Care for your pet like Vince the Vet


If a dog goes into kennels and all itching stops, the top 3 possible causes of skin irritation are:

1.  Environmental allergens.

2.  Environmental irritants.

3.  Food sensitivities.

These can all create identical clinical signs.

ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGENS include substances which are:

(a) Ever-present, such as house dust, house dust mites, moulds, fungal spores, human dander, aromatic products used in the home (essential oils, air fresheners, scented candles), grass etc.

(b) Seasonal, such as tree, flower and grass pollen, plants in the garden / encountered on walks etc.

ENVIRONMENTAL IRRITANTS include chemicals found in floor cleaners, carpet fibres, leather, laundry products, bedding materials etc


If an IDENTICAL diet is fed during boarding, the absence of itching confirms that a reaction to food allergens is NOT the reason for an itchy skin. 

Identifying the allergens / irritants responsible for itching so they can be avoided, is challenging in many cases, given the number of potential substances in and around the home that can trigger inflammatory reactions in sensitive dogs. This detective work however is made easier by keeping a skin journal, which includes itch and inflammation scores and notes on key events.

To confirm that dietary sensitivities are involved in skin problems, food trials are necessary. These also help to identify which foods can be fed without causing skin reactions. 

All of this and more is explained in our Helping My Itchy Dog course.

Plus you get live Zoom help from Dr Vince every other week in our regular pet parent Q&A's!