The actual medical term used by veterinarians for dog itching and scratching is pruritus. Itchy skin in dogs usually isn’t cause for alarm, but if it becomes excessive it could be a symptom of a more serious condition. There are a number of different skin problems in dogs that could be the source of the itchiness. If a dog’s dog itching and scratchingitching is causing other skin problems to develop such as inflammation and reddening of the skin, skin lesions and loss of hair, or you notice the animal licking or biting at his paws, then the dog should be taken to a veterinarian for an examination as these are all symptoms of a more serious skin condition. If left untreated, the dog’s itching and scratching can also lead to skin infections. Even though any breed of dog can develop pruritus, westies, poodles, golden retrievers and cocker spaniels seem to have a higher number of incidences than other dog breeds.

The Causes of Dog Itching and Scratching

Itchy skin in dogs occurs as a result of a chemical reaction that takes place on or just below the surface of the skin. If it is excessive, it is usually a sign that the canine is suffering from one of a variety of skin conditions in dogs that are of a more serious nature.

 

Relief for Itching and Scratching in Dogs!
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Excessive Itching Can Be a Symptom of The Following Skin Problems in Dogs:

  • Flea allergies are the most common source of itching in dogs. When a flea bites an animal, it leaves a trace amount of saliva under the skin causing a chemical reaction that causes itchiness in dogs. For more detailed information on flea allergies, see the post on flea allergy in dogs or our post on flea control.
  • Seasonal dog allergies are also a common cause of itchy skin in dogs. This allergy is similar to hay fever and asthma in humans. When the canine inhales allergens such as pollen, dust and molds, it triggers an allergic response from the animal’s immune system. This form of allergy may also lead to respiratory problems in addition to causing a dog’s itching and scratching. For more detailed information concerning this type of dog allergy, see our post on seasonal dog allergies.
  • Another form of allergy that is less common but causes itching in dogs is a food allergy. A food allergy is triggered by the animal eating food or a food ingredient that it is allergic to. For more detailed information concerning this type of dog allergy, see our post on dog allergies to food.
  • Also add scabies to the list of skin conditions in dogs that cause itching. Scabies, or sarcoptic mange, is caused by a mite burrowing just below the animal’s skin. The mite feeds on material at or below the canine’s skin causing intense and constant itching in dogs. For more detailed information, see our post on Dog Mange Treatment
  • Bacterial and fungal infections can also be at the root of a dog’s itching and scratching episodes. This is typically caused by open sores and wounds that become infected. Ear mites can also cause this type of skin condition in dogs.

Diagnosing Skin Problems in Dogs

Determining the cause of a dog’s itchy skin has often proven to be challenging for both veterinarians and pet owners. To find the source of the problem, several different treatments and tests may need to be run and diagnosis can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months. Based on the dog’s symptoms and medical history, the veterinarian will perform a series of lab tests that could include drawing blood samples, skin scrapings, taking culture samples and performing a skin biopsy.

Treatments for Itchiness in Dogs

Even if the underlying cause of a dog’s itching and scratching is not yet known, there are dog itching remedies available to treat the symptom. A veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines, skin creams, shampoo’s or maybe even immunotherapy in milder cases. In more severe cases, he may recommend treatment using steroids. Steroids and antihistamines have been known to cause unwanted side effects such as frequent urination, excessive panting and extreme thirst, so if you do decide to use them, use extreme caution. Some canines may require lifelong treatment for their skin condition.

Natural Dog Itching Remedies

An increasing number of veterinarians are now recommending the use of a natural dog itching remedy as a safer and gentler form of treatment. It is an alternative to using steroids and other types of treatments that may cause harmful side effects. There are a number of safe and effective herbal and homeopathic dog itching remedies that have given patients much needed relief by restoring the dog’s coat in addition to soothing and cleansing the dog’s skin. Allergy Itch Ease from PetAlive has given us the best results of the natural dog allergy remedies that we’ve tested as it has been effective in over 90% of cases. Use of natural shampoo’s or sprays have also been found to provide relief for most pets suffering from hot spots, rashes and loss of fur due to intense itching. The best shampoo for itchy dogs is one containing certain omega fatty acids like those found in colloidal oatmeal shampoo’s with our preference being Comfy Dog from HappyTails Canine Spa. What we’ve found to work best is to bathe the dog with the Comfy Dog shampoo once every 1 to 2 weeks in combination with using the Allergy Itch Ease formula. Using this method, most dogs will stop itching almost completely within the first few days. Within about 3 months, the dog’s coat should be fully restored and all sores and hot spots cleared up. This is not a cure for dog allergies or other skin conditions, but it will provide much needed relief for the dog’s itching and scratching.


Itchy Dog Remedies

Natural Remedies for Dog Allergies

Canine Stimmune


Canine Stimmune
from: Pet WellBeing


Allergy Itch Ease

Allergy Itch Ease
from: PetAlive

Derma-IonX


Derma-IonX
from: Vetionx Pet Health


Skin and Coat Tonic


Skin and Coat Tonic
from: PetAlive


Comfy Dog Shampoo


Comfy Dog Shampoo
from: Happytails Spa


Vita-Derm Shed Itch Supplement


Vita-Derm Shed Itch Supplement
from: Pet WellBeing


Dog Flea Control Treatments

K9 Advantix II


K9 Advantix II
from: 1-800-PetMeds


Frontline Plus


Frontline Plus
from: 1-800-PetMeds


Defendex Pet Shampoo


Defendex Pet Shampoo
from: Vetionx Pet Health


Target Spray for Dog Fleas


Target Spray for Dog Fleas
from: Pet WellBeing


TripleSure Natural Flea and Tick Spray


TripleSure Natural Flea and Tick Spray
from: Natural Wonder Pets


BeFree Flea Shampoo

BeFree Flea Shampoo
from: PetAlive

Natural Dog Mange Treatments

Defendex Pet Shampoo


Defendex Pet Shampoo
from: Vetionx Pet Health


Manage Mites Shampoo


Manage Mites Shampoo
from: PetAlive


Manage Mites Spray


Manage Mites Spray
from: PetAlive


TripleSure Natural Mite Spray


TripleSure
from: Natural Wonder Pets


Ear Clear Drops for Dog Ear Mites


Ear Clear Drops for Dog Ear Mites
from: Pet WellBeing


Echo Gold for Dog Ear Infections


Echo Gold for Dog Ear Infections
from: Pet WellBeing

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Filed under: Dog Symptoms

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