Is biting and scratching bugging your dog?

Is biting and scratching bugging your dog?

Is biting and scratching bugging your dog?


If you have an itch, it’s natural to scratch it. But if your dog is constantly scratching, licking, or biting himself, it may be time to investigate because if left untacked, the result can be irritation and infection.

So, what are the reasons for that constant itch and what can


Here are six common reasons for itching and scratching

1. Dry skin

Environmental conditions and nutritional deficiencies may cause dry skin. Omega-3 fats are great for optimum skin health. These essential fats (essential because your dog can’t make them for himself) come from marine sources. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and fresh tuna are omega-3-rich. You can also choose a good-quality fish oil supplement as a capsule or spray it onto food.


2. Allergies

Individual dogs are sensitive to different allergens (substances that trigger allergies), ranging from food to pollen and other environmental allergies. These allergies may result in excessive scratching and skin lesions—different from those of humans, who tend to get sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes.


3. Parasites

Fleas, ticks, and mites living on the skin are notorious for their ability to trigger itchiness. They are rarely noticed early on when the irritation and the condition have already progressed.

Intestinal parasites can also cause itchy skin by damaging skin and coat health over time, leading to dry skin and itchiness.


4. Hormonal Imbalances

Hormone imbalances can affect immunity, which means that a poor immune response can increase susceptibility to skin infections. Several hormones may be to blame, such as low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism) and overproduction of cortisol (hyperadrenocorticism).


Skin changes and excessive scratching also result in many signs and symptoms in both cases.


5. Genetic disorders

Selective inbreeding can lead to genetic disorders, some of which may manifest as excessive scratching.

For example, over 70 per cent of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affected by a genetic condition called syringomyelia. Nerve fibre damage can trigger burning skin sensations, which can result in scratching.


6. Infected anal glands

some dogs need to have their anal glands emptied - if the waste matter is allowed to accumulate, the result can be infection and itching in the anus, tail, and back legs.


What you can do

Bathe with a soothing and gentle shampoo (such as oatmeal).


See your vet, who can recommend products and monitor progress.


Some medications don’t address the underlying issue, only the symptoms. Also, long-term use of certain drugs, such as steroids, can cause adverse effects.


Try different foods

Food allergies are common; low-allergy food might help as part of the approach to itches and scratches.

Try a new protein – if he has had chicken and beef, try fish, kangaroo or lamb.


Try anti-parasite treatments

Regularly deworm your dog and ask your vet about anti-parasite treatments. These may be shampoos or prescribed medications. 


Wipe paws after walks

Wipe paws and belly, which may have been in contact with outside allergens. 


Limit exposure to airborne allergens

Airborne allergens are tricky to manage - pollen, moulds, and dust mites are difficult to avoid. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and wipe down hard surfaces with a damp cloth.

Try our itch-eze probiotic and anti-inflammatory powder. It is made using a recipe that worked for our splendid second-hand sausage dog.

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