Itching-Biting-Licking

Itching
Itching-Biting-Licking
Stop the itch!

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Is your dog suddenly scratching like crazy, perhaps even keeping you up at night? If his scratching is bothering you, imagine how terrible your dog must feel!

If your dog is incessantly scratching, biting, and licking, perhaps even wounding himself in the process, you have a problem on your hands—and you’re not alone. The second most common reason for vet visits is skin problems (#1 is gastric/diarrhea issues).

The medical term for scratching caused by excessive itching is pruritus. There are two main causes—the skin itself (Is it infected? Too dry? Too oily?) and allergies. Allergies can be environmental, seasonal, or caused by fleas.

The first step is to determine if your dog has fleas, which can cause intense itching. If your dog has a flea allergy, a single flea can cause flea allergy dermatitis. To check for fleas, take a fine-tooth flea comb and comb at the base of your dog’s tail. Remove the collected hair and debris and press it against a dampened paper towel—if rusty red spots appear that’s flea blood your seeing. Your dog has fleas! A flea treatment is in order.

No fleas? Part your dog’s hair and take a look at her skin. Does the skin appear dry and cracked? Is there dandruff? If so, dry skin may be the cause of the itching. Dry skin can be caused by environment (do you live in a dry region?) or diet. Either way try the following:

A better diet and more water. Buy the best quality dog food you can afford. If your dog eats kibble, supplement it with wet food, and make sure your dog always has access to fresh water in a clean dish. Try Cubowl’s naturally antimicrobial copper-plated pet bowls ($19)!

Add good oils (omega-3s!), essential for healthy skin and hair. Try Iceland Pure fish oils for dogs.

Give your dog probiotics for a healthy gut.

Avoid too-frequent bathing and make sure to use a super-gentle conditioning shampoo and follow up with a natural conditioner, like John Paul Pet's "tested on humans first" oatmeal shampoo and conditioning spray. And forgo the blow drying.

If allergies are to blame, it may be environmental, caused by pollens or grasses. If your dog’s scratching is seasonal, that’s a solid hint that it may have an environmental cause. Click out this article for an help with this! Or it could be food related. If you think your dog may have a food allergy, you’ll have to put your dog on an elimination diet to determine the culprit. To start with, cut out grain and switch to a novel protein source. The most common dog food allergies are beef, dairy, wheat, corn, soy, chicken, lamb, fish, and egg. Furthermore, dogs with food allergies are frequently allergic to more than one thing.

To complicate matters, diseases such as Cushings can also cause skin issues so it’s a good idea to have your dog checked out by your vet!

 

Click here for more great Modern Dog-Approved products to help with skin problems

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