It can be scary when your dog has a health concern because they can't tell us what is going on, some issues may clear up on their own but others can get worse and become infected or turn into hot spots.
It can be equally as scary thinking about all of the available chemical based treatments and although some health concerns absolutely do require a visit to the vet and some prescribed medication, many minor concerns can be treated naturally at home to prevent more serious treatments (and hefty vet bills!).
So what are some of the different skin issues dogs can get and what can you do about it?
1. Basic wounds such as scrapes, shallow cuts, burns etc.
Dogs love to run, play and leap over everything and while they have tougher skin than their humans, they are still susceptible to cuts and scrapes.
Although these kinds of minor issues will usually heal up on their own, it's always best to do a quick clean up to prevent any bacteria or other nasties from causing a much more serious infection.
What to do:
If the wound appears to be bleeding, apply pressure with a sterile cloth or bandage until it stops.
Wash the area with some warm water until any dirt or debris has cleared. - if your dog has longer fur, you may need to shave the area to get a better look.
Apply a lick safe, antibacterial balm such as Good Boy Bones Soothing Skin Balm
This formula is safe for your pooch to lick off but if they do it will hinder the healing process, so where possible, cover with a bandage, shirt, socks or apply at bed time to prevent licking!
Rashes can be scary, they can appear suddenly and with no apparent cause, sometimes they can be caused by something as simple as the heat, other times they could be from hookworms, ringworms, fleas or even a tick.
The first step is to try to identify the cause and check your dog for ticks and fleas.
if you are unsure, ALWAYS seek veterinary advice.
What to do:
So you've established that your dog has a rash that is non life threatening, but it is still super itchy and uncomfortable for them! The vet has likely prescribed something like Cortisone cream but it's full of chemicals.
First thing to do is to remove the cause of the irritation, is it fleas? is it a weed in the garden?
Once you've done this, give your dog a bath with a natural shampoo and conditioner such as Cider & Basil's Wild Lavender & Geranium Leaf Set to remove any remaining irritants present and to moisturize the skin.
This unique combination of essential oils have anti bacterial, anti-itch, antiseptic and anti fungal properties. Effective in repelling fleas and ticks and great for nerve calming. It is excellent for sensitive skin, works gently and effectively to keep your dogs fresh and clean.
3. Skin irritations, allergies and bugs!
Canine allergies are not unlike their human counterparts and can have a variety of causes from food allergies, to flea allergies, to pollen allergies and so much more!
You may need to do some investigating to track down the possible causes as with rashes which may mean changing your dog's food or environment, but what can you do to help with the itching and irritation and are there any natural remedies for bugs?!
Whether it's pesky flies disrupting your pets summer naps or fleas making them itch, here's what to do!
What to do:
Prevention is definitely key with fleas, ticks, flies and other annoying bugs.
Washing your dog with a preventative shampoo doesn't need to mean chemicals are involved. Good Boy Bones have created an entire Bug Off range which is perfect for keeping the nasties away and uses gentle ingredients like Cedarwood, Neem Oil and Shea Butter which repels as well as protects and moisturizes the skin.
Try a combo of the Bug Off Shampoo Bar, Bug Off Spray and Bug Off Balm this Summer to keep your dog bite free and for any extra skin irritations, apply the Soothing Skin Balm.
4. Hot spots
Hot spots on dogs present as red, inflamed skin lesions which also known as pyotraumatic dermatitis or acute moist dermatitis.
They are usually caused by the dog licking and scratching one area in a repetitive manner until they form an open wound, and they can be quite nasty.
What to do:
STOP YOUR DOG FROM GETTING TO THE AREA. They may need a cone of shame, a sock, shirt, bandage or something else similar, whatever works, just stop the behavior so that the hot spot doesn't get worse.
Like the other skin irritants mentioned, you need to do some investigating for a cause to prevent future issues but for now, get the area cleaned up.
For the fastest results, remove the hair surrounding the hot spot, gently clean the area with a natural antibacterial shampoo such as Cider & Basil's Lemon Myrtle Shampoo & Conditioner Set.
Pat the area dry, if it is excessively weeping you will need to let it dry out before applying any topical balms, once this is under control use an antibacterial healing balm such as the Soothing Skin Balm or Foxy Salvation Balm to start the healing process.
5. Dry, itchy , flaky skin
Dogs get dandruff too!
As with above, some investigating may be required but some dogs are just naturally predisposed to sensitive skin just like some humans.
Unfortunately the chemicals in 'medicated washes' often make these issues worse so a natural approach is always best!
What to do:
Check out the range of natural shampoos, coat oils, insect repellents and balms available from Cute AF Pets, specifically for the more sensitive doggo in your life, these products have been hand selected to heal, naturally.