Dog with skin problems? It could be their shampoo.
A dog’s skin is their first line of defense against most common skin conditions, including itchy skin, allergies, sores and hotspots, hair loss, dull coats and odor. The skin gets some serious help from a natural protective layer composed of skin cells, microbes and skin oil, known as sebum, commonly referred to as the skin biome. However, if your dog is experiencing any of the above symptoms there is a serious possibility that their shampoo is to blame.
If you read the previous post on Microbiome 101 then you know how a Dysbiosis, or imbalance, of the skin biome can severely impact their ability to naturally defend against the yeast and bacteria commonly associated with these conditions. Prior to Veterinarian approved Skout’s Honor Topical Probiotic Grooming, the focus of grooming products was to “cleanse” and “disinfect” the surface of the skin and effectively wipe away the natural protective layer, leaving the skin susceptible to whatever pathogen came along next without the benefit of a healthy skin biome.
Imagine your dog's skin is your favorite dog-park. There are a few bad owners that show up everyday, but for most part, the park patrons are nice, competent and respectful dog owners. If one of the less desirable patrons starts to get out of line or they dog becomes aggressive, the rest of the crew puts them in their place, calls the authorities or sends them on their way. When they don't pick up after their dog, another patron will usually do it for them out of consideration for the rest of the park. It’s a nice healthy park!
Now imagine that the park closed down for cleaning and no one was allowed in. You show up the next day and discover that four or five less savory park patrons and their aggressive dogs beat you there. Some of the nicer patrons start to show up, but the aggressive dogs and their rude owners quickly create an unfriendly environment, so they move on quickly. Dog poop starts to pile up and the place smells bad. As a result, what was once known as a nice healthy dog park becomes known as that park with an unhealthy atmosphere where dog bites happen. You call the authorities when someone gets bitten, but they can’t do much more than site the offending animal and give the owner a warning.
Every few months the park is shut down and cleaned up, but whether it is a nice healthy park of an unhealthy atmosphere really depends on who shows up first.
Break Free from Treat & Repeat
If you wash your dog with an anti-microbial shampoo, you are essentially wiping the slate clean and leaving it vulnerable to colonization by whatever shows up first. Alternatively, we treat the symptoms without addressing the underlaying issues. For example, oatmeal shampoos treat the itch, but not the underlying cause of itchyness. Ultimately, this locks the dog in a cycle of treat and repeat.
Using a product that supports the protective layer provided by the microbiome, such as our line of Probiotic Grooming products, helps to break the cycle of treat and potentially eliminate the need for more radical treatments.
Although all may be affected by skin problems, some breeds are more prone to them. These breeds include Shar-Pais, Bulldogs, Terriers, Spaniels, Poodles, Doberman Pinschers and Labrador Retrievers.
Particularly for bulldogs, if you see any bulldog skin problems, such as skin infections or hot spots, have it treated right away. The longer these problems exist, the more problems there will be.
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