You have dealt with infuriating itching on your own skin-- you know how frustrating it can be to have the desire to scratch and scratch and scratch. Maybe you have been sitting in a room with a dog who is incessantly scratching their itchy skin. Not only can constant scratching from your dog become an annoyance, but your dog’s scratching can also cause skin problems and itching can be a symptom of certain skin problems.
Causes and Prevention of Itchiness in Dogs
Itching is often a side effect of another condition; seldom is itching the root problem. You may need to dive into the root cause of why your dog is itching to help resolve the problem and prevent any future issues.
Your dog may have allergies. This could be a result of diet or from allergens within the air or on surfaces within your home, such as your dog’s bedding. Your dog's diet is always a great place to start with many ailments. If your dog is already on a high-quality, lean protein diet supplemented with natural omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oils, you may be able to trust that their diet is not giving them problems. However, if your dog is on a lower quality food or has allergies to food, these allergies could come out on their skin, causing rashes, bumps, and uncomfortable itching. Switching to a high-quality diet could certainly help your dog's overall health and the condition of their coat, as well as keeping their skin from becoming dry and itchy.
If your dog is potentially experiencing seasonal allergies, such as pollens outside, you may want to limit their time outside during high pollen days or times of day. Because these allergens will stick to their fur, wash your dog’s bedding on a regular basis and brush him every day before bed to keep the allergens that might cause skin irritation and itching from getting into their sleeping spaces.
You can easily add supplements to your dog's diet to help eliminate bacteria on your dog’s skin as well as improve dry and itchy patches of skin. Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids can improve the condition of her skin, preventing dry patchy areas from forming. Vitamin E can be applied directly to your dog's skin to soothe the itch and prevent the itching from returning.
Grooming and bathing your dog are essential for healthy skin and coat. However, be sure you are using a hypoallergenic shampoo that is gentle on your dog's skin, especially if they are already experiencing dry and itchy hot areas or hot spots. Many believe that too many baths could cause your dog's skin to become over dry. This will be dependent on your dog and how well her skin reacts to a high-quality shampoo. A regular grooming and bathing routine will help eliminate allergens from your dog's coat as well as their skin, which can prevent itching from returning constantly.
It is also possible, if your dog has incessant itching, patchy red spots, dry, flaky spots, or even areas of missing fur, that he is dealing with a parasite that is causing uncomfortable and, possibly painful, itching. If you believe your dog has a parasite, you can see your veterinarian for a diagnosis and medications or supplements to rid your dog of parasites.
Parasites that cause itchy skin could include fleas, ticks, mites that cause mange, and ear mites, which live in the ears and cause your dog to scratch and dig in their ears. Your veterinarian can help you get flea and tick control as well as assess your dog's skin for other parasites. Your veterinarian may recommend a shampoo with essential plant oils or omega-3 fatty acids included to soften their skin and prevent future itching. Keeping your dog well groomed will help not only rid your dogs of parasites that they may already have, but grooming could also prevent additional parasites, such as fleas, from returning to your dog and causing skin problems.
Importance of Prevention
Once your dog is on a healthy diet with additional supplements to support healthy skin and coat and you are supporting a healthy regular grooming schedule with brushing and bathing, your dog's itching should subside. You will notice a happier dog with a healthier coat and healthy skin that is not dry or flaky. Putting your dog on a top-quality healthy diet will also improve their overall health, which could prevent potential diseases in the future. Keeping your dog on preventive care for fleas and ticks will not only help with their skin, but could also prevent diseases carried by fleas and ticks.
No Fun for Anyone
Your dog does not enjoy the itching and the scratching any more than you enjoy watching him scratch incessantly. Not only can dry and itchy skin, parasites, and bites from insects on your dog's skin cause pain and discomfort for your dog, but scratching itself can open your dog's skin and leave opportunity for infection to build. Preventing itching for your dog might take some leg work and developing routines, but everyone in your house, including your dog, will be happier, healthier, and more comfortable if you are not dealing with the itching, the scratching, and the reasons behind an itchy dog.