Dogs’ skin problems demand a lot of attention and patience. From trips to the vet, testing out different skin medications, to constantly switching pet foods, taking care of dogs with skin conditions takes a toll on pet parents, especially the elderly. That is why Womble’s humans decided to turn him over to HUHA, an animal rescue service organization based in Otaki, New Zealand, to get all the help that he needs.
When Womble first arrived at HUHA, caretakers readily noticed signs and characteristics that he grew up in a loving family. According to Claire Thornton, the Shelter Manager and Trustee of HUHA NZ, “Womble has lovely manners, is a joy to walk, and is a very good boy.”
With Womble’s sweet disposition, you wouldn’t think he was suffering from irritation, itching, and dryness. His skin was raw and yeasty with a couple of bald patches.
Seeing Womble’s condition and knowing that he has been enduring it for a long time broke Claire’s heart. “The owners had tried many different things and just couldn’t get on top of the condition.”
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROTEIN AND SKIN ALLERGIES
Topical products like lotions and medicated shampoos can only do so much to keep the itching at bay. That is why it’s important to look into other factors like diet and environment.
Dogs’ food allergies are typically caused by prolonged exposure to protein sourced from farmyard animals like Chicken, Beef, and Lamb. While novel proteins may be a viable solution for dogs to still get animal-based protein, there are cases wherein meat sensitivity is so severe that they can’t just tolerate or digest it properly. In instances like this, the only alternative left is a plant-based protein.
During Womble’s stay in HUHA, he was given Addiction Zen Vegetarian, a plant-based diet made for dogs with skin and digestive sensitivities. It’s formulated by a veterinarian and a nutritionist to provide all the dietary protein dogs need for optimal nutrition.
Claire immediately noticed the changes in Womble’s skin after changing his diet. “It was wonderful to see the rapid improvement in his health and condition. His skin became smooth and less inflamed,” she said. “We also started to see hair growth.”
Claire highlighted how important it is to heal dog’s skin conditions. “Healing their skin can help them. They become less stressed, shut down, and reserved. They become more engaging, relaxed, and confident.”
According to a study launched by researchers at the University of Nottingham’s (UN) School of Veterinary Medicine in 2017, long-term skin conditions, such as Womble’s, can impact a dog’s overall well-being. The research found that behavioral problems such as mounting, chewing, eating feces, and excessive grooming are directly linked to the severity of the itch in dogs with atopic dermatitis.
HUHA continued caring for Womble until they saw him ready for adoption. A couple with a young child who met Womble stood out. Claire was happy to say that there was an instant connection. It was love at first sight.
Womble – now called Boston, enjoys new adventures through the day and snoozes comfortably on the couch at night. He lives a beautiful life close to the beach with his new family, who are also in touch with his original owners. They send them updates regularly, making Boston the luckiest and happiest dog for having lots of humans around who love him genuinely. Happy days and no more itches, Boston!