Here and there dogs may scratch, but that’s generally not a big issue — sometimes we humans do that too. However, when your dog doesn’t seem to be able to stop scratching his body and leaking his paws, it’s a completely different problem.
As a dog owner, it can drive you crazy because you can’t figure out what the deal is, but just imagine how much harder it must be for your pooch!
Skin itchiness may happen in dogs for multiple reasons. You understand for sure that when you notice hot spots on the body of your dog, it has become problematic. Hot spots in the skin are red, and moist spots become irritated by continuous scratching, biting, or chewing.
Incessant Scratching (and Licking) in Dogs
Pruritus is described as an inconvenience leading to an undeniable urge to scratch. It should be noted that itching is not in itself a sickness, but rather a symptom of an underlying illness or behavioral issue. Pruritus or incessant scratching in dogs are the most prevalent causes:
Allergies or sensitivities often trigger pruritus to food. A dog may have a food or instant environment allergic reaction. It may also be triggered by contact dermatitis, a type of skin disease that develops when they come into contact with delicate substances (e.g. soap, pesticides, and other comparable chemicals).
2. Dry Skin
Nutrient deficiency or the weather may cause dry skin in dogs. Usually, dogs will respond to this by scratching their bodies or licking their fur. This can typically be solved by tweaking their diet or using special shampoos.
3. Ticks, Fleas, or Mites
Another prevalent cause of pruritus is canine parasites. When t they feast on your dog these unwanted residents, it generally leads to a lot of discomforts. Ticks can be big enough for the naked eye to see, while fleas are stealthier until the infestation becomes too severe.
Mites, in comparison, are microscopic, so we won’t know if they are causing the problem unless your veterinarian can confirm it. Hence, if your dog is incessantly scratching yet you can’t see any physical signs of the problem, better have your dog checked by the vet.
Sometimes dogs may scratch or lick certain parts of their body obsessively because they feel pain in those parts. If your dog suddenly seems obsessed with his paws, for instance, you can check for any foreign objects that might have stuck between his nails. They may also react to orthopedic illnesses such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.
5. Bacterial or Fungal Infections
These infections usually happen after excessive scratching has already taken place due to other causes. Skin punctures invited unwanted microbes on the wounds, hence, more scratching ensues.
6. Anxiety or Boredom
Dogs can also have similar behavioral reactions in the same way that people can get fidgety when they are nervous or bored. If they don’t know what to do with their anxiety, or if they simply can’t find anything to do, dogs can scratch, lick, or chew on themselves or furniture without ceasing.
In this situation, your dog must be trained to eliminate the conduct so that he can learn how to divert his energy to better stuff. Otherwise, you may end up with a highly injured dog, or worse, your things and furniture may be damaged as well. The owner always has to guarantee that at all times their dog will act properly.
7. Hormonal Imbalance
Skin infections may occur when your dog produces too many or too few particular hormones. It can also sometimes lead to bald spots in the body of your dog. Since the pattern of scratching and licking may be very comparable to all the other possible causes in this list, if hormones are the culprit, a visit to the vet will reveal.
How to Help Your Dog Out?
Since there are different reasons why a dog may suddenly itch particular parts of the body, or worse, scratch itself all over, a thorough examination by your veterinarian will assist you in determining the real cause of the pruritus of your pooch. Yes, you can always superficially try to treat itchiness, but unless you work to eliminate the actual cause, the skin of your pooch will remain itchy.
For instance, antibiotics will usually alleviate itchiness that is caused by infection, while an elimination diet may provide relief for allergies. However, that is only one piece of the puzzle. The best course of action, really, is to treat the underlying cause and provide skin relief at the same time.
Recommended Shampoos for Itchy Dog Skin
Once you find the main reason why your dog’s skin is so itchy, you should now work to get his skin back to normal. One of the quickest ways to do that is by using a specially formulated shampoo. Appropriate shampoo would rely on the source of the itch, but there are some factors that you should consider when purchasing one for your pet:
- Ingredients: Ingredients such as soap and alcohol will probably make your pooch worse. Natural ingredients such as oatmeal, coconut oil, aloe vera, and shea butter should therefore be used. It also recommends nutrients that are useful for the body (e.g. vitamin E, biotin).
- Hypoallergenic label: Go for this label if your pooch is presently suffering from allergies. Again, the best choice for minimizing further allergic reactions is a product with natural ingredients without harsh chemicals.
- Medicated label: This is an excellent option when dealing with diseases of bacteria or fungi. Just make sure you’re guilty of diseases to make sure you’re using the correct dog shampoo.
Listed below are some of the best shampoos for treating your dog’s itchy skin:
This is one of the dog shampoos most sought after to help treat allergies to dogs. Using only natural ingredients such as oatmeal, tea tree oil, and d’limonene, it is produced particularly with the assistance of veterinarians to moisturize the skin and provide itch relief.
It also has neem oil and chamomile, so you can be sure that you won’t only keep your dog’s skin healthy, you will also leave him smelling fresh for longer.
This is a nice choice for dry skin dogs. It is produced with a 100% natural formula that contains ingredients such as honeysuckle to clean your pooch slightly. It is also pH-balanced so that both dogs and puppies can use it safely. You can also purchase another version of Burt’s Bees, which is the Burt’s Bees for Hypoallergenic Shampoo Dogs.
Because it is soap-free, it is especially helpful for pets that are suffering from atopic dermatitis. It will leave your dog’s coat clean and soft, though if you are looking for something that smells good, this may not be the shampoo for you.
If you’re trying to tackle dry skin issues, this natural formulation is another excellent option. This is because its primary ingredients oatmeal and aloe vera, are efficient against skin irritation. It also operates well as a delicate skin moisturizer and encourages quicker skin healing that has been badly devastated by the teeth and nails of your dog.
Soap-free and pH balanced, this shampoo ensures that your pet will feel better in a few days. It will also help improve the quality of your dog’s coat, and best of all, it smells really good. It will only make you want to cuddle your pet more!
This shampoo is good at eliminating pet odor as well as encouraging good skin and coat. This formulation is highly recommended if your pet is dealing with allergies, dry skin, or hot spots. It has aloe vera, argan oil, shea butter, and bentonite clay to cure most kinds of diagnosis of pruritus.
This shampoo is for you if your dog has bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases. Its formulation includes salicylic acid, micronized sulfur, and carbon tar to provide relief and cure for parasitic diseases such as mango, seborrhea, and microbial diseases. To moisturize the skin of your pet, it also has allantoin and colloidal oatmeal.
If your dog is suffering poorly from an infestation of ticks and fleas, this is a nice shampoo to kill these parasites. It is perfect even for pooches with delicate skin due to its natural ingredients. It also has a Hawaiian ginger fragrance aside from oatmeal, which will leave your dog smelling really beautiful.
The best shampoo for your dog will be the one that addresses why he is scratching his skin in the first place. If you are thinking of buying a particular shampoo, make sure that you ask your veterinarian first so she can tell you whether it’s good or not.
Home Remedies for Your Itchy Dog
Sometimes, your dog’s itching may not need any serious intervention because it only happens intermittently. Although your pooch’s skin may not look that battered, it may still be worth it to try out home remedies to alleviate the itching.
1. Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal baths have long been used by humans to relieve dry and itchy skin, and it also works (and is safe) for our canine friends. You can go for an oatmeal bath if your pet likes baths, or you can create an oatmeal paste and use it as an ointment.
You just need to sprinkle simple ground oats on warm water if you want to go to the tub and then soak your pooch in this mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes. Slowly add water to your oats until it becomes pasty if you want to produce a paste. Then spread it for relief in the impacted regions.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be applied directly to the itchy areas. Because it is a natural ingredient, you don’t have to worry when your dog feels like licking it. Aside from providing relief from the itch, it also moisturizes your pet’s skin.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil includes vitamin E and antioxidants so it can assist in maintaining your dog’s skin and coat healthy. All you have to do is add 1⁄2 tablespoon of olive oil to your dog’s dinner three to five times a week. Soon enough, you’ll see a significant improvement in their skin and itching habits.
4. Plain Yogurt
Plain yogurt can help improve your dog’s gut health, but only if it’s safe enough for their digestion. Hence, you should see to it that the yogurt doesn’t have xylitol, sugar, or any other additives that might be harmful to your dog.
For small dogs, one teaspoon a week and two teaspoons a week should be enough for big dogs to see a difference in their skin status. This is particularly helpful for allergy pooches. Before providing yogurt to your pet, make sure your vet provides the go signal.
5. Herbal Tea and Chamomile
Dogs that have hot spots may greatly benefit from warm tea baths. Prepare your dog’s bath and put in the water several herbal tea bags. Let these bags steep for at least three minutes, then give an all-natural herbal bath to your dog.
Conclusion: Itchy No More!
The products and tips mentioned above can assist you to relieve your itchy dog. To make sure you get the correct item, however, you must first understand the root cause of your dog’s itch. Otherwise, you may be using an ineffective product to eliminate the pruritus of your pooch.
Whatever the cause, some home remedies are great at offering relief. If you really want to accelerate the healing process, the best things to do are to use superficial medicines and eliminate the culprits.