Is your dog being driven to distraction because his skin is itchy? There
can be a number of reasons why your dog is scratching and it’s up to
you to help him. Here are three reasons why your dog may be
If your dog scratches constantly, check his fur for black/brown flea
droppings. The main areas to look for are the base of the tail and the
tail itself, around the neck, behind the ears and under the armpits.
Brush his coat vigorously whilst the dog is standing on a dampened white
sheet of paper. If your pet has fleas the black/brown droppings will
fall on the coat onto the white surface.
You may also see the fleas hopping and crawling on his fur. They will
either be on the animal’s skin or in the home so you need to follow a
flea control programme to keep your dog and your home free of these
Treat fleas immediately a flea infestation can cause skin eruptions.
Beyond the fact that flea infestation is unwelcomed on your pet and in
your home, fleas can also cause flea allergic dermatitis which is
itching due to an allergic reaction. Flea bites can lead to severe
itching, irritation, skin infections in some pets.
It is recommended to clean bedding regularly and vacuum furniture,
floors and skirting boards to help destroy fleas. After each vacuum,
throw away the dust bag.
Only give your pet flea treatment that has been recommended for it, ideally as prescribed by a vet.
Is your dog suffering from food intolerances?
If your dog is scratching and you notice that his skin is dry and flaky
then he may be suffering from food intolerances. A dull coat, excessive
wind and a general lack of energy are also other classic signs of food
If your dog eats the same type of dog food, day in day out or eats
commercial foods high in beef, wheat gluten and other intolerance
triggers than you need to make the switch to hypoallergenic foods
containing more uncommon, highly digestible ingredients such as lamb,
turkey, salmon, and rice that are less likely to result in intolerant
Hypoallergenic dog foods containing omega 3 fatty acids are ideal to
give your dog a glossy coat and healthy skin. Fatty acids, found in
either marine oils or evening primrose oil, can be very effective in
easing an itch. You can try giving one of these fatty acid supplements.
It will take several weeks before the benefit will take effect, so they
are for treating long-term problems rather than an on-off irritation.
Good diet is the cornerstone of a healthy skin and coat. If the skin is
dry or itchy or the coat is dull, consider increasing use of linseed and
fish oil for skin and coat health.
Consider bathing your dog with a shampoo designed to soothe irritated
skin, but not too often as you don’t want to dry out his skin.
Is your dog simply too warm or wanting to get rid of shedding dead hair?
A warm summer is enjoyed by most humans but dogs may find it hard to
keep cool. My dog looks for the coolest place in the garden under the
hedge or a tree to lie down.
He loves summer because he is out everyday lazing in the garden but he
suffers when the temperatures rise. He also starts scratching more than
normal. Once I have dismissed the dreaded flea infestation after a
thorough check, and am certain he is not suffering from a food
intolerance I then consider the fact that my black dog may be absorbing
too much heat from the sun. A good brushing will cool him down and
remove any tangles and any dead undercoat.
This helps keep the air to circulate which allows the skin to breathe and helps your dog keep cooler.
I hope these three suggestions have given you some food for thought.
Itching drives humans mad and it’s no different for dogs. Do all you can
to alleviate his stress by checking the above three points. If you are
still concerned then please consult your vet.
About The Author: Matt Hawkins is a Marketing Executive at Burgess Pet Care, one of the UK's leading hypoallergenic dog food producers. Burgess Sensitive is formulated to help dogs cope with the effects of
food intolerance and is free from all the common trigger ingredients.
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