Dogs

Why Does My Dog Keep Scratching? And How To Stop It!

Why Does My Dog Keep Scratching? And How To Stop It!

It is incredibly normal to catch your pup having a scratch behind the ear when they’re idly relaxing in your home, but to notice them itching and scratching regularly is a different story altogether! You see, the odd scratch here and there is very normal - just the same for us humans, but you know that if you were scratching your hair and body more, you would think something is wrong, right? It is the same for your fluffy pal, too.  

Frequent scratching and chewing could be a sign of a serious health issue – and the continuous vigorous contact could be making the satiation worse. With over 160 types of skin disorders [1] that can affect your pup, you need to make sure, as their puppy parent, to keep an eye on their scratching and itching!

Why Does My Dog Scratch?

The cause of your pups discomfort could be many things; fleas, allergies or a skin condition, so it is important that when you notice their scratching becoming an issue, you find the cause as soon as possible.

Your first thought when you notice your pup itching is fleas, right? Well, here at the Petlab Co. we recommend that you check their fur health first before investigating further. If fleas are the cause, you will notice little black droppings that could be mistaken for small granules of pepper. If it is a simple case of fleas, then it can be easily treated and short-lived, so try not to worry.

No Sign Of Fleas?..

When there are no signs of fleas or ticks, that is when you will need to investigate further. There’s more than one reason your pup may have irritable skin/fur - that doesn’t include a flea or a tick. Visiting your vet would be advised, but there are a few things you can do at home to check what could be causing your pup’s irritation.

Unfortunately, even if fleas aren’t the case, there are other bugs that could have found their way onto your pup’s body. Lice and many types of mites are just waiting to jump on board your pooch and make it their new warm, fluffy home. Mites are just as common as fleas and ticks, so you may find that the itching is caused by these invisible aggressors. Though mites are impossible to see with the naked eye, the aftermath of their behavior will be very obvious; loss of hair, scabs, rashes, and sore, red, inflamed areas or skin.

Dry Skin

The longer you’re a puppy parent, the more you may notice that a lot of our own ailments can affect your pooch, too. Suffering from dry skin is something that can seriously affect your furry pal, resulting in dandruff and cracked, vulnerable skin. Many cases of dry skin have resulted in dogs feeling pain when they’re petted, creating irritation which they will naturally scratch, creating more discomfort and itchiness.

Dry skin could be a result of environmental factors or dietary sensitivities. Unfortunately, most shop-bought pet foods are not the best when it comes to supporting your pup’s health needs. Many of the brands have the natural oils removed from the food, which are normally beneficial to the health of your pup’s skin and fur, resulting in a lack of nutritional support.

Allergies

Just like us humans, your pup can suffer from allergies too, and it is more common than you may think. Falling victim to red eyes, itchiness and even a runny nose, our pups can struggle quite a lot if they experience an allergy. When the allergy attacks the skin, it can cause your pooch to feel uncomfortable and irritable, resulting in vigorous itching and scratching.

As there are many reasons your pup may be suffering, it is your job to try and discover the cause. You may notice that your fluffy friend flairs up after you have taken them for a nice long walk, which could indicate an allergy to something environmental; pollen, grass or other pollutants. Sometimes the allergy could be coming from your own home. Some dogs can react badly to your cleaning products or a perfumed air freshener.  

Infection

The root of your pooch’s discomfort could be an infection, either on their skin or potentially in their ears [2]. It is extremely common to find that your pup has a yeast infection within their ear canal, although there are other places on your pup’s body that can be vulnerable to this type of infection, too.

Noticing a yeast infection is very easy. Normally it will be accompanied by a bad smell – from the affected area, crusted skin and swelling or redness. Sometimes, depending on the severity of the infection, there may also be brown/yellow discharge mixed with blood oozing from the infected area. If this is the case, you will need to seek support from your vet, as the infection will need to be treated.

How To Avoid The Itch?

Diet

Something as simple as changing what you’re feeding your pup could be the answer to reducing their itching. If you know that your pooch is having an allergic reaction to their food, changing to a more of a nutritious, beneficial type of food; freeze-dried or canned, to help your pup get the vitamins and oils they need to keep their coat and skin in good health.

Hygiene

Having a pup with poor hygiene will exacerbate any skin irritation, so keeping on top of their grooming could do wonders. And, on the plus side, when bathing your pup regularly, you will have the advantage of noticing if there are any changes to their skin and fur, helping you catch problems before they become bigger health issues. And of course, as depending on the breed, your dog will have different needs for their coat.

We know how stressful it can be trying to make sure you’re giving your pup the best you can, so that is why here at the Petlab Co. we have our own Itch Relief Shampoo, formulated to ease itching, scratching and pain caused by inflammation and irritation. Developed by our top Veterinarians, this shampoo will not only help reduce pain and irritations but it can help moisturize the skin too, helping to keep your pup’s skin healthy and crack free.

Environment

As mentioned above, if your pooch’s itching as a result of something in your home, it would make sense to change or remove whatever is causing the issue. Try to avoid using pesticides and fertilizers in your back yard too, as these can upset your pup’s fur when they’re playing around in the lawn.

Final Thoughts

The easiest way to deal with a scratching pup is to find the cause as soon as possible! With so many reasons for the irritation, you need to work out the source, then you can tackle the problem. It is very easy to just assume that your dog’s itching, gnawing, and scratching is normal, but it might not be the case. Try to make sure you’re regularly grooming your fluffy pal and keeping an eye on the health of their skin. There are many ways you can support your pup’s health with a few simple changes in your home and routine.