Everyone knows a dog loves a good scratch, especially if you’re the one doing the scratching. But, if your dog suddenly seems to be itching more than usual, it could be a sign that spring is in the air, and along with it, a few new reasons for your dog to itch. Here are a few reasons why your dog may be scratching more than usual this spring.
After being stuck indoors all winter long with the heat turned up, it’s no wonder your pooch has dry skin. You probably have some, too, but unlike you, Fido can’t slather on the lotion to get relief.
Dry skin can also be caused by your pet’s diet. Dry foods can have a dehydrating effect on the skin and hair in dogs, and many brands don’t contain the essential oils needed for healthy skin and fur. Ask your vet about supplements or medicated shampoos for your pet and consider feeding your dog a higher quality dog food.
Humans aren’t the only ones who can suffer from allergies. Your dog can also suffer from them, and one of the symptoms can be severe itching. Allergies in dogs are usually triggered by one of three things, environment, food, or fleas. Just as in humans, the allergies can rarely be cured, but the symptoms can be managed with effort.
To test for food allergies, you’ll need to put your pet on a strict elimination diet. Your vet can offer advice on how to do this.
Some other things your pet might be allergic to are cigarette smoke, trees, mold, dust mites, feathers, and even some ingredients in their shampoo.
For serious allergies, your vet might recommend supplements, antihistamines, or even allergy shots for dogs. Beware, it’s not just puppies that develop food allergies; any dog, at any time, can develop an allergy to their food, so don’t rule this out when trying to diagnose your dog’s itch.
Of course, flea infestation, ringworm, and mange can also cause severe itching, so if you can’t figure out the cause, take your pooch to the vet so she can get some relief.
Just like us, when dogs are stressed, the immune system is weakened and they become more susceptible to ailments. Skin irritations are a common symptom associated with anxiety in dogs. If your dog barks a lot, seems to be on high alert, or cannot be alone, consider some professional behaviour training to learn how to reduce your dog’s stress.