Itchy skin and hot spots?

Does your dog suffer from constant itchy rashes and hot spots?

Because the skin is the largest organ in the body, it’s usually the first area to show signs of toxicity. Typically these take the form of skin eruptions as the dog’s system tries to get rid of the poisons. Over time, however, toxicity can eventually lead to a whole host of other health problems including cancer, arthritis, kidney and liver disease, and immune system and neurological disorders.

What are these toxins and where have they come from?

The bad news is that toxins are everywhere – in the soil, air, food and water. Everything we put into the environment settles in the ground and that’s where animals spend their time, sniffing up lawn chemicals, gasoline fumes, pesticides and fungicides. In addition, many of us are adding to our pet’s toxic burden without even realising it. The worst culprits are vaccinnations, flea and worming treatments, steroids, anti-inflammatories, and low-end commercial diets. Many dog nuts contain food colouring dyes to entice people to buy the products, and the preservative ethoxyquin, which is a carcinogen.

So what can you do?

Although it’s virtually impossible to avoid toxins, there are lots of things you can do to help protect your pet from their effects.

One of the most important involves detoxifying your animal. Many dogs have an over acidic digestive system, which allows disease and bacteria to thrive. Detoxifying a dog therefore involves neutralising the acidity in the body, by giving them alkaline foods. Alkaline foods include most fruit and vegetables, while some acidic foods to avoid are wheat, corn and soy, which are often found in poor quality pet foods.

Detoxification also involves ridding the body of free radicals, cancer-causing substances. Antioxidants are the key here, and include not only supplements, but also alkaline water, which helps to flush out the system.

Some holistic vets also recommend the use of homeopathic nosodes to remove the effects of drugs such as steroids and antibiotics from the body.

Other tips

  • Wherever possible, avoid feeding cheap, low-end commercial foods filled with synthetic preservatives, colourings, and by-products, and switch your animal to a premium natural high quality product made with whole food ingredients, or even better look into the options for raw feeding.
  • Supplement their diet with antioxidants and probiotics. Antioxidants fight free radicals while probiotics help rid the digestive system of harmful bacteria by overwhelming them with good bacteria.
  • Establishing a good digestive system will ensure that bacteria and parasites cannot take hold.
  • Give your animal filtered water, in a ceramic or metal bowl – avoid plastic bowls wherever possible.
  • Avoid using fertilisers, pesticides and other chemicals on your grass or garden, and avoid taking your dog near areas where these substances are used. Use natural household cleaning products.
  • Always check that itchy skin is not as a result of parasitic infestation, such as mange, fleas or mites. Your Vet will be able to rule these out.