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To shampoo or not to shampoo…itchy pets, allergies & the summer heat

doggieSummer is officially here and, along with the sunny days and extreme temperatures, there is an increased incidence of allergies in our pets. Just like humans, dogs can react to allergens in the environment that are most common during the summer months. While it may be tempting to repeatedly shampoo your pet’s coat (especially if they’re rolling in the mud to keep cool or experiencing allergy issues) it’s important to know that this can actually make your pet’s allergies worse.

What causes allergies?

Pets can be allergic to many things, including fleas and certain types of food. One in 10 dogs gets some type of skin reaction from allergens in the air, although most are caused by diet.

So, how do you tell if your pet’s allergy is diet or environment related? A telltale sign is the time of year the allergy occurs. Sometimes a food related allergy will present itself all year round, while season-related allergies often flare up during the warmer months of spring and summer.

Signs your pet has allergies...

Like us, a runny nose, watery eyes, coughing and sneezing can also affect our four-legged friends, as can sinus infections and chest infections. However, by far the most common sign of a seasonal allergy in pets is skin irritation. The skin will become inflamed and itchy and as a result your pet may start scratching at their skin or chew affected areas in an attempt to gain relief.

Shampoo and pets with allergies...

It is recommend that you don't use regular chemical-based shampoos on pets suffering summer allergies. Frequent bathing of a pet with harsh, soapy shampoos can dry out and irritate the skin. Pet shampoos can be very harsh and can unbalance the body’s PH levels making your pet’s itch worse and allowing the overgrowth of yeasts. This creates an environment where the skin’s oil glands are over stimulated which can, in turn, create an odour, often tempting owners to rewash their pet or use more shampoo, which only makes the itchiness worse and exacerbates oil over-production.

The alternative to traditional shampoos: Vets All Natural Dry Pet Shampoo

jdThe perfect alternative to using a regular shampoo on pet's suffering allergy-related skin conditions is an all-natural dry shampoo like my Vets All Natural Dry Shampoo.

Our product of the week, VAN Dry Shampoo is freshly scented with all natural ingredients to minimise irritation to the skin.

I recommend using this product alongside my three step skin program, to help manage your pet’s skin allergies.

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