Natural Remedies for Common Conditions
Ah, summer. More time to frolic in the yard. Longer walks outdoors. And a little extra time each day to bask in the warm sun. But that’s not all the summer season has in store for your canine companion. More often than not, the warmest months of the year mean an increase in common skin conditions such as shedding, insect bites, dryness and irritation. But instead of applying harsh insect repellents or topical moisturizers—both of which may be laden with synthetic chemicals that are detrimental to your dog’s health—consider a safer, natural alternative to promoting healthy skin all year long.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
With few exceptions, the majority of dog breeds develop a dual coat in adulthood, which is characterized by an undercoat of thicker, softer hairs beneath a topcoat of coarser, longer hairs. While seasonal shedding is perfectly normal and helps prepare your dog’s coat from one month to the next, excessive shedding may be the result of a lack of certain nutrients in the diet.
For example, essential fatty acids such as the healthy Omega-3 fats derived from fish oil and the Omega-6 fats found in fish as well as borage oil help the skin retain moisture and fortify the hair shafts to reduce shedding. A beneficial skin and coat supplement that contains these essential fats can go a long way toward ensuring a vibrant, healthy coat. Also, it’s best to avoid using harsh commercial shampoos that may strip your dog’s skin of its natural protective oils.
Soothing Relief for Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies can be the result of several factors, including fluctuating temperatures and a flourish of new plant life. Symptoms range from mild to severe depending upon the individual dog and may include dry, flaky skin; excessive licking or chewing; constant scratching; shaking the head (to relieve itchy ears); and even red, irritated areas of open skin commonly known as ‘hot spots’.
The best way to avoid allergic irritation throughout the year is to take a proactive approach to skin and coat health with daily nutritional supplementation. A natural formula that includes chamomile flower, licorice root, sarsaparilla, white peony and burdock root has been proven to help soothe dry skin and relieve allergy-related itching. Astragalus (a member of the Legume family), as well as turmeric root and stinging nettle, provides beneficial anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve inflamed skin.
Premium skin and coat formulas will also incorporate the benefits of flower essences, or the natural energy vibrations that resonate from plants and flowers. With unique healing properties first documented in the early twentieth century, flower essences have become a well-known natural remedy for a wide range of conditions, and they have been shown to provide soothing relief from allergies for dogs and other pets.
Fleas, ticks and similar pests can quickly become a nuisance for dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors. Most conventional remedies, however, are highly toxic and have been linked to serious illness and, in some cases, even death. For this reason, health-conscious pet owners are opting for natural supplements with ingredients proven to repel pests by making the blood less appetizing. These include common garlic and brewer’s yeast—a beneficial yeast organism that is also a rich source of B vitamins and chromium, both of which have been shown to promote overall skin health.
Healthy Skin throughout the Year
While it’s no doubt the warm weather puts shedding and skin irritation at the forefront of your mind, giving your best friend the support she needs to maintain a lustrous, healthy coat is a year-round responsibility. Talk to your veterinarian about the natural skin and coat formulas available to help your dog look and feel healthier every day.