What’s worse, an itchy dog or listening to your dog constantly itch themselves? Your dog will probably argue the former! Unfortunately, there’s a bigger issue at hand than simply having an itch. There are a few reasons your dog might be relentlessly scratching. Whether it be parasites, allergies, side effects of medications, or anxiety/boredom, if left untreated your pet might experience severe discomfort and the problem will only get worse.
My dog is constantly scratching and biting himself, what do I do? First, let’s identify why this may be happening.
If you suspect your pet has a parasite that is either internal or external, consult with your veterinarian. Parasites such as ticks, fleas, mites, and possibly lice, cause Parasitic Dermatitis. This occurs when a dog has a immune response to a parasite’s saliva. This can cause itching, inflammation, and hair loss. Fleas are the main cause for this skin condition, but ticks can trigger a similar immune response. Internal parasites like worms can cause itchiness as well. Your dog may be scooting, or licking their hind end a bit more than normal. Check out this article by our friends at Wag! for more detailed information on all things parasites.
Most pets will have experience allergies at one point or another. When humans have allergies we experience coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and occasional itching. Dogs, however; have an immune response that will appear through the skin. This causes them mild discomfort which leads to itchiness. Seasonal allergies are pretty common for pets. Pollen, grass, or weeds can affect your pet, causing them to be itchy. This looks like scratching, biting, and licking the paws and hind end. Food allergies can also create itchiness. This type of allergy can be difficult to target but is best described here.
Side Effects of Medications
“My dog is constantly scratching and biting himself but the only thing that’s changed is a new medication!”. Well, there’s your answer. Like we mentioned previously, itchiness is how dogs react to allergens. Your dog is more than likely allergic to the medication, or the medication is giving them dry skin resulting in itchiness! Chat with the vet who prescribed the medication to see what’s going on.
Anxiety or Boredom
Sadly, when dogs are bored they can experience anxiety as a result. This can show itself as obsessive licking. This licking can lead to hot spots, sores, and overall skin discomfort. Initially this can appear as being itchy, but is more than likely a result of being bored. Here’s some great ways to prevent boredom and help your doggo stay healthy.
For dogs with food allergies, one of the only ways to find what they are allergic to is an elimination diet. This is very time consuming but is similar to what you would do if you were struggling with finding a food allergy.
CBD Oil and Skin Care
CBD has been proven to help build and maintain a strong immune system, unlike allergy medications that suppress the immune system leaving your pet vulnerable. It’s been proven that CBD also works with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain to reduce allergy symptoms. Ultimately fighting the symptoms, not the system! There’s been a lot of research on CBD for allergies, you can get a pretty good run down here. We carry a Pet Skin Treatment designed to reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin to help bring your fur baby some comfort.
Talking With Your Vet
At the end of the day, there are some things that should be left for the professionals. Make an appointment for your pet to see what is causing them to be so itchy!