or improvement. Inevitably they will rear their ugly heads again sooner or later.

An allergy is an abnormal response to something in the environment. It is very common in people and is the same in dogs. A substance capable of causing an allergy is called an allergen. People, dogs and other animals that are allergic need only come into contact with very small amounts of an allergen to cause the reaction, the symptoms.

Skin problems in dogs are commonly caused by allergic inhalant dermatitis (hay fever, atopy). While humans have mast cells in the respiratory passages that become inflamed and cause sneezing, dogs inhale the pollen but develop atopy in the skin. Dogs don’t usually sneeze with atopy; most are itchy which causes them to lick, chew and scratch.

When your dog suffers with inhalant allergies it’s impossible to avoid the allergens as the pollen is pretty much everywhere, even though surprisingly, only about 1% of the total weight of pollen contains the allergic portion!

This doesn’t sound too bad, however when you consider that the ragweed plant can produce 1 billion pollen grains and most pollens and moulds can travel 30 miles in the wind ( Ackerman, L., D.V.M. ; Skin and haircoat problems in dogs ; Alpine Publications, 1994) … that’s pretty impossible to avoid them.

There are a few ways we can minimize the effects of inhalant allergies, the natural way.

1. What are you feeding your dog? I am a big advocate of raw feeding because I can see the benefits in my dogs. Well-balanced raw food is easier for the body to digest and the nutrients are absorbed more efficiently. A raw food diet also strengthens your dog’s immune system and helps fight allergens. I even tried this on myself. Of course, I don’t eat raw meat, bones & offal … but a few years ago I switched to a plant-based diet. My summer hay fever is minimal, and I haven’t had an antihistamine for years.

2. Honey contains small amounts of bee pollen, beeswax and propolis, and they have the ability to help with pollen allergies. As we already know, an allergy is caused by certain pollen which you will also find in your local raw honey. By consuming your local raw honey, you or your dog, will naturally develop immunity to the pollen and the adverse effects will be reduced.

3. Apply Paw Butter. If your dog gets irritated paws (redness, excessive licking after a walk) and redness or rash on the skin on his belly, you can apply the Paw Butter on these areas before the walkies. Because the Paw Butter is oil-based, not water-based like creams, it stays on the skin longer and makes a film, a protective layer on the skin. The butter will not only protect the skin from allergens but will also moisturise the skin, and it’s both antipruritic and anti-inflammatory.

“An allergy is an abnormal response to something in the environment. It is very common in people and is the same in dogs.”

3. Apply Paw Butter. If your dog gets irritated paws (redness, excessive licking after a walk) and redness or rash on the skin on his belly, you can apply the Paw Butter on these areas before the walkies. Because the Paw Butter is oil-based, not water-based like creams, it stays on the skin longer and makes a film, a protective layer on the skin. The butter will not only protect the skin from allergens but will also moisturise the skin, and it’s both antipruritic and anti-inflammatory.

4. Use Apple cider vinegar mixed with water to rinse for your dog’s feet. You can make a 50/50 mixture in a spray bottle and apply directly onto your dog’s paws. Don’t use it on open wounds!

5. Bathing your dog at home is very effective, cheap and the sensible thing to do in order to remove the allergens from the coat and skin. Bathing provides immediate relief and the guideline is to bath your itchy dog at least once a week.

Go for a natural shampoo, containing coconut oil, argan oil, charcoal, jojoba oil, neem oil, calendula oil and essential oils like lavender, peppermint and chamomile. Read the label carefully because some shampoos contain natural and/or organic ingredients but can still contain some toxic chemicals.

Avoid shampoos with:

  • Added dyes or colourants
  • Artificial fragrances, as they are linked to allergies, headaches etc.
  • Parabens
  • Mineral oils
  • Stearalkonium Chloride

6. If your dog already has an allergic reaction on his skin you can use Skin Relief. It is specially designed for dogs suffering from allergies. The cooling and anti-inflammatory properties of Skin Relief will reduce the redness very quickly, it will also reduce the itchiness, and the peppermint oil in the spray helps with the pain relief.

If your dog suffers from environmental allergies here are also few tips on how you can look after his/ her home environment:

1. Choose dog beds that are easily washable – in between washing you can use bicarbonate soda, lavender and orange essential oils to fight the mites.

Mix 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate soda with 3 drops of lavender and 3 drops of sweet orange essential oils. Sprinkle on your dog’s bed, leave for few minutes and then thoroughly hoover.

Bicarbonate soda is a great cleaning product for all surfaces and as a bonus, it absorbs smells.

2. Wash the toys – fabric toys can be washed with the beds. Instead of using common chemical cleaning products to clean rubber balls, Kongs, and squeaky rubber or plastic toys… why not try diluted bicarbonate soda or vinegar?

3. For cleaning and disinfecting – dilute vinegar with water 1:1 and wipe the toys. This mixture is also very good for cleaning windows.

Where to find our expert!

I’m Jitka, happy dog mum to 5 mischievous terriers. I’ve always been passionate about dogs and being in the pet industry for over 30 years. Including winning international dog grooming competitions, representing England and being placed at the World Team Championship, winning Dog Grooming Salon of the Year award.

 

The knowledge I’ve gained over the years, plus my diplomas in canine massage and clinical aromatherapy, have led me to be the proud founder of Vita Canis – natural aromatherapy products for dogs.

My personal belief to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle. And it is a key driving force in how I run my business, which is at the core of all my product development.

For more information www.vitacanis.co.uk

Download the K9 app for FREE!

Check out some of our related articles!

Top tips for checking your dog has a balanced diet

Making sure your dog has a balanced diet is extremely important. Your dog’s diet is what makes them healthy, strong and disease free. There are lots of food choices out in the marketplace for dog owners, but no matter which brand or type you go for they all stress the importance of a balanced diet!

Read More »

Fleas & Worms

It is very common for dogs and cats to be affected by fleas or worms in any part of their life. As a responsible pet owner, it is our duty to be aware of this problem and take appropriate measures to protect our pets from worms and fleas.

Read More »

I’m Jitka, happy dog mum to 5 mischievous terriers. I’ve always been passionate about dogs and being in the pet industry for over 30 years. Including winning international dog grooming competitions, representing England and being placed at the World Team Championship, winning Dog Grooming Salon of the Year award.

The knowledge I’ve gained over the years, plus my diplomas in canine massage and clinical aromatherapy, have led me to be the proud founder of Vita Canis – natural aromatherapy products for dogs.

My personal belief to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle. And it is a key driving force in how I run my business, which is at the core of all my product development.

For more information www.vitacanis.co.uk

Check out some of our related articles!

Canine Lymphoma

As a vet it is never a nice feeling to have to tell an owner that you think their pet might have cancer. Dogs suffer from a variety of different cancers just like humans do. And some are more treatable than others.

Read More »

Download the K9 app for FREE!

Download the app for FREE to read more great articles!

Sign-up to the K9 Nation newsletter to get website access to our collection of articles and find out first when new articles are added!

Privacy Policy

Protecting your data is very important to K9Nation Limited (“K9Nation”, “us”, “our” or “we”). This policy, together with our Terms and  conditions, sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by K9Nation.

It applies to your use of the website www.K9Nation.uk, the associated ‘K9Nation’ mobile application (together, the “Platform”), all communications between you and us and (unless expressly provided otherwise) all agreements entered into between you and us which involve the collection by, or disclosure to, us of personal data.

Information we may collect about you.

We may collect and process the following data about you:

  • information that you provide by filling in forms on the Platform. This includes information you provide at the time of registering (including, but not limited to, your name, telephone number, address and email address) or at any subsequent point;
  • if you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence;
  • your responses to surveys you choose to complete on the Platform from time to time;
  • details of any photographs, comments, posts, or other information you post on the Platform;
  • device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information); and
  • details of your visits to the Platform (such as the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from the Platform (including date and time); page response times; page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the Platform).

Information we may collect about others.

We may collect and process data about others that you provide us with, including (but not limited to) information that you provide by filling in forms on the Platform. You represent and warrant to us that you have obtained the express consent from the individuals whose data you provide us with.

For the avoidance of any doubt, any reference in this privacy policy to your data shall include data about other individuals that you have provided us with.

IP Addresses

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. This is statistical information about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and may be linked to an individual user through other information that is held by us or publically available.

Cookie Policy

The Platform uses cookies to distinguish you from other users. This helps us provide you with a good experience when you use the Platform and also allows us to improve the Platform.

Please note that it is possible to disable cookies being stored on your computer by changing your browser settings. However, the Platform may not perform properly or some features may not be available to you if you disable cookies.

For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our cookie policy.

Where we store your personal information.

The data that we collect about you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including the USA. It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our service providers. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing.

Your passwords are stored in K9Nation’s database in encrypted form. We do not disclose your account details, postal or email addresses to anyone except when legally required to do so. We will only hold your information for as long as is necessary for the purpose we collect it for, or for such additional time as may be required by law or any relevant regulatory body.

Security

Sensitive information between your browser and the Platform is transferred in encrypted form using Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When transmitting sensitive information, you should always make sure that your browser can validate the Platform’s certificate. It is your responsibility to keep your password secure.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although K9Nation will do its best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to the Platform, any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try and prevent any unauthorised access.

How we use your information.

We use information held about you (and information about others) in the following ways:

  • to provide you with our services;
  • to reply to requests for information or any other kind of request as indicated by your correspondence;
  • to provide you with information about other goods and services we offer that are similar to those you have already purchased or enquired about;
  • to allow you to participate in interactive features of the Platform when you choose to do so, including interaction with external social networks and platforms;
  • to improve the Platform and ensure the content on the Platform is presented in the most effective manner for you and your computer or mobile device;
  • to administer our Platform and for internal operations ,including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising served to you on the Platform; and
  • to notify you about changes to our service, the Platform.

Disclosure of your information

We may disclose your personal information to any business partner, sub-contractor or supplier of K9Nation for the performance of any contract we enter into with you, and/or a member of our group.

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties:

  • in the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets;
  • if K9Nation or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, in which case personal data held by us about our customers will be one of the transferred assets;
  • in order to enforce the Terms and Conditions and any other agreement between you and us; or
  • if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation or to protect the rights, property, or safety of K9Nation, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations.

Marketing communications and your rights

By registering for an account on the Platform, you give your permission for us to use your personal data for marketing purposes in relation to our products and services. You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data by contacting us.

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to access information held about you by submitting a request in accordance with the act and is subject to a £10 administrative fee. All such requests should be sent via our contact form.

Changes to this policy

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page, and where appropriate, notified to you by email.

Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcome and should be addressed via our email address: hello@k9nation.dog

Cookie Policy

We use cookies and similar tools on our website, www.K9Nation.uk, and the associated ‘K9Nation’ mobile application (together, the “Platform”) to improve their performance and enhance your user experience. This policy explains how we do that.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files which a website may put on your computer or mobile device when you first visit a site or page. The cookie will help the website, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. We use the term “cookies” in this policy to refer to all files that collect
information in this way.

There are many functions cookies serve. For example, they can help us to remember your username and preferences, analyse how well the website is performing, or even allow us to recommend content we believe will be most relevant to you.

Certain cookies contain personal information – for example, if you click to “remember me” when logging in, a cookie will store your user identifier. Most cookies will not collect information that identifies you, but will instead collect more general information such as how users arrive at and use the website.

The cookies we use.

At the date of the last update of this Cookie Policy, the list below represents a comprehensive list of all cookies set on the Platform, but please note that the cookies we use are subject to fairly frequent change. The purposes of the cookies in use, as described below will not change without this policy being updated. However we may not update this policy every time the identity of a particular cookie or the party setting the cookie changes.

 

Category: Strictly necessary

Party: BorrowMyDoggy.com

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses cookies to enable the essential features of the website, such as the navigation system, signing up for the service, subscribing, verifying and messaging.

 

Category: Analytical /  Performance

Parties: Amplitude, Hotjar, Segment, Google Analytics, Optimizely, Improvely

Purpose: These cookies are used to analyse data from users’ visits in order to help us improve the service or create and analyse content tests to allow us to optimise the experience for future users.

 

Category: Functionality

Party: BorrowMyDoggy.com

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses functionality cookies to improve the experience for its users. For example, to save users from having to remember their username, we use a cookie to remember this information.

 

Category: Advertising

Parties: Google Adwords, Facebook, DoubleClick, Affiliate Window, Improvely

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses paid advertising in order to recruit new customers. These paid advertising channels will set cookies so that we can measure the effectiveness of this advertising.

Can you block cookies?

It is possible to block cookies, although remember that if you do choose to disable cookies, you may find that certain sections of the Platform do not work properly.

More detail on how businesses use cookies is available at http://www.allaboutcookies.org.

If you have any queries regarding this Cookie Policy please contact our Privacy Officer at hello@k9nation.dog