Nothing is worse than when you beloved dog is plagued with itchy skin, causing them to bite, scratch and lick themselves constantly. There are many reasons dogs (and cats) get itchy and it’s important to distinguish between an chronic issue vs a temporary issue.
Several weeks ago, I found a puppy and brought him home to keep him safe, while trying to find his owner. Of course there are always risks associated with bringing any dog into your home with other pets…. but I wasn’t worried since Hercules is frequently socialized in public with a wide variety of other animals in which I do not have any health history on.
I gave “puppy” a quick check over before he was introduced to Hercules. The only thing that I noticed was that “Puppy” did have a few fleas – not an infestation – just a few random fleas after combing and visually inspecting him.
Puppy got a bath with peppermint soap, I spritzed him with my flea & tick spray and gave him several of my Homemade Flea Prevention Treats. I also gave him a few vitamins that can help you trim your dogs nails since it pacifies them. I repeatedly checked ‘puppy’ to make sure there weren’t anymore fleas – and proactively checked Hercules to make sure he didn’t get any on him (I didn’t find any fleas on Hercules, thanks to him regularly getting my Homemade Flea Prevention Treats!!)
Around the same time that Puppy stayed with us (sadly, he was returned to his owner about 30 hours later, we still miss him!), Hercules got itchy. I did notice him scratching a little BEFORE ‘puppy’ was with us and remembered that he was also itchy last year in the fall as well.
When something changes with Hercules’ health, I don’t immediately run him to the vet for a pharmaceutical drug – I always do my best to safely and logically figure out what’s happening and why. Then I use real food, supplements and natural methods to help him first – I’ve completely avoided vet visits by treating minor issues naturally.
I do need to say that I’m not a vet and you need to always use your best judgement when caring for your pet. When in doubt take your pet to the vet, ideally a holistic or integrative vet.
There are 3 main reasons dogs get itchy skin; Fleas, Food Allergies and Environmental Allergies. I determined with Hercules’ itchy skin that it was NOT fleas or a food allergy – Since this itchy skin came on seasonally, it’s fair to assume that since there aren’t any other symptoms that it’s most likely something in the fall air causing him to get itchy.
Since Hercules’ itchy skin seemed linked to fall environmental allergies, I researched ways that I could help support his body’s reaction to the allergen and improve his health overall.
What’s in my Frosty Pumpkin Dog Treats:
- Kefir – Just as probiotic bacterias are beneficial for human health, they are also beneficial for our pets health too! Instead of spending money pills, potions and lotions – I always prefer to obtain health boosting substances from their naturally occurring, real food sources, like using inexpensive, homemade kefir instead of a store bought probiotic supplement powder or pill. Click HERE to learn how to make Kefir
- Pumpkin – Dogs LOVE pumpkin and it’s super good for their health. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and with 90% water content is very hydrating, which is helpful for a dog’s digestive health particularly constipation and/or diarrhea. Pumpkin is rich in the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, by just looking at its vibrant color. Pumpkin may also improve skin conditions and produce a shinier coat. Researchers are also studying whether the amino acid, cucurbitin, found in pumpkin and pumpkin seeds may be a natural dewormer for tapeworm and other intestinal parasites.
- Brewers Yeast – Not to be confused with any other type of yeast, Brewers Yeast, is an inactive yeast that is a popular dietary supplement. It is rich in antioxidants and pet owners supplying their pet with a daily brewers yeast tablet report their dog’s coat is shinier. Another benefit includes healthier skin. There’s less itchy, dry skin in dogs taking daily brewers yeast supplements.With a healthy coat, a dog is less likely to shed large amounts of fur. While it is natural to shed hair, poor nutrition causes a dog to shed more frequently. In addition, poor nutrition causes fur to look dull and lack any hint of shine. Think about any dog show you’ve seen on television. Those dogs often have thick, shiny coats due to extensive grooming and daily use of nutritional supplements like brewers yeast for dogs. Hercules also gets daily doses of Brewers Yeast in my Homemade Flea Prevention Dog Treats!
- Salmon/Fish Oil: Fish oil is probably the most important supplement you can add to your dog’s diet, regardless of what type of diet you feed. EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, provide widespread benefits, but they are fragile and unlikely to survive storage in bags of kibble, or may be rancid even before being added to pet foods.
Proven benefits from EPA and DHA include:
- Improving the coat and skin.
- Reducing inflammation due to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease
- Regulating the immune system, boosting those that are suppressed and calming overactive immune systems for dogs with allergies or autoimmune diseases.
- Aiding in mental development of fetuses and puppies, and improving cognitive function in older dogs
- Lowering blood pressure and triglycerides
- Providing support for dogs with kidney disease, heart disease, and cancer. – Promoting weight loss in overweight dogs.
CAUTION: Fish oil should be protected from light, heat, and air. Store liquid fish oil in opaque/dark colored bottles in the refrigerator. Purchase amounts that can be used within one or two months to avoid rancidity. If you notice an “off” odor, discard the oil.
How to make Frosty Pumpkin Dog Treats:
Making my Frosty Pumpkin Dog Treats can’t get much easier! You simply add all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. Then transfer them into cute little dog bone silicone molds and freeze!
For best results, transfer your blended mixture to a plastic bottle (cut the tip to roughly a 1/4 inch diameter opening) and use as a mess-free way to fill silicone molds.
Making Hercules more Frosty Pumpkin Dog Treats – perfect to combat fall allergies and promote general health! They are full of probiotics & healthy fats, in addition to pumpkin! #paleodog #rawdog I’ll be sharing the recipe next week ?? #herculesryczek A photo posted by Hayley Ryczek (@healthstartsinthekitchen) on
The dosage for these treats is NOT critical, the ingredients are healthy, real food/natural ingredients.
For toy dogs give 1 small dog bone treat (roughly 1 tablespoon), small dogs give 2 bones, medium dogs 3 small treats, large dogs 4-5 small treats per day.
Alternatively, for large dogs you can make them large dog bone treats (I typically give Hercules large dog bone treats).
Within a week of giving Hercules these treats, I noticed his itching had greatly reduced. I suggest giving an few extra treats during the first week just to pump their body full of health!
- 1 cup Plain Kefir or Yogurt, preferably homemade
- 16 ounces organic pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup Brewers Yeast
- 1/2 cup Salmon Oil
- Use a blender to combine ingredients, blend until completely smooth.
- Fill silicone molds, as desired.
- Freeze 3 hours or until solid.
- Transfer frosty pumpkin dog treats into to a container or plastic zip top bag and store in the freezer, serve frozen.