Dogs need to have clear, honest and unbiased skin care advice from vets, says a new study that’s looking at the latest research.
The research, by researchers at the University of Manchester, is looking at dog skin complaints.
Dogs are particularly sensitive to the skin’s natural oils, but there’s been very little research looking at whether the skin is more sensitive to certain types of dog-derived chemicals.
“It’s a really important issue,” says Dr. Anna C. Mascarenhas, the study’s lead author.
“We’ve known that the skin of dogs has a high amount of hydrogen peroxide, which is a naturally occurring chemical that has been shown to cause allergic reactions.
But the idea is that you don’t want to put this in your dog’s food, for example, as it can cause an allergic reaction in humans.”
The study, which will be published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, looked at 10 studies, which measured the chemical’s toxicity to dogs.
The results were interesting, the researchers found, with a chemical called hydrogen peroxides (HFOs) being significantly more toxic to dogs than any other type of animal skin.
HFOs were also more likely to be found in dog urine, and more than one in 10 dogs tested had at least one chemical in their urine.
“There’s a lot of information that has emerged on these compounds over the years that we know are toxic to humans, but we don’t know how to actually put them in our dog’s diet,” says Mascarelli.
The researchers found HFO concentrations in dog skin ranged from about 0.5 micrograms per millilitre to 1.5 micrometers per milliliter.
There’s a good chance that a pet owner may be ingesting these chemicals at higher levels than they should, which means they could be triggering allergies in pets.
The study found that about half of the HFO-affected dogs had at some point developed a skin reaction after ingesting HFO.
In addition, about one-third of the samples had developed an allergic response after eating a sample containing the HMO compound.
That was particularly common in the dogs that had been exposed to the chemical on the skin.
“What we found was that it was a really difficult, difficult task to get any clear results,” says C.H.M. “The most important thing is that people should be very clear and honest with their dog when they have this information.
There should be absolutely no discussion about the safety of any ingredient, and there should be no mention of any potential side effects.”
The researchers suggest that people who are concerned about their dog’s skin should contact a veterinary dermatologist, and also that they should always read the label of any food, especially dog food.
“That’s what we hope the research will do,” says B.M., the lead author of the study.
“If you can’t say that it’s safe, then you should probably stick with what you’re eating.”
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