Pet Skin Conditions Solved 01/16/12
Solve your pet's itchy and scratchy skin problems with holistic and natural treatments. By Paul Jacobson.
These days it seems like almost every pet suffers from some sort of skin condition. Many vets seem to be at a loss when it comes to treating this scourge of skin allergies and “hot spots” – which can become quite severe ailments. These skin and coat problems are often the first indicators of poor health and care in pets and unfortunately treating with cortisone or changing to another flavour of food will not solve the root cause of the problem.
Don’t despair: Skin allergies and conditions can be cured
Thankfully, all that’s required is holistic and natural treatment. In dealing with skin conditions, it’s important to avoid the use of chemical-based shampoos and flea repellents. The latter is not only toxic, but poisonous, and many of our pets have suffered severe sickness and even death as a result of its application. In 2010, the pesticide used in flea collars and some dog shampoos was banned by The Department of Agriculture. And this doesn’t even include the poisonous flea and tick drops we use on a regular basis. Many repellents contain the poisonous active ingredients fipronil and permethrin – which appear in a variety of household pesticides.
Many people have seen adverse reactions in their dogs after using permethrin-based products. Reactions can include skin disorders (itchiness, redness, hair discoloration, hair loss, bleeding sores), lethargy, difficulty walking, loss of appetite, changes in behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and even death.
I find it difficult to believe that these products don’t have an impact on the well being of animals, and certainly could be a contributing factor to why so many of our pets struggle with skin disorders.
The other major contributor to skin allergies and poor skin condition is poor diet.
Thankfully by tackling the problem from a number of different angles, you can deal with skin ailments in a holistic and natural way.
Five step solution
- STEP 1 – Boost Immunity
Ensuring that your pet’s immunity is strong is the most important factor in dealing with skin issues. Healthy pets are less likely to be affected by viruses, bacteria, parasites and flea and ticks.
Feeding your animals a natural, wholesome diet, using correct preparation process, free of preservatives is key to boosting immunity. It should contain loads of fresh and raw blended green vegetables and herbs.
These are some of my top recommendations. (Read more here)
1. A natural probiotic
2. Whether you are trying to boost your pet’s immune system, improve digestibility or just enhancing their well being and energy, Spirulina has it all and is rich in essential oils, anti-oxidants and vitamins.
3. Salmon Omega 3 Oils (or any marine-based oil) are essential for skin conditions and general well being. Oil supplements are available at health shops and some vets). It’s extremely important that you use fish oil and steer clear of any product containing flaxseed oil. (Dosage: 500mg for small dogs and 1000mg for larger dogs.)
STEP 2 – Soak your dog in a solution of Rooibos Tea
Prepare a basin of Rooibos Tea, add a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and a ¼ cup Vondis Khakibos spray. Once the water has cooled and you have removed the tea bags, submerge your dog and hold him in this soothing water for 5 – 10 minutes. This will also help to drown fleas. You can do this a few times a week, if necessary and can also add chamomile to the solution.
- STEP 3 – Shampoo
One of the biggest mistakes we make is bathing our pets regularly using harsh chemical-based shampoos which aggravate the skin even further and often do more damage than good.
Make sure that your shampoo is TOTALLY natural and contains absolutely no parabens or chemicals. Buchu is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and I recommend a Buchu Soap Scrub to alleviate irritation and soothe dry and irritable skin.
Khakibos Shampoo is also a great option and is soft on the skin while also acting as a flea and tick repellent. I’ve found that combined with a Ph-balanced pure castille soap shampoo, it cools and conditions pets’ hair beautifully. Free of drying chemicals, this soap is non-ionic, and less likely to damage the hair follicles with regular and extended use.
A natural shampoo containing Neem would also be recommended.
- STEP 4 – Absolutely NO flea or tick repellents
While it is tempting to use strong chemicals and poison to kill fleas and ticks, these products are absorbed into the tissues and organs of the animal, accumulating over time, and impact on the well being of your pet.
The best solution is regular grooming and bathing, but you can also soak your pet in a solution of Rooibos tea, as mentioned above.
Another option is to administer Aloe Ferox Bitter Crystals every third day. You simply hide a small crystal in a treat for this to be effective. Alternatively, you may wish to include a ¼ teaspoon (small dog) or ½ teaspoon (large dog) of crushed garlic into your pet’s daily meal.
Khakibos Spray or Powder ia a great flea and tick repellent. To use, spray or powder your dog or cat directly spray onto their linen. This is a must for every household.
- STEP 5 – Natural supplements
If you are already preparing a natural preservative-free diet from home or using a natural diet then you may wish to supplement the food with a composition of blended cooling herbs – lemon verbena, lemon balm, borage, a variety of sages and/or a variety of mints.
Lastly, Rooibos Extract is brilliant for alleviating skin allergies, scratching and skin irritation, especially if it is infused with Chamomile, Spirulina and Grape Seed oil. Taken orally, it is easy to administer over food or directly into the mouth. The medicinal and healing properties of Rooibos and Chamomile are well documented and are a must for all pets with skin related conditions.
By tackling the issue of itches and skin irritation using these various methods, you’re sure to notice an improvement in your pet.
Paul Jacobson is a Pet Food Nutritionist and qualified chef and owner of Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition. Vondis has been producing natural pet food for 14 years and is a registered nutritional pet food. Vondis is actively involved in educating the public on the benefits of natural diets for pets and a holistic approach when treating them. Go to www.vondis.co.za for more information.
Disclaimer: Veggie Buntch provides the information available at this site for your personal reference only. The company is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. Information available at this site should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. Nor should the information replace the advice of your doctor or health care practitioner.
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