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Skin and Allergies

The best time to deal with allergies isn't at the first sneeze or the licking of the paws. It's months before. It's building the layers of exercise and the best nutrition and getting the gut repairs and inflammation down in the dogs and humans. There's a saying that what you do today is what your benefit from next year. There are many ways to help your gut and every dog and human are different what one needs the other might not. 

Skin disorders are one of the most common seen apiontments by a vet, it can be flea allergies, environmental allergies and food allergies. Atopy is  (environmental allergies) 

Unbalance foods can cause skin disorders and an unbalanced food can make conditions harder to heal. Other conditions can also cause the dogs ability to digest and absorb/ use nutrients.

The skin has a function to form an effective barrier from the inside to the outside of the dogs body. Its job is to protect the dog and its organs from pollutants, irritants, pathogens.

When feeding if the gut is working well use it. It is the best and most natural way to get nutrients into the body. I believe in always trying a change of life style, food first. With allergies they can get really bad and a trip to the vets or holistic vet is definitely the way forward. Just remember this is probably a life long situation so maintenance is often the best tool.

The skin is the the largest organ of the body. It has so many important functions, it protects the body, regulates temperature, it is a reservoir for select nutrients. It gives touch and is important for immunregulation.

The epidermis is continually renewing and it takes around 22 days for cell turnover. When you start to give something or some therapy it probably won't  be to evident for at least 3 weeks.

The environmental allergens  are commonally 



House dust




These affect the pet by either being absorbed through the skin, inhaled, by the respiratory tract or gastrointestinal tract. This then can cause an allergen IG-E production and stimulate the release of histamine. 

This is why its good to vacuum more in allergy season , wipe dogs paws and coat after walks and use an anti allergy filter fan especially through the night when the body deals with the reactions the worst .

Most allergies are thought to have a genetic predisposition, but not yet fully understood.


"The effect of the diet on skin gene expression was mostly associated with the immune system, antioxidants and inflammatory processes. Raw food appeared to activate the skin's immune defence system as well as the expression of genes that increase antioxidant production or that have anti-inflammatory effects."

In terms of puppyhood, the researchers consider a particularly important finding the fact that the immune defence of dogs whose diet is based on raw food is activated. What is known is that in people suffering from atopic dermatitis the development of immunity has been disturbed and that diverse exposure to microbes in childhood reduces the risk of becoming atopic.

The differences in skin gene expression between atopic and healthy dogs highlighted the possibility of deficiencies in the lipid metabolism and keratinocyte proliferation of atopic individuals. Both hold a key role in the normal functioning of the skin barrier. Additionally, the expression of genes that boost the formation of new blood vessels, a phenomenon known to be associated with the inflammatory response of the skin, was seen to have increased in atopic dogs. The findings support those made in prior studies."

University of Helsinki


It has been shown in studies of puppies  on a raw feed real food diet that allergies in later life where less . 

When environmental allergens and microbes penetrate the skin it releases inflammatory products.

Food allergy can be a secondary system of environmental allergies so keep an eye out for that. Ear infections, yeast , skin infections can also be secondary to atopy.

Treatment is probably going to be long- term management. There are medications, antihistamine , antibiotics, antifungals  and more . You can bath in a smoothing natural shampoo which can re-hydrate the skin and remove trapped allergens from the coat and help replace the skins protective barrier. Therapeutic diets and high levels of omega fatty acids. Some foods also cause higher release of histamines including some bone broths. 

Nutrition is very important

Important are proteins and fats with the highest quality and best digestible.

Hair is made up of 90% protein. Which includes important sulfur amino acids.30% of the protein taken by dogs is used up in skin cell turn over. When this protein isn't available or poor quality you might start seeing coat that's brittle , breaks easily, changes in skin coat will be noticed it can become greasy, scaly and is prone to infections.

Polyphenols who doesn't love polyphenols. These are found in the super foods pomegranate, broccoli, blueberries, green tea, apples to name a few. They have anti-inflammatory prosperities and also Quercetin. Quercetin has been researched and shown to block inflammatory mediators from mast cells.

Amongst other important nutrition is copper, vitamin A and B complex but lm going to look at essential fatty acids. 

It seams wherever you look omega 3 and fatty acids are high on the beneficial  list for many problems in dogs and people. The importance in the management of skin disease are they help manage many types of inflammatory skin disease (and other inflammatory diseases)

Essential fatty acids are essential because the body cannot synthesize them.

Not only are they essential for the help in inflammation but they help immunmodulation which affects the function of the immune system. Basically they can alter the make up and function of the epidermal lipid barrier of the skin by modulating cytokine production, inhibiting cellular activation, cytokine secretion and help the skin protect from allergens. If your dog doesn't have a fish allergy then give them oily fish or green lipped muscle fatty acids. 

There are pros and cons on all types but l now go with fish and not just oil. Yes the fish in the sea todays isn't as good as it was years ago. A rule of thumb is the smaller the fish the less toxins and mercury it will have. Due to big fish eat small fish and add to their mercury levels. 

I do give salmon now and again but only wild. Personally  l go with fresh frozen small fish and mussels. although l do give hemp seed, ground flax and ahiflower sometimes.

 Oils can go rancid very quickly with a lot of them off before you even open them. They should be in darker glasses bottles or capsules and kept in a cool dark places. Used within a couple of months of opening, the same with most oils. Oils have the ability to absorb toxins and plastics from cheaper containers. There are a few l trust but even then do you know how they have been looked after in storage and transit ?

Essential oils also need to be in proportion to each other and the food. So a nutritionist made food plan could work best. I would say most foods have more omega 6 then 3 so adding 3 ( fish oil ) is normally the way to go .

If you feed mackerel that can have a greater level of histamine so be careful.

Stinging nettles as a tea or tincture  can help with allergies too. Researchers think they can help the body reduce the amount of histamine produced in the response to an allergen .  



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