What's Really Behind Your Dog's Itching?

Everyone knows a dog loves a good scratch, especially if you're the one doing the scratching. However, if your dog suddenly seems to be scratching more than usual, it could be a sign that they're becoming sensitive to something ... or they're stressed out.

Dry skin

After being stuck indoors all winter long with the heat turned up, it’s no wonder if your pup has dry skin. You probably have some, too! However, unlike you, your dog 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 dogs' skin and hair, and many brands don’t contain the essential oils needed for healthy skin and coat.

Ask your vet about supplements or medicated shampoos for your pet, and consider feeding your dog a higher quality dog food. We advocate for feeding them the best quality diet you can reasonably afford.

Allergies

Humans aren’t the only ones who can suffer from allergies, 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 some 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.

Other common pet allergens include: 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. Know that it isn't only puppies who can 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 infestations, ringworm, and mange can also cause severe itching, so if you can’t figure out the cause, take your pup to the vet so they can get some relief.

Stress

Just like us, when dogs are stressed, their immune system gets 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 left alone, consider some professional behaviour training to learn how to reduce your dog’s stress.

As always, your local Bark Busters trainer would be happy to help.

Find a Trainer

Want to learn more, or begin training? We can help, let us find the trainer nearest you so that you can reach out to them directly.