There are a lot of reasons as to why dogs itch and at times the itch is for no reason at all. Dog’s scratch at night often seems to get worse and especially when it’s quiet in the house. Each dog scratches from time to time, which is normal but when the itch turns into constant licking, biting, chewing and scratching which leads to wounding, then this becomes an indication of some underlying pathology. The excessive itching in dogs is known as pruritus to vets and it is the second common reason why people take their pet dogs to the vets. The first being gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea.
The causes of the constant itching in dogs can be a complex subject but two major reasons why dog itch include: the condition of the dog’s skin; whether it is too oily or too dry and whether it has an infection. The second reason causing pruritus being allergies. Causes of allergies in dogs can be attributed to food, allergies that are inhaled and contact allergies which can include ticks, fleas and mite allergies. Some common symptoms of allergies in dogs include red and swollen skin, foot chewing, excessive itching, saliva staining and fur loss and secondary symptoms such as thickened and blackening of the skin.
A common cause of itching in dogs is dry skin. A region that has low humidity is more likely to cause your dog to have dry skin. This is easily recognizable when you part your dog’s fur, you will see flakes of dandruff in its undercoat and the skin may as well be tough and cracked. Any slight stimulation on the skin, even the gentlest of touches will provoke violent scratching for your dog.
Environmental factors and diet can influence your dog’s dry skin. A lot of the commercial dog foods remove out all the good fats that add to a healthy skin and a shiny hair coat. Most dry dog foods cause a dehydrating effect on hair and skin and even cause increased thirst to your pet. This only acts as a way of compensating for the diets drying nature.
When you have to feed your dog dry foods, make sure you add digestive enzymes. These enzymes are also very good to use with all types of food. Enzymes help improve the release of nutrients as well as helpful probiotic bacteria that help in digestion. Probiotics help treat allergies. A healthy digestive system helps keep your dog hydrated by absorbing fluids from the food your pet eats. This helps increase the skins and hair coat moisture level.
Allergies in dogs also contribute to its skin being itchy by making it oily, greasy, dry, and slightly dry. This is often accompanied by recurrent licking, scratching and chewing. In recent time, there are more cases of dog allergies than in the past. Several veterinarians are for the idea that the “allergy epidemic” is what we are experiencing now. The reasons for the epidemic is unknown yet but the theories being put forth include poor breeding practices, aggressive vaccination protocol subjected to many dogs, and the processed food diet.
Allergies in most cases are difficult to cure and at times the afflicted dogs may require very strong and mostly toxic pharmaceuticals for them to get some relief. However, early diagnosis and intervention will help keep your dog’s allergies under control and at times diminish them completely. Research has shown a way of reducing chances of dog allergies is by giving your pet high-potency bacteria like the lactobacillus Bifidus and Lactobacillus acidophilus when it is still a pup. Probiotics are reasonably priced, are very safe to use and will save you and your pet lots of grief- numerous visits to the vet – later on in life.
Dog allergies can be controlled when the diets quality is improved by giving your pets high amounts of fish oils and more high potency cultures with some freshly ground flax seeds and for some dogs add some antihistamine. This regimen can take up to 3 months to take effect.
Home Remedies To Improve Your Dog’s Dry Skin
- Daily brushing will help prevent dead skin, loose hairs and undercoat from building up. Regular brushing will help get rid of dead skin and loose hairs.
- Make time for regular home pet grooming sessions for your dog. Since dogs have a more sensitive skin and are often exposed to various irritants in the environment, regular grooming will help alleviate your pet’s constant itch. Regular baths using oatmeal shampoo-once a month.
- Finish baths with a moisturizing rinse or an anti-itch spray. Anti-itch spray stops the itching immediately and is to be used after shampoo and conditioning your dog’s hair. The spray is an antimicrobial and antifungal medicated solution.
- Install humidifiers in the sleeping and living areas which will help add moisture to the rooms. The humidity is better on your skin as well as your dog’s skin.
- Keep your dog mentally stimulated through play and going for regular walks. This will help address the boredom and anxiety and ensure your dog gets enough love and attention.
- Give your dog fatty acids supplements through its diet. To help keep the coat and skin of your pet healthy, introduce essential fatty acids in its diet. In adding fish oil to your pet’s diet will help fight dry.
- Antihistamines can be given to your pet when the itching is severe.
There are many reasons as to why your dog may itch but the two major causes of itchy skin are allergies and dry skin. Environmental and dietary factors also affect your dog’s skin health. Allergies in dag can cause their skin to be oily, greasy, dry and sometimes slightly dry. Although allergies are hard to cure, giving your dog probiotics can help prevent and control allergies. In order to find out the condition, your pet is dealing with will require a vet’s expertise and evaluation. Therefore, do not leave your dog in pain. When the skin is looking worse, do ask your groomer or your vet for pain-relieving advice for your dog.