My dog is constantly scratching and biting: What should I do?
There's nothing alarming about catching your dog scratching behind his ear from time to time, but if you notice him scratching regularly that's a different story. Your dog's frequent scratching and chewing can be a sign of a serious health problem, and too much rubbing of his paws and nails on the skin can make the situation worse and lead to real dangers.
With no less than 150 types of different skin disorders that can affect your little furball, you need to keep an eye on him and make sure you, as a parent, take action as soon as possible if those scratching sessions give you the slip ;)
My dog is constantly scratching and biting himself: Why?
The causes of a dog's discomfort can be numerous: fleas, allergies, skin conditions, etc. It is therefore important that when you notice that his scratching is becoming a problem, to identify the cause as soon as possible.
My dog is constantly scratching and biting: Is it fleas?
The first thing that crosses your mind when you notice your dog scratching is a picture of fleas, right? Before you panic, walk up to your dog and examine his fur, if fleas are involved, you may notice small black droppings that can be mistaken for small peppercorns. If it is a simple case of fleas, treatment is easy and short-lived.
If you don't find fleas or ticks, then you need to investigate further. There is more than one reason why your dog may have irritated skin and a poor quality coat, but it is not a flea or tick. It's best to consult your veterinarian first, but there are a few things you can do at home to check for the source of your puppy's irritation.
Cheap, low-quality foods are not recommended when it comes to meeting your puppy's health needs. Poor quality foods contain reduced amounts of all the foods your dog needs that are normally beneficial to his skin and coat health, resulting in a lack of nutritional support that can have a significant impact on his condition. It is therefore worth investing more in the food you give your dog, and just like us, dogs will be sensitive to this welcome change!
My dog is constantly scratching and biting: Is it dry skin?
As you get to know your dog, you'll begin to notice that many of our own ailments can also affect our pooches. Dry skin is a problem that can seriously affect your furry friend, leading to dandruff and cracked, vulnerable skin. In many cases of dry skin, dogs may feel pain when being petted, which in turn creates an irritation that they will naturally scratch, adding to the discomfort and itching.
Dry skin can be the result of environmental factors or food sensitivities. Most store-bought pet foods are not the best when it comes to meeting your puppy's health needs. Many brands have removed natural oils from the food that are beneficial to skin and coat health. So you see, once again, nutrition plays a key role.
My dog is constantly scratching and biting: Is it an allergy?
Just like us, dogs can also suffer from allergies, and it's something much more common than you might think. With red, itchy eyes and even a runny nose, our puppies can have a hard time if they have an allergy. When allergy attacks the skin, your dog may feel uncomfortable and irritable, leading to itching, vigorous scratching and more aggressive behavior.
You may notice your dog sneezing or acting strangely after a long walk, which could indicate an allergy to his environment (pollen, grass or other pollutants). Sometimes the allergy can come from your own home or from a specific meat. Some dogs may react (very) badly to your daily cleaning products (deodorant, incense etc...).
Your veterinarian can help you find out what your puppy may be allergic to through parasite prevention or a trial of a hypoallergenic diet.
My dog is constantly scratching and biting: Is it an infection?
One of the causes of your dog's discomfort could be an infection, either skin or ear. It is very common for dogs to have a yeast infection in the ear canal, although other parts of their body are also vulnerable to this type of infection.
Detecting a yeast infection is relatively easy. Usually, it is accompanied by a bad odor from the affected area, crusty skin and swelling or redness. Sometimes, depending on the severity of the infection, brown/yellow discharge mixed with blood may come from the infected area. If this is the case, you should seek help from your veterinarian as the infection needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Your dog won't stop scratching? Give him a bath
A puppy that doesn't have good hygiene will exacerbate any skin irritation, so keep in mind that good grooming can do wonders. Daily brushing, for example, will help diffuse all the natural oils on his body. Also, by bathing your puppy regularly, you'll have the advantage of noticing any changes in his skin and coat, which will make it easier to detect potential problems before they get worse. However, be careful not to over-wash your dog; they need their natural oils to protect their skin, so it's not recommended to wash them every day. Also, every dog is different, which means your dog will have his own unique needs for his coat.
Does your dog keep scratching? Sort out his environment
As we mentioned earlier, if your dog's itching is due to something in your home, it's recommended for your pooch's well-being to change or eliminate the cause of the problem. Also, try to avoid using pesticides and fertilizers in your yard, as they can irritate your dog's fur when he plays on the lawn.
The easiest way to treat an itchy dog is to find the cause as soon as possible. It's very easy to think that your dog's itching, gnawing and scratching is normal, but like anything, if it's excessive, it may not be. Be sure to groom him regularly and keep an eye on the condition of his skin and coat. There are many ways to promote your dog's health by making a few simple changes to your home and habits.