Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Better use special shampoo for animals with allergies. You can also bath your dog in water with oatmeal – this can help to relieve itching.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Tea tree oil when used properly in dogs can heal dry, damaged skin, kill yeast, kill fleas and scabies, and soothe the itchy skin caused by airborne allergens. We have used tea tree oil in our shampoo since 2004 with only positive results.
Tea tree oil is a great ingredient in natural pet shampoo and dog grooming supplies when used in a concentration between 0.1 to 1 percent. Pure, undiluted tea tree oil is not suitable for pets, and especially not for taking internally.
As with any medicated or herbal product, tea tree oil used topically on dogs may produce allergic reactions. Even in a diluted form, the oil has the potential to cause symptoms in animals with sensitivity issues or allergies.
When you use tea tree oil on your dog`s skin, dilute it with a lot of water. Take caution with the amount of oil used. As mentioned earlier, the recommended and safest ratio is 0.1-1% strength. At these levels, the weakened concentrate is no longer considered toxic.
You can also buy an oatmeal or allergy safe shampoo. Look for shampoos without soaps or alcohol. Wash your dog with your soap free, allergy-friendly shampoo. If you are using an oatmeal shampoo, you can let your dog soak in the water for several minutes before washing and rinsing.
Although products containing low concentrations of tea tree oil are not expected to be a problem in pets, the use of pure tea tree oil directly on the skin is potentially very serious in pets and should never be used. Exposure may cause ataxia, salivation, lethargy, coma and tremor.
I recommend using this dilution ratio of tea tree oil for dogs: 2-4 drops of tea tree oil.
When dogs develop allergies, it generally causes itchy and inflamed skin, respiratory disorders, and chronic skin and ear infections. Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and peppermint may be used to ease some of these symptoms. Other essential oils, like tea tree oil, can be quite toxic to your dog.
In small concentrations (. 1% to 1%), tea tree oil is tolerated and safe for cats and dogs. Unfortunately, the oil`s popularity has resulted in larger numbers of households with bottles of 100 percent tree tea oil, and accidental ingestion or improper dilutions of this highly concentrated oil can be harmful to pets.
Use tea tree oil with a few precautions: You should not apply tea tree oil directly to skin. It`s important to dilute the oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. For every 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of a carrier oil.
Using olive oil is also can also be effective as a moisturizer, by applying it directly to your pet`s skin. It is recommended to add five to ten drops of oil to one cup of water, before using your hands to massage the mixture into your pet`s fur. Try this daily until the dog`s fur looks the way it needs to.
Your vet will conduct a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your pet`s itching, but anti-itch medications, such as Oclacitinib (Apoquel), and Prednisolone may be prescribed to reduce the itching. Antihistamines can also be used in some cases, as well as medicated shampoos and topical ointments.
In short: nope. You should not use human shampoo like Head and Shoulders on a dog. “It is not advisable to use human shampoo on our pets, especially not medicated shampoos or those targeted at reducing dandruff,” veterinary surgeon Dr.
Aloe Vera is not safe for dogs to ingest, but it is safe to put on their skin. It is important to practice caution when using Aloe Vera. Do not use it internally on your dog or allow your pet to ingest it. If your dog accidentally licks or ingests Aloe Vera, carefully monitor his behavior for potential side effects.
When diluted and used safely, tea tree oil can kill and repel fleas. But it is among the herbal treatments listed as “especially risky” in the Merck Veterinary Manual. This is because tea tree oil is difficult to dilute properly in home kitchens.
Symptoms of toxicity include elevations in liver enzymes, weakness, low body temperature, incoordination, inability to walk, hind leg paralysis, tremors, coma and death. These symptoms often appear 2-8 hours after exposure. If you suspect tea tree oil toxicity in your pet please contact your veterinarian immediately.
This is a gentler version of the well-known tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Regular tea tree can cause temporary paralysis in some dogs, so I prefer the milder version, which repels fleas and ticks, and helps heal minor skin injuries.
Combine a teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to keep combined, and spot treat existing areas of mold. Leave for a few minutes and wipe away. To prevent mold and mildew, simply spray to apply where needed.
Simply mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and apply it to your dog`s ears using a cotton ball. Another natural remedy is tea tree oil — but be warned, it is potent and should be diluted before use. Simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, and apply it to the affected area.
The most common foods associated with your pet`s allergies are chicken, beef, dairy, lamb, wheat, soy, and eggs. Grains are a surprisingly uncommon problem in pets, with the occasional pet allergic to a specific grain or plant-sourced ingredient such as rice or tomato.
Tea tree oil has proven effective in healing dry, damaged skin, killing yeast, fleas and scabies, as well as soothing itchy skin from airborne allergens. Designed for use on all dogs and cats as well as furry mammals small and large.
“It provides many benefits for dogs,” says Dr. Colleen Smith, DVM, CVA, CVCP of the Chattanooga Holistic Animal Institute. Coconut oil can aid dogs with everything from itchy or bumpy skin to digestion issues.
The most common foods associated with your pet`s allergies are chicken, beef, dairy, lamb, wheat, soy, and eggs. Grains are a surprisingly uncommon problem in pets, with the occasional pet allergic to a specific grain or plant-sourced ingredient such as rice or tomato.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. My dog licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.

Q. My dog itchs all the time a codozon shot helps but don’t cure it after a bath she turns red and still itchs I changed dog food that didn’t help no fle
ANSWER : A. Do you live in a region where fleas are prevalent. Where I live the fleas are truly horrible, and I see many animals developing a flea allergy. This usually presents as relentless itching especially at the base of the tail, although it can be all over the body. Often on exam I won’t find a single flea, just red bumps, hair loss and itching. In response, I will start animals on an oral steroid such as prednisone (I think your doctor has administered an injectable steroid), while at the same time bathing the animal and starting on an oral flea preventative such as Comforts which I then re dose at 3 weeks instead of 4. Additionally, the environment needs to be decontaminated- flea bombing the house, vacuuming often and washing bedding on hot. The flea life cycle is short, however, so this needs to be one frequently as they will just continue to hatch in your home. Most importantly, I tell my clients, that any steroid (oral or injectable) does not fix the problem, but rather suppress your dogs reaction to it thereby making them more comfortable. Just the steroid alone changes nothing except giving them a brief break from their symptoms.

Now that I have spoken in depth about flea allergy, there is a potential that it is something else. Food allergies are slow to develop, and slow to change. If you wanted to eliminate a potential food allergy I would switch to a novel protein, limited ingredient diet. For example, lamb as the protein source if your previous food was always chicken or beef, and in a formula with very limited ingredients such as lamb, rice and veggies. A pet store should be able to help you with this. While on this diet they cannot have any additional treats for 1 month, to see if you have eliminated the allergy. From an Eastern Medical perspective, I also recommend novel proteins that are “cool”, such as fish, lamb, or duck while avoiding “warm” foods such as beef, chicken, pork.

Finally, all animals with allergies should be on an Omega 3 supplement. Given regularly, this can help reduce overall inflammation in the body both in the skin, joints, and other tissues. Good for allergies, arthritis and overall health. My dogs are on fish oils, but one of my dogs who is allergic to fish gets flax oil instead. I would be happy to consult with you further, but I hope this helps to some degree.

Q. My dog has no fleas, but is scratching and licking continually. He has been through a round of prednisone and it hasn’t helped. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. Itching can be caused by more than just external parasites, and if your dog is already on a flea medication, then it is possibly not the case. Itching can indicate anything from allergies to even minor skin infections causing problems. If your dog has been treated with prednisone (a steroid that inhibits the immune system) and it did not help, then looking at other options may help.

Food allergies are very common in dogs and can present with itching and licking all over the body rather than on just one spot. Common food allergens include ingredients such as wheat, corn and soy products, however dogs can be allergic to almost anything! Starting a food trial of an allergen-friendly diet from your vet or pet store that avoids these common ingredients may help. The food should be switched over a period of 7-9 days and then given about a month to decide if it is helping.

Small skin infections or yeast in the skin can also cause itching, however this itching is often more specific to a certain area of the body (such as the toes, or base of the tail). Your vet can perform a skin scraping of the area to be cultured at a lab to look for any yeast or bacteria. If they are present, a medication given either orally or placed on the affected area can clear up the infection.

In some cases, licking and chewing can actually be due to a boredom or anxiety behavior. Dogs may lick one spot obsessively to the point of creating sores or wounds in the area. Stopping your dog from licking and chewing either through the use of dog booties, no lick strips, T-shirts or even Elizabethan collars can break the habit and give the area time to heal. Licking and chewing can also cause the spread of bacterial infections so should be deterred even if not behaviorally caused.

Q. What can I get over the counter for Dermatitis in a 18 pound long haired Doxie?
ANSWER : A. Dermatitis can be caused by a number of things in dogs ranging from allergies, skin infections caused by bacteria or fungus, skin dryness from changes in the weather or too frequent bathing or even from external parasites. Determining the cause of the dermatitis first is best before treating it.

If allergies are thought to be the cause, allergy medication can be given to help relieve symptoms. Your vet can provide you with the correct dosage for your dog’s size of over the counter medications. In more serious cases, stronger allergy medications may need to be prescribed. For dry or flaky skin, using a shampoo that is for sensitive skin or oatmeal based can help soothe it. Lowering the frequency of baths and instead using a pet wipe or baby wipe to keep your dog clean will also help sooth the skin. For external parasites, starting on a preventive treatment plan of flea and tick medication will help stop fleas from biting and allow the skin to heal.

If you suspect a more serious causes such as bacterial or fungal infection, or your dog does not improve with treatment, making a wellness check with your vet is best. Your vet can thoroughly examine the skin and may also recommend additional tests to check for any underlying causes such as infection, hormonal imbalance or illness.

Q. My dog has a skin allergy common among snauhzers. Can I add tea tree oil to her shampoo? Would that help?
ANSWER : A. Better use special shampoo for animals with allergies. You can also bath your dog in water with oatmeal – this can help to relieve itching.

Q. Want a pet cat companion for my dog Lucky, who is 5. The problem is that I’m somewhat alergic to cats. So, not sure what to do!
ANSWER : A. Dogs can make friends with lots of species, including cats! If you are heart-set on a cat, allergenic breeds are available such as hairless or lesser haired Sphinx and Devon-Rexes. However these breeds can be rare and hard to find at times. A short-haired cat that is brushed regularly may also cause less allergies. Many people with allergies are also able to take medications such as a daily allergy medication or spray like Nasocrom which can make living with a cat much easier.

If your dog is very friendly with other dogs, then getting him a dog friend may be an option! That would keep you from needing to get a cat and having an allergic reaction. Looking at your local animal shelter may help you to find a dog for adoption that is similar in personality and play style to your current dog. Many shelters will also let you introduce your dog to the one you are interested in adopting to see if they will be a good fit! If you can’t get another pet at this time, taking your dog to a local dog park or dog meetup can help him to get more social interaction and get out extra energy without the need for caring for another pet.

Q. My 4 yr old male Catahoula Leopard Dog mix is a rescue. He’s become very possessive of me around larger dogs. How can I correct this behavior?
ANSWER : A. Sudden behavior changes can sometimes indicate an underlying health issue, so scheduling a checkup with your regular vet is always the first step. Once any health issues have been addressed, then you can address the behavioral ones. It is very common for dogs to become “possessive” of people or objects when around other dogs or people, and is called location guarding. Possession of objects or places can be a little easier to manage, however possession around other dogs can be treated as well. Working from a distance in a technique called BAT or Behavioral Adjustment Training may help. This technique involves your dog and another calm dog. Start off at a far distance and then move in until your dog becomes reactive or wary of the other dog. Move back a small amount and wait for your dog to become calm. If he shows calm behavior, reward with lots of praise, treats and love! If he becomes agitated or possessive, move back until he is calm, or stop the session completely and try again later. While this may take some time, it can help dogs learn that other dogs are not a threat to them or their people. Reading more information about BAT training or contacting a local trainer in your area can help with further advice and techniques!