How to Soothe your Dog's Itchy Skin?
All dogs can suffer from scratching or itching at least once in their lives. Like chewing and licking, scratching is also a normal part of grooming, but sometimes dogs can't stop scratching.
However, in any condition, scratching means that your dog is suffering from some skin problem and is doing so to relieve irritation. Therefore, it is essential to diagnose the source of the ongoing problem and treat it.
In this article, we will discuss skin problems in dogs and how you can help your dog.
What are skin issues?
Skin problem in a dog is a broad term and include both coat and skin issues. Let's look at the definition of skin problems, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. It can be divided into skin inflammation, dermatitis, itching, and abnormal itching.
What are the causes of itchy skin in dogs?
There are many causes of itchy skin in dogs, including ticks, fleas, parasites, allergies, and stress. All of these causes are discussed below.
Fleas are one of the most common causes of itching in dogs, and they can live on the dog's skin for a long time and reproduce quickly. They are basically parasites that need a host to live, so it is important to check your dog's body from time to time for fleas.
The common sites where fleas are most prevalent are the dog's abdomen, around the neck, and the tail's base. The symptom that appears due to this infestation is hot spots, scabs, and missing fur.
Another sign that can clearly indicate fleas' presence in your dog's feces are tapeworms that are most commonly present in dog feces due to flea problems. Dogs get a tapeworm infestation by ingesting fleas during grooming.
The symptoms of tick infestation are very similar to those of fleas. Dogs generally get ticks when they walk through green and wooded areas, and you should check your dog's skin every time they return from a walk in the countryside.
Ticks are also capable of spreading serious diseases like Lyme disease. The easiest way to treat this problem is to remove the ticks from the dog's body within 24 hours of exposure. The stress-free way to remove the tick is by gently pulling it with tweezers.
Allergies are also another cause of scratching and itching in dogs, and the dog's skin can appear red and inflamed. There are different causes of allergies, such as environmental allergens, chemicals, dust, and pollen. Similarly, allergy can also occur from food allergens that are present in the diet, such as corn, wheat, and soybeans.
Environmental allergy symptoms can appear all over the body, and dogs will experience redness, itching, scratching, and hair loss all over the body. Sometimes other symptoms can also appear with this, like sneezing, coughing, and runny nose.
On the other hand, food allergies can cause scratching and itching, vomiting, diarrhea, and digestive problems.
Fungal infection and bacterial infections
Sometimes you may feel like your dog's skin looks thicker, flaky, and scaly, and he is scratching his body that means there must be some infection behind this problem.
Other signs seen in skin infection are dark spots on the skin, a musty smell, irritation, and redness of the skin. Dogs often get these infections by interacting with dirt or mud that has high concentrations of bacteria.
Stress and anxiety
Some human beings feel stressed and begin to bite their nails; the same thing happens to dogs. They begin to scratch their bodies to relieve stress. In some dogs, the anxiety problem is so strong that scratching can cause self-harm.
How to help your dog with itchy skin?
When you take your dog to the vet, he will diagnose the root cause of the scratching and prescribe the over-the-counter medication. If your dog suffers from this seasonal irritation, you can use certain tricks at home that can provide some relief. Other procedures by which you can help your dogs are:
If your dog is showing symptoms of scratching due to a food allergy, the best thing to do is change his diet. It is one of the easiest ways to solve this problem. Similarly, use foods that do not contain allergens and fillers, such as corn, wheat, and soybeans.
If your dog is allergic to the protein diet, you can use a prescription diet. If your dog suffers from any of the above ingredients, you can help your dog by changing these ingredients.
If your dog suffers from any serious skin problem, it is best to use medication. Your vet will prescribe two types of medications, either short-term or long-term medication, depending on the infection's cause. Short-term antibiotics, such as antifungals and antibiotics, are used to treat yeast, bacterial, and fungal infection.
Similarly, long-term medications, such as allergy medications or medications used for digestive upset, must be administered daily to regulate their metabolic problems. Your vet may also recommend medicated shampoos, wipes, and other oral medications to alleviate this scratching problem.
It is vital to control external parasites even if they do not bother your pets. If your dog has a flea infestation, he can suffer from tapeworms. In the case of ticks and mosquitoes, they can transmit the heartworm and cause other diseases such as Lyme disease.
You can keep your dog on monthly preventative medications that can prevent them from becoming infected and free from scratching, itching, and other skin problems.
If you can't diagnose the exact cause of the scratching and your dog's skin becomes dull and itchy, it's best to improve his diet and add some supplements. The best supplement you can give your dog is the TRU multivitamin. It contains all the necessary nutrients that can alleviate skin conditions like scratching and itching.
Some home remedies can be used to soothe your dog's scratchy and itchy skin. Some famous home remedies are
- Chamomile & Herbal Tea Soaks
- Oatmeal Bath
- Apple Cider Vinegar Water Spray
You can prevent your dog from scratchy and itchy skin by taking a few preventive steps; however, the best thing to do is consult your vet because a proper diagnosis is a key to effective treatment.