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Dogs suffering from a skin condition? It could be seasonal allergies.

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Study links specific nutrients to reduced skin inflammation in dogs

GUELPH, ON, July 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Spring and summer is allergy season for humans, but many people may not realize that dogs can also suffer from environmental allergies this time of year. Instead of coughing and sneezing, dogs often show signs of seasonal allergies through their skin - scratching, shedding, poor coat, and inflamed skin.

Unfortunately, skin issues can also be challenging to resolve and be a source of frustration for pet owners dealing with their pet's discomfort. "The second most common reason for Canadians to visit their veterinarian is to resolve their dog's skin issues," says Dr. Bob Clement, a veterinary expert at Royal Canin Canada. "Skin plays a vital role in protecting dogs from environmental allergies because many of the particles that cause allergies are actually absorbed through a dog's skin - particularly if the skin is dry or unhealthy."

Moisture is a key component in healthy skin. In 2006, the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition conducted research on 27 nutrients to determine which ones performed best in promoting a healthy skin barrier with reduced moisture loss. The combination of pantothenate (Vitamin B5), inositol (Vitamin B8), nicotinamide (Vitamin B3), choline (organic compound, B complex vitamin), and histidine (an essential amino acid) were found to promote a healthy skin barrier by significantly reducing moisture loss in dogs after just nine weeks.

"That barrier is key. If it is compromised, environmental allergens are more readily absorbed and can result in allergic reactions that many pet owners may not recognize," says Clement. "A tell-tale sign of an allergic reaction in dogs is swollen, red skin, but also look for excessive paw licking, reluctance to ear handling, and scratching as other hidden signs of allergies in dogs."

To promote a healthy skin barrier and to complement other therapies, many veterinarians will recommend a diet that contains these nutrients. Interestingly, proper nutrition can be very effective to help prevent, and even help treat, a number of skin issues caused by environmental allergens.

If you suspect your dog may be suffering from an environmental allergy, visit a veterinary professional for a proper diagnosis and ask about the role of nutrition as one option to help control environmental allergies in dogs.

Visit for more information about the role nutrition plays in promoting a healthy skin barrier in dogs or share your story on Twitter using the hashtag #ItchyPetSeeYourVet.

Royal Canin is a worldwide manufacturer and supplier of high quality, specialized dog and cat foods in the veterinary, pet specialty and breeder channels. Its headquarters are in France and production operations exist in 10 countries around the world, including the Canadian plant based in Guelph, Ontario. Royal Canin offers a comprehensive veterinary exclusive line of therapeutic and life stage formulas.

© ROYAL CANIN SAS 2013. All Rights Reserved.

SOURCE Royal Canin

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