Dog scratching or itching is extremely common and can happen for many reasons. Whether it’s triggered by allergies, certain foods, pollen, skin irritations, or simply boredom, getting to the root of the problem can be a lengthy and frustrating process.
Your first port of call should be a visit to the Vet, but there are some things you can do to identify and rule out conditions and soothe your dog’s itchy skin so that they’re more comfortable.
Check for fleas and ticks
Ticks are blood-sucking pests that can transfer dangerous bloodborne diseases. They can latch on anywhere on your dog’s body and can be hard to spot until they have sucked enough blood to become fully engorged.
Fleas can quickly infest dogs and cause severe itching and skin irritations. They are dark brown in colour and approx. 1-2mm long. Find them by brushing your dog with a flea comb which will pull fleas out from under the haircoat where they like to hide.
Eliminate food allergies
While rare, dogs can develop allergies to certain foods that may cause them to itch. Your Vet can help you with a food trial (diagnostic test) to pinpoint allergies and sensitivities and ensure you avoid any triggers going forward.
Check for environmental allergies
If your dog does not have fleas, ticks, or food allergies, he may have an allergy to something in his immediate surroundings like pollen or dander.
Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to environmental allergens, remedies from your Vet but these may include:
- Oral medication
- Regular grooming schedule
- Allergy or steroid injections
Chances are that your dog will develop an itch (or an ongoing itch) at some point during their life. Knowing your dog and when to seek professional care from a Vet is vital to keeping your pooch happy and healthy.