Dog scratching or simply itching is probably one of the biggest pain points of a dog and its owner.
It’s always best to consult a vet. But having prior knowledge about the causes behind your dog’s scratching will help to keep it from getting worse.
Believe me, I suffered as much as you did. It was a nightmare to see my dog itching, scratching and licking all over. It was the time when my dog stopped playing and having fun.
There could be hundreds of reasons behind your dog’s scratching activity. I found these 7 to be the most common among dogs.
Reasons behind dog scratching.
1. Fleas are the worst enemies.
The easiest way to know if your dog is infested by fleas is to check their skin. You will find black pepper-like flakes. His gums might turn pale and will show more nervousness than usual.
The primary culprit here is not the flea itself. It’s the saliva from their mouth, which can cause flea allergy dermatitis.
An oral flea treatment or a bath with flea shampoo might stop the infestation.
2. Bloodsucking ticks.
Ticks are probably the worst among insects that bite dogs. On their way to sucking from your dog’s skin, inflammation is created. And like a pinch of salt to make that tasty grill, the saliva of these ticks provides the final wound. The result is itching and loads of scratching.
Before getting medical treatment, get your dog to a safe place where the manifestation of ticks is less. Avoid dog parks and wooded areas.
3. Mysterious mites that give real pain.
Other than ticks and fleas, your dog is also susceptible to a variety of mites that are not traceable by human eyes.
One of them is mange. These mites will not just rip through your dog’s skin, they will also lead to yeast and bacterial infections.
Some mites are highly contagious. A 1972 research, describes the story of a family and their dog all affected by Cheyletiella. They suffered long 9 months until suitable treatment was provided.
4. Seasonal and food-related allergies.
Seasonal allergies commonly cause itching in dogs. Contact with plants, flowers, and trees might trigger some of these allergens. So, keep their time around the woods and garden limited.
One of the most common conditions of dog skin allergy is atopic dermatitis. It causes inflammation and is chronic in most cases. The sources are very harmless like dust, grass and even the wind coming from the window.
Then there are food-related allergies. This might not be so widespread among dogs, but you never know if your dog has one. Some dogs might develop allergic reactions to beef or dairy, some to grains and some to dry dog foods.
So, a change in diet might solve this issue altogether.
5. Bathing not too often.
From my experience, I have seen several dog owners who simply solved the scratching issue by sticking to a standard dog bathing routine.
If you are not giving them regular baths, you are calling allergens into your home.
The long-time exposure to dirt is not going to help your dog.
Lazy? Don’t blame anything else if your dog develops itching problem.
6. Dry skin.
Dry skin causes dandruff, and the end result is extremely sensitive skin and scratching.
Your dog’s diet can also be responsible for the dry skin. Most dry dog foods have very little oil. So, check if your dog has cracks in his skin.
Don’t leave it to home remedies. Get vet help ASAP in such a case.
It commonly occurs in the ears but can also cover other parts of the skin. Bad smell and yellow discharge are the most common symptoms.
Vet supervision is highly recommended.
4 Tips to stop scratching and itching.
#1- Change of diet might just work.
A change of dog diet can really help if you find no other visual cues for the scratching.
You can shift from one kibble to another. And avoid certain ingredients that commonly cause allergy in dogs.
I found the source of protein and carbs to be the most common for causing allergy.
#2- Try natural anti-inflammatory solutions.
Natural anti-inflammatory ingredients can really help to soothe itching.
Cod liver oil is an excellent supplement that works. You can also try Calendula, which is often used in homeopathic and veterinary treatment.
#3- DIY homemade spray for itching.
If you have some spare time, you can try a DIY formula to treat itchy skin. All you need is apple cider vinegar, green tea, and distilled water. Mix them up in the right proportions, put them in a spray bottle and ready to be delivered.
Here’s a video from The natural canine kitchen, demonstrating the recipe-
#4- The magic saltwater therapy.
Sea salt can be an excellent ingredient to treat a variety of physical conditions in both humans and dogs.