Is your beloved pooch scratching and biting? Are they leaving hot spots on their body? You may be wondering how you can help your dog stop itching. There are several possibilities as to why your dog is itching.
First, your dog may have allergies and be sensitive to certain pollens or food. There are several common allergens for dog including chicken, beef, soy, wheat, and lamb. The only way to be totally certain is to have a veterinarian run tests to see what your dog is allergic to. If the culprit is found, you may need ask for a specific type of food to feed your dog. Some pet parents may opt to make their own food but be sure to check with your vet to be sure that the meals are balanced appropriately for a dog’s dietary needs.
Your dog may also need to take antihistamines to help relieve the itching. Hot spots are red itchy patches on your dog’s body. The dog may excessively lick or gnaw on this spot making it red and feel slightly hot to the touch. Hot spots are usually a sign of allergies. Besides looking into changing your dog’s diet, you should see your vet about medication to clear up the hot spots. It could be that your dog is allergic to pollen in the air and you need to wipe the dog down after he or she has been outside to prevent irritation.
Another common cause of itching in dogs is the dreaded flea. Fleas can cause horrible itching for dogs because when the saliva of the flea is injected into the dog. One way to know is to use a fine-toothed comb, especially for longer haired dogs, and part the hair back. You will see the fleas scurrying underneath the dog’s fur. If you see that your dog has fleas, immediate steps need to be taken to help your dog get rid of them. First of all, buy a flea and tick shampoo that is safe for dogs.
When giving the dog a bath, be sure to get under hidden areas such as under their armpits and lifting up the tail and between the paw pads. You may have to give your dog a flea bath more than once depending on the severity of the infestation. You will need to vacuum your home thoroughly and wash linens and any other surface that the dog has been in contact with to kill the fleas. You can also buy flea foggers.
The best step is prevention by putting a topical flea and tick preventative on your dog or having him or her wear a flea collar. It would also be a wise idea to treat your yard to help prevent fleas from breeding.
Some dogs scratch or bite their nails out of anxiety or boredom. Many dogs do this for normal grooming purposes, but if a dog does this excessively, they could be experiencing anxiety. This may manifest if there is a change such as moving, a new baby, or a new dog.
The best way to address this behavior is to stop your dog when you notice the behavior and redirect him or her. Exercise can also help relieve a dog’s anxiety. You can also try natural calm relievers to help your dog’s anxiety.