You might have noticed that your dog keeps scratching itself. Hearing the scratching noise itself can be fairly disturbing to some pet owners. But before you get angry at your pet for this behavior, you need to first understand the reason behind it.
Compulsive scratching is a common behavior in dogs. Therefore, you’re not the only dog owner who has to deal with this irritating habit. If you don’t correct this behavior, your dog could develop “hot spot” on its skin. This is a red and wet irritated area that is a result of too much rubbing, licking, chewing, and scratching. Also known as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots could happen anywhere in your dog’s body. However, they are most common on the chest, hops, or head.
The first step to correcting your dog’s scratching behavior is to find out the reasons why it is scratching.
Below are some of the most common reasons why your dog cannot stop scratching.
Certain breeds of dogs have sensitive skin and are highly susceptible to various allergies, from food allergies to environmental allergies. If your canine buddy has been scratching its skin excessively or chewing its skin from time to time, then consider that as a sign that your pooch may have developed some kind of allergy.
Take your dog to see your local veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and medication. The vet might also recommend changing the diet of your dog if it’s found that your pet is suffering from food allergies.
Fleas are among the most common reasons why dogs scratch. While these parasites are common in an outdoor environment, they might also be present indoors. This is why it’s essential for pet owners to apply flea prevention products in their homes. Inspect the areas that your pet frequently visits.
Usually, fleas thrive in warm and dark spaces. They live on your dog’s armpits, tummy, and groin. Sometimes, they will appear on your pet’s tail and back. Talk to your vet for advice on the best solution to fight dog fleas. Letting your pooch wear a dog flea collar can be an effective method to keeping those pesky fleas at bay.
For dog owners who live in countries that have extremely low humidity, there’s a good chance that your dog might have developed dry skin. This could make it scratch excessively for relief. So take a closer look at your pooch’s skin and see if there’s any cracked skin, flakes, and dandruff.
Also, certain food might trigger dry skin on dogs. Sometimes, dry skin also happens as a result of a lack of nutrients. In this case, you should add digestive enzymes to your dog’s diet and use shampoos that can improve the moisture of your pet’s skin.
Just like fleas, ticks can also make your dog feel uncomfortable and triggers it to scratch often. If the ticks burrow on your dog’s skin, this can lead to extreme itchiness and pain.
These parasites can also bring bacteria that could make your pet sick. So the moment you notice the presence of ticks in your pooch, make sure you get rid of them immediately!
Mange is a type of microscopic mites that stays on your dog’s skin, which could be the reason behind its constant scratching. These mites are available in different forms, and most of them could trigger infections and lesions and are extremely itchy.
Although these mites will just go away on their own usually, if your pet is feeling uncomfortable and scratches its skin too often, you might as well take it to the vet for proper treatment.
Ear infections are itchy, which is probably the reason why your pooch is scratching. Since dogs can’t clean their ears themselves, the only thing that they can do to relieve them of the itchiness is to scratch. Therefore, as a responsible dog parent, you need to ensure that your dog’s ears are cleaned regularly.
If you notice that your furry friend is scratching on the ear area or shaking its head excessively, then this may be due to the infection on the ears. Furthermore, dogs that have folds on their skin are prone to bacteria and yeast, so make sure you groom your pet well.
Atopic dermatitis is a result of a conflict between the dog’s environment and certain genetics. It’s a common allergic dermatitis condition for dogs that could result in itchiness. This condition can also be caused by direct contact with dust, pollen, and molds, although it’s usually due to inappropriate immune reaction, instead of mere allergies.
Dogs that have atomic dermatitis regularly lick, scratch, and chew their paws. Sometimes, they end up scratching their face, including the ears and eyelids! The treatment for atopic dermatitis varies, although it usually requires avoiding the allergens and giving the dog certain medications. Sometimes, vets inject allergens on the dog to correct its immune system response.