Seborrhea is a nasty condition that can make your pup's skin feel itchy, irritated, and sore. The issue can happen secondary to hormonal or nutritional issues, but often occurs on its own. Many different breeds suffer from seborrhea, with Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds and German Shepherds topping the list. You'll be able to tell if your dog has this uncomfortable skin problem if their skin appears dry, flaky, oily, inflamed or all of the above! To top it all off, the condition also comes with a bad smell and a heightened risk for ear infections. The folds of the skin, the back, armpits, flanks, belly, and face are areas where seborrhea often makes an appearance.
The different types of seborrhea are classified as either oleosa (oily, scaly and smelly), sicca (dry and scaly) or dermatitis (red, smelly and sore). The irritation causes your dog's hair follicles to become blocked and infected, which is what leads to the bad odor. While severe cases should be treated by a veterinarian, you can also use natural remedies to ease your pup's painful symptoms. There are several different ways you can do this.
Diet and Supplements
Feeding your dog a high-quality diet goes a long way toward ensuring they have a thick and healthy coat, covering soft and supple skin. Along with their kibble, treat them to servings of chicken, fish, blueberries, kale, and sweet potatoes. Additionally, giving your dog specific vitamins and oils (like olive, flaxseed, and coconut oils) can help to improve their health from the inside out. Omega-3 fatty acids promote a lustrous, smooth coat. You can buy this supplement in pill or liquid form, with liquid form potentially being more effective. Upping your dog's vitamin A, C and E intake will also give the skin a much-needed boost.
Brushing your furry buddy once or twice a week will massage the skin and move the oils throughout the coat. Consult a vet or holistic practitioner about a natural shampoo consisting of ingredients like oatmeal and baking soda, known to have soothing properties for the skin. Cooled lavender tea may provide relief from itching and cooled chamomile tea can reduce redness.
Adding humidity to your pup's environment may help the condition of the skin. Not only will water in the air help the skin, but internally as well. Have plenty of fresh water on hand to encourage your companion to drink adequate amounts during the day. Doing so hydrates the skin. Finally, do not use a hair dryer on your dog's skin. Allow your pup to air dry after a bath.
Stress can have an effect on a canine's skin, just as it does in humans. Reduce the amount of stress your pet has by keeping a routine they can count on. Feed them at the same time each day and instill an exercise routine that provides mental and physical stimulation. Lastly, give them the affection and attention they deserve.
When to Get Help
When dealing with canine seborrhea, do not hesitate to take your dog to a veterinary clinic if symptoms start to get worse. While natural remedies can be useful, getting a prescription for medicated shampoos, antibiotics, or even corticosteroids may be the right move for stubborn seborrhea cases. To see if your dog's skin is improving, check problem areas including the elbows, chest, neck, and ears. In healthy dogs, the skin should be relatively odor free and light pink in color.