Help! My Dog Won’t Stop Scratching – What Can I Do?
Excessive dog scratching has been a common problem many pet owners have dealt with at some point. It can be a frustrating experience to not be able to get your dog to stop scratching, especially when the behavior persists for long periods.
The good news is that there are things you can do to make your dog more at ease and less likely to scratch.
From changing the environment to adjusting their diet, these steps can help reduce excessive scratching and create a healthier and happier home for you and your furry companion.
Do you have a dog that won’t stop scratching? If so, it’s not your pet’s fault. This article will discuss the causes of canine itch and how to treat them.
What Causes My Dog to Scratch and Itch?
There are various reasons why your dog might start scratching and itching. Some of the reasons include the following:
1. Allergies: Allergies can cause dogs to scratch and bite at their skin, leading to redness, inflammation, and discomfort.
2. Skin Infections: Infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or mites can cause intense itching and scratching.
3. Parasites: Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can cause intense itching and scratching as they feed on your pet.
4. Stress: Stress can manifest in many ways, including excessive scratching and licking.
5. Dry Skin: Dry skin can make your pet’s skin itchy and uncomfortable, leading to excessive scratching.
6. Poor Diet: A diet lacking essential vitamins and minerals can lead to skin and coat problems, which can cause excessive scratching.
Different Types Of Dog Itch and how to treat it?
Dog itch can be caused by several factors, including allergies, parasites, infections, and environmental irritants. While all types of dog itch can be uncomfortable and frustrating for you and your pet, every kind of itch may require a different approach for treatment.
Allergic Itch: Allergic reactions in dogs can be caused by various allergens, including food, dust, pollen, and fleas. Allergic itch is usually characterized by intense itching, redness, and dry, scaly skin. Treatment usually involves avoiding the allergen and providing topical or oral anti-itch medications.
Allergy medications such as antihistamines, steroids, or other medications may also be prescribed. Your veterinarian may recommend a hypoallergenic diet, allergy testing, and/or allergy shots.
Parasitic Itch: Parasites, such as fleas, mites, and lice, can cause intense itching. These parasites are usually visible on the skin. Your veterinarian may recommend using a flea-preventative medication such as Frontline or Advantage. If fleas are not the cause, then your veterinarian may recommend treating the skin infection with topical or oral antibiotics.
Infectious Itch: Infectious itch is usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. This type of itch is typically characterized by intense itching, redness, and sores on the skin. Treatment may involve topical or oral antibiotics.
Environmental Itch: Environmental irritants, such as dust, pollen, and mold spores, can also cause itching in dogs. This type of itch is usually characterized by intense itching, inflammation, and dry, scaly skin. Treatment usually involves avoiding the irritant and providing topical or oral anti-itch medications.
Home Remedies For Dog Itch
You may look for natural remedies to help soothe your pup’s itch. Home remedies for dog itch can be an effective and safe way to help ease the discomfort your pup is feeling.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that can help soothe your dog’s itchy skin.
Pour equal volumes of apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle and apply straight to your dog’s itchy places. The vinegar helps to soothe and reduce inflammation, relieving itching.
2. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help soothe itchy skin. Use plain and unflavored oatmeal.
Create an oatmeal paste by grinding oats in a food processor and adding warm water. Spread the paste onto your pup’s itchy spots and let sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
3. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, which can help reduce itching and inflammation in your dog’s skin.
It is safe to apply topically. Gently massage a few drops of coconut oil into your pup’s itchy areas. You can even add a teaspoon to your dog’s food each day.
4. Baking Soda: Make a paste with baking soda and water and spread it onto itchy spots. Let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
5. Aloe Vera: Cut open an aloe vera leaf and squeeze out the gel. Apply the gel directly onto your pup’s itchy spots. Aloe vera has natural anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy skin and can help soothe inflammation and reduce itching. You can purchase a supplement at your local pet store or add foods like fish, flaxseed, and chia seeds to your dog’s diet.
What do I do if my dog won’t stop scratching?
You should visit your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis if your dog doesn’t stop scratching. Your vet might suggest medicated shampoos, topical treatments, or supplements to help prevent your pet from scratching and stopping the itching.
Change your dog’s diet to include more omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the inflammation that may be causing the itching.
Finally, you can also consider keeping your dog’s nails trimmed and provide plenty of chew toys to help keep them occupied and reduce scratching.
Why is my dog constantly scratching but has no fleas?
Your dog may be scratching for a variety of reasons other than fleas. It could be due to allergies, skin irritation, dry skin, or mites.
It could also be caused by an infection, such as mange or bacterial infection. If your dog has been scratching for an extended time, it is best to take them to the vet to get checked out and properly diagnosed.
What causes a dog to itch excessively?
Hyperitchiness in dogs can be caused by many things, such as allergies, parasites, skin infections, hormonal imbalances, or even irritants in the environment. A vet should be called in to help determine why your pup is itching so it can be appropriately treated.
Can you give a dog Benadryl to stop itching?
Yes, you can give a dog Benadryl to stop itching, but only under the advice and supervision of a veterinarian. Benadryl is an over-the-counter antihistamine used to treat dogs’ allergies, insect bites, and other skin irritations. However, some potential side effects include dry mouth, sleepiness, and increased heart rate, so discuss the risks and benefits with a vet before giving Benadryl to your dog.
How can I tell if my dog has mites?
The most common sign of mites in dogs is excessive scratching and/or biting of the skin. Other symptoms may include hair loss, scabs, or crusty skin. If you suspect your dog may have mites, you must take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. The vet may recommend a skin scraping to look for mites or other parasites.
What kills mites on dogs instantly?
The most effective treatment for mites in dogs can vary depending on the species of mite causing the problem. Common treatments for mites on dogs may include medicated shampoos, spot-on treatments, and oral medications. It is important to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Overall, it is important to figure out and understand the cause of your dog’s excessive scratching before trying any remedies. If your dog is scratching due to allergies, contact a veterinarian to have your dog tested and prescribed the proper medications.
If the scratching is due to boredom or anxiety, try giving your dog more attention, exercise, and mental stimulation.
If the scratching is due to a flea infestation, contact a veterinarian for help treating the infestation. With patience and persistence, you should be able to find the cause of your dog’s scratching and stop it.