If your dog has ever developed itchy dandruff, sore patches or cracked paws, you’ll know that ‘what lies beneath’ all that fur needs some attention.
The skin is an important protective barrier to keep them stay safe from infection and regulates their body temperatures. Problems with skin can lead to more than just discomfort, bad smells or patchy skin/fur – secondary infections caused by scratching or cracked skin that can become serious.
Your dog’s skin is composed of layers of cells that are incredibly delicate; in some areas it’s just 4 cells deep - about the same as a human eyelid.
Common causes of skin problems
- Poor nutrition, or an adverse reaction to food
- Allergies (e.g. to flea bites or something in the environment)
- Parasitic infections
- Specific or inherited skin conditions like Seborrhea (see link below), especially for spaniel and retriever-type breeds.
- Bacterial infection
What to look out for
- Sparse fur, bald patches, clumps of hair coming away
- Scaly, flaky skin: dandruff
- Oily skin
- Bad smells
- Itchiness / persistent scratching
- Red, raw, broken skin
Itchiness, dryness, belly rashes, scabs and sores are likely to come your canine’s way at some point. A simple but effective skincare regime can proactively avoid discomfort, infection… and visits to the vet.
What’s your skincare regime?
Regular grooming is not only great ‘we-time’ but gets your dog used to you checking over their skin and fur, in between the claws, under the joints – it’s a great opportunity to examine them for bumps, bits and dryness that may be a sign of something to be concerned about.
- A mild, low-suds gentle shampoo (… NOT one for humans!)
- A good brush that removes tangles and debris
- Antibacterial wipes
- A skin/paw balm
Nutrition plays a role
I learned this the hard way with my first foster dog, Tank (click to read Tank's story here). Our little ‘tough guy’ American Pit Bull, low to the ground, strong on the lead, full of energy, always up for some rough-and-tumble play in the park… developed a sensitive skin problem.
We eventually diagnosed the issue to his allergy to chicken, which was causing hair loss, sore patches and obvious discomfort. It was amazing to see how quickly his skin and fur recovered when we adjusted his diet. But along the way we explored all possibilities including his clothes, bedding and all of the grooming products. Which is actually what led me to start Sniffe & Likkit!
How we can help
Coming from the (human) personal beauty business, we were able to develop new products that not only smell great to both hounds and humans, but help keep your canine in tip-top condition. Because we believe EVERYONE in the house deserves to look, feel and smell their best!
- SHAMPOOS. We have both a wet-wash for bathtub time and a completely waterless dry shampoo powder (click to purchase here). Both of these have been specially formulated to be pH balanced for a dog’s fur and skin, which is the first step to avoiding dandruff and flaky skin. Both are also very mild and gentle… our Fragrant Furcoat 3 in 1 & Brightening & Conditioning Shampoo is low foam with mild cleansers that don’t strip the fur and are easy to rinse out – no giant clouds of bubbles as this is likely to cause irritation. For dogs that hate bath-time (… most do!), our No Rinse Charming dry shampoo powder shower is a great way of avoiding the hassle of washing and targeting greasy areas (especially ears and backs) with a gentle freshen-up.
- PAW BALM. Fab Paw is a vegan-friendly rich and nourishing skin conditioning butter balm. Using candillia plant wax instead of beeswax often found in such products. 99.8% natural, with the other 0.2% coming from antioxidant Vitamin E, a great enhancer of skin condition. Balms are a great way to protect paws from sores and ensure your dog’s pads are smooth supple and healthy, especially in hot pavement season. A regular, skin-nourishing application is enough to avoid cracked skin. Click to purchase here.
- FRAGRANT CLEANSING & DEODORIZING CLOTH WIPES. Life on (or off) the lead outdoors can result in some mucky chores. Our Wippets naturally scented cloth wipes are individually-wrapped, which means they stay fresh and moist right up to the moment you need them. The thin silver sachet slides easily into your pocket when you’re heading out for a walk, and the cloth itself is biodegradable so can go in the bin. Fragranced with our signature Woodland scent aloe vera leaf juice and a natural plant deodoriser , these are ideal for cleaning muddy paws, bums, fur or fingers to make sure there is no trapped debris or bacteria hiding on your dog. Click to purchase here.
What’s in our products?
On top of our 100% natural aromatherapeutic scent blended with cedarwood, vetivet, petitgrain ho leaf and juniper berry essential oils we have used a range of bark friendly ingredients, natural extracts and botanicals specially formulated to help keep your dogs furcoat and skin in tip top canine condition
- Quillaja Bark Soap – a mild & gentle cleanser to remove dirt and impurities
- White Willow Bark extract - a renowned natural antibacterial and moisturiser
- Paw Paw (papaya seed oil ) and a blend sweet almond, coconut, shea, sunflower oils
- Wiff Patrol- a natural plant based deodoriser to help waft away woofy whiffs
- Multana Mittis Clay(Fullers Earth) Oatmeal and rye powders renowned for the cleansing, odour neutralising and insect repelling properties