Care for your pet like Vince the Vet

Finding out how to best help an itchy dog without drugs, if possible, is not easy given all the possible causes and the readiness of many vets to reach for immunosuppressive drugs without confirming a diagnosis first.

Despite this however, it's possible to discover what measures best help a particular dog in a relatively short space of time, by following these 3 steps: 

STEP 1. 

Make sure you and your vet have carried out these tests to identify:

  • the common parasites (fleas, lice, ticks and motes) 
  • microbial infections (bacteria, yeasts, fungi)

that cause itching and inflammation of the skin.

NOTE: flea bite hypersensitivity is the commonest allergy in dogs. As such a small number of eggs, larvae or fleas in the home or on a pet can lead to continual itching until all are eradicated.


Eliminate any parasites found and treat microbial infections with effective natural support or medication.

STEP 2. 

After parasites and microbes have been ruled out as the cause of itching, the next commonest cause of an itchy skin is a sensitivity to environmental allergens, called atopy.

Conventional veterinary treatment largely consists of suppressing the immune system using anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids, Apoquel, Atopica and Cytopoint. These however, can have serious and sometimes fatal side-effects in sensitive pets.

An alternative to this is to give PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) for 12 weeks to see if this reduces skin irritation to a manageable level, or stops it altogether.

(In this clinical study PEA supplementation significantly reduced itching in 2 out of 3 dogs.)


If PEA supplementation improves skin comfort, continue long term.

Adding additional immune supporting supplements to the diet at this stage (Immunity and Insect plus Itch Relief remedy) can help calm the skin further.   

STEP 3. 

If itching is still pronounced after the two steps above, the possibility that dietary sensitivities are a significant factor in skin problems, needs to be ruled out next, by means of food trials.

Guidance on how to do this can be found here, in point 3.


If a single protein raw food or cooked meat results in much less itchy skin, continue with this long term.

Carefully selected supplements (including algal oil) can then be added gradually to ensure a complete, balanced diet is fed, which provides all the nutrients necessary for optimum health and well-being.  


Whatever the cause of itching and inflammation of the skin, eliminating carbohydrate and sugar rich foods from the diet helps to prevent yeast overgrowths and other complications developing. These include sweet and starchy vegetables, fruits, grains (including wheat, oats, corn, barley, rice etc) and a variety of additives added to most commercial pet foods.

If any assistance is needed with the above, please get in touch using the contact page on our website.