Everybody gets the odd itch – pets included. However, if your itchy dog is constantly dropping to the floor and rolling around to scratch that spot on their back, it could be that they have a problem. Find out what the cause could be and help stop your dog scratching:
Why does my dog keep scratching?
Along with constant biting and licking, dog scratching is often a sign of an underlying problem. The most common causes for itching in dogs are infection, allergies, skin parasites and endocrine disorders.
Allergies tend to be among the most prevalent triggers. Just like humans, dogs can have sensitivities to certain foods and environments. When allergies kick in, humans tend to have respiratory signs — runny nose, asthma, etc. — but dogs tend to have skin issues. While the occasional itch is common, it’s important to see your dog’s vet if their itching, biting or licking is becoming a constant and uncomfortable habit.
How can I prevent my dog scratching?
The first step in itch prevention is finding out the underlying cause of the issue. Once you’ve determined the cause, there are a number of ways to prevent itching and ultimately remedy the situation.
Some simple preventative methods include:
- Keep your dog up to date with their vet-approved external parasite treatment to keep those pesky fleas and ticks at bay.
- Avoid feeding them scraps from the table. Simply put, human food is made for humans and can sometimes cause adverse reactions in pets.
- Bathe and groom your dog routinely. Removing dirt, dead skin and hair will help prevent infection and skin irritation.
- Take your dog to their yearly check up at the vets to make sure there are no underlying infections, allergies or endocrine disorders.
If your furry friend is still uncomfortable, there are several remedies for dog scratching. You can try do-it-yourself, over-the-counter and prescription options that may help.
DIY remedies for itchy dogs
Unscented wipes are a simple solution for dogs that may have allergies or sensitivities. These can be used to wipe off any potential allergens on the paws. Make this into a regular habit when they return from outside.
If the itching persists, you may want to find a solution that will relieve the discomfort. Oatmeal-based products, and made-for-pets aloe-based products can be tremendously helpful in this regard. These mild, soothing products are just what your dog needs. Shampoo can help calm the skin, as well as some sprays and mousse. Just make sure not to overuse bathing as a remedy, because excessive washing can cause irritation as well.
Over-the-counter and prescription remedies
More serious issues may necessitate the use of medication or similar remedies. Your vet may be able to diagnose any infections that need oral antibiotics, steroids or antifungals as well as any underlying endocrine disorders.
Some options that can provide relief include:
This type of medication can help allergies and typically include diphenhydramine, cetirizine and chlorpheniramine. Discuss with your vet the appropriate dosing for your furry friend.
- Prescription Foods
If your vet thinks a food allergy may be the cause, prescription food is always an option. If there is a possibility of a food allergy, the only way to know is to perform a food trial. This needs to be done with prescription food because over-the-counter diets may contain common food allergens and are not guaranteed.
Now your dog can get back to enjoying their favourite activities — without the itch!
* This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither Care.com nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.
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