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Dry itchy skin.
  • My sweet little Kirby has always had dry itchy skin. We get him special baths, he gets brushed, eats good dog food. When he gets a bath, the relief only last a day; except from this one place. After we go through this batch of dog food, I was thinking of possibly switching him to something with more fish in it. He currently eats Candidae PAWS formula. I was also thinking of perhaps a Vitamin E or fish oil on his food.

    Do your Shiba's have dry Winter itchy skin? What have you found to work? Thanks in advance for your response!!"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." (Anon)
    Post edited by sunyata at 2012-08-09 10:41:04
  • Absolutely add fish oil. Shibas should only be bathed every few months. I don't know if Candidae is grain free but if it isn't consider switching to a grain free formula. A number of members have had success with Orijen (when I fed my dogs dog food, that is what I used. I cook for my dogs now).
  • CrimsonO2CrimsonO2
    Posts: 1165
    Orijen also has a special kibble more loaded on fish than its usual kibble. Orijen regular has whitefish while Orijen Fish has salmon (I believe). See if that works if you don't want to put fish oil in your dog's food.

  • I would absolutely encourage you to add fish oil regardless of food formula as food alone will not supply the adequate amount of OFA's to impact skin dryness. The Orijen fish formula has six fish and is excellent. But toss a capsule in with the food anyway.
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 1361
    I second all the above information, 1. Add Fish oil, 2. Switch to a grain free dog food. Orijen has been really good to most shibas on here.

    Also, make sure you change the food over gradually, a sudden change can cause more harm than good ;) ~
    Post edited by Sangmort at 2009-01-06 00:45:25
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    Wellness Core Ocean is also a fish protein based grain free kibble that I love using! And I think its easier to come by than Orijen 6 fish (at least in my region).

    Definitely add fish oil, they make a spray you can spray on a treat or his food, I buy capsules and either burst them over their meal or let them have it as a treat. We give it to them 3 times a week.

    Also, and this is totally my preference over anything else, I don't bathe my shibas unless out of absolute necessity like recently when Tsuki rubbed all over a dead crow (fun times...). The more you bathe them, the less of their own natural oils they contain in their coat and skin. We especially try to not bathe them in the winter for this reason. They don't have that doggy smell, and they are naturally clean animals, so they luck out in the bathing department!
  • Miso and Sake get bathed about once every 2 months (unless they get into something). Plus they get the fish oil. Sake had itchy skin as well but now with the fish oil I have seen a great improvement!
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433
    Once every two months? Wow. Nemo gets a bath once a year or so.
  • I think when we are in a more permanate place (when we buy a home) it will decrease. Right now we live by the ocean and the kids go in the salt water and I can only let them go that crazy every once in a while, so after that it's bathtime! Plus we run into all sorts of mucky things on the beach and such.

    Sake the mud puppy has had more baths because of her love for all things dirt.
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 1361
    Having a white coat doesn't help much either ;) ~
  • Yeah, well usually I can just take a damp cloth and get the dirt off her, but sometimes she goes nuts and it requires a full bath...


    But I have noticed the "itchy" has gone away and their coats look wonderful with the addition of the Fish Oil. Plus Sake LOVES it, she goes nuts when I put the capsule in her food, it's the first thing she eats!
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    yeah our bathing frequency is more like Nemo's... unless, you know, we find a dead crow and need to roll on it or something.

    How does the salt water effect their coat/fur, Kristin? Does it make it more brittle or softer? I know when I swim in the ocean, after I have that sticky dry skin and brittle hair!!
  • It makes their fur very dry and coarse/brittle. Plus Miso always seems more itchy after a dip in the ocean. It also feels gross to me when I pet them after they have dried off from the ocean, it's hard to explain, like the salt residue bothers me.

    I hate everything salt water so if they go in past their bellies they get a bath. Lately with the cold they just stick their feet in which I just wipe off and let be since they don't have a problem with it, but in the summer time when they go for a full dip...BATH!
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 1361
    lol Sake looks like a sesame in that picture :)

    I'm curious about the salt water effecting fur as well.~
  • Sake was trying to turn into a Black and Tan that day. :)
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 1361
    Awwww! ~
  • Is Orijen hard to find? Kirby does NOT get bathed very often. I just looked up his dog food, and it is not grain free. However, they do have a grain free variety! I am going to get him the the grain free Salmon meal & potatoes one. And I some fish oil. Thank you everyone!!"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." (Anon)
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433
    Orijen has a Store Locator on their website:

    Most of the dog food brands do, so you can find where it is being sold closest to you.
  • Darwin67Darwin67
    Posts: 390
    Quick question, where do you all get your fish oil, and in what form do you give it? Any suggestions on quantity....for a Shiba and an Akita??
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    You can plunk down the dollars and buy the omega 3/6's or fatty acid capsules "for dogs" at the vet office or from an online Vet retail like Petmeds or Foster and Smith. You can also order the liquid fats/flax/cod oils or buy it from holistique pet food chains (cha-ching) and hope to use the entire bottles before they go rancid. OR, you can get the human grade Costco fish oil brand capsules (I think it's cheaper and better quality, anyway even if it isn't organic). I give Ike and Beebe 1 with each meal, Ike's coat is imaculate and Beebe's skin is less itchy. I don't think you can overdose on this stuff."Common sense isn't so common"
  • Darwin67Darwin67
    Posts: 390
    Well that works!! We've been buying the fish oil caps for our own intake for a year or so and have a huge bottle right in the medicin cabinet.

    Do you break them over the food??
  • KFontaine04KFontaine04
    Posts: 1872
    My dogs will just eat the whole capsule, Sake likes to chomp it till it "pops" in her mouth and all the good fishy oilness comes spilling out. Miso justs eats it whole.

    If your dog won't eat the capsule you can break it over food, but you risk fishy goodness getting on your hands! YUCK!
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    We were bursting the pills over food, but Brandon_W had said he gives them to his dog as a 'treat', we tried it and the dogs do eat the pill whole, so thats how we do it now.

    We give them the exact same fish oil capsules that I take. I take them MWF and the dogs get them every other or every second day, give or take.
  • lepercannlepercann
    Posts: 243
    In response to a question in the original post about winter itchiness: I have found that Triton gets the itchies in the early spring and it lasts about a month. Sadie gets itchy in the fall for about a month. In the spring I give T 1/2 a Benadryl before he goes to sleep and sometimes 1/2 in the morning if he is too itchy. Both Sadie and Triton get baths once per month. I use a special oatmeal shampoo and conditioner for dogs. I know it may seem like a lot, but Triton sleeps in our bed and I have OCD, so no unbathed doggies!!!
  • kojichankojichan
    Posts: 178
    Grizzly Salmon Oil for me. The pump bottle certainly is a lot easier than dealing with capsules.
  • I actually switched Kirby to Orjien & it has made a world of difference.
    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." (Anon)
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    I switched Quake to Wellness Core No Grain Low Fat kibble and he was still scratching. I then started him on one human fish oil capsule per day plus one Safari Pets Coat and Skin Supplement tablet per day. He seems to be itching less and his coat no longer looks flaky.

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