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Why is my dog scratching – what does it mean and how to help him

7 minutes


Your dog's scratching may be the result of a variety of illnesses. Most often, there is an allergy to this, but it is not the only possibility. Your pooch may suffer from skin diseases or parasites. I will tell you how you can recognize what may be causing your pet's scratching and how you can help him deal with this unpleasant ailment.

The cause of the dog scratching may be an allergy, both contact and food. Your dog may also scratch due to parasites on his skin, such as fleas, scabies, and Demodex. The dog may also experience skin inflammation and hair loss.

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Dog scratching

Observing my dog’s behaviour gives me a lot of joy and pleasure. In my spare time I like to watch my dog play, or look in which funny position, this time he decided to fall asleep. Therefore, I can spot any unusual signs in his behaviour very quickly.

So I noticed very quickly that my dog was scratching excessively and this is something completely new in his behaviour. A dog’s scratching can mean many things. Unfortunately, the pooch will not tell us what is the cause of his behaviour. We must come to such conclusions ourselves.

It took me a while to understand what the problem was. Therefore, I would like to make your situation a bit easier and present in an accessible way the potential causes of your dog’s scratching. This will allow you to react appropriately quick and effective to help your pet with this uncomfortable feeling.

Why is your dog scratching

There are several reasons why your dog is compulsively scratching himself. Before I tell you about each of them, however, I would like to reassure you a little. It’s normal for your pet to scratch. So first think about the frequency of this behaviour in your pet.

It may turn out that there is no disease or illness behind the pooch’s scratching. If you find your doggy needs to scratch himself every now and then, believe me, he’s okay. Feeling itchy is just as normal for our pets as it is for us.

However, if you notice that your pooch has been scratching at a significantly increased frequency for some time now, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Certainly, knowing your pet’s everyday behaviour, you will quickly notice such a change. In such a situation, a vet check-up visit may be necessary.

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Allergy causes dog scratching

Your dog may be scratching due to allergies. What’s more, dogs can suffer from contact allergies as well as food allergies. Either of these can be the reason your dog is scratching.

– dog food allergy

Food allergy, as the name suggests, is caused by your dog’s intolerance to any of the ingredients in his food. An allergic reaction can occur in dogs when they eat a variety of things, including meat, vegetables and fruit. In fact, each of the food ingredients has the potential to trigger an allergic reaction in your dog.

One of the symptoms of food allergy is itching of the dog’s skin, both local and general throughout the body. Therefore, if your dog is scratching, he may be allergic to one of the ingredients in his food.

If an allergic reaction occurs suddenly, consider whether you have recently changed the food given to your dog. Perhaps there is an ingredient in its composition that has a negative effect on your pet.

It is also worth knowing that your dog may develop a food allergy to an ingredient that has so far been safe for him. Allergies do not always show up immediately after birth. Therefore, there is a possibility that your dog’s body started to become intolerant to some nutrients after some time.

– contact allergy in the dog

Your dog may be scratching as a result of his contact allergy. If the dog comes into contact with a material or preparation that causes him an allergic reaction, he may experience persistent itching as a result.

So for your dog, the allergen may be, for example, the material from which his accessories are made, or even their inner filling. Therefore, when choosing things for your pet, put on those that will definitely be safe for him.

Bowl&Bone Republic dog beds are filled with hypoallergenic, artificial down. When you decide to buy such bedding for a dog, you know that the material inside will not cause an allergic reaction in your pet.

Your dog may also develop a contact allergy when his skin comes in contact with a formulation that contains an ingredient that causes him an allergic reaction. It can be a shampoo that you use to clean him, but also protective preparations such as an anti-tick collar or drops against parasites sprayed directly onto his fur.

Parasites on a dog’s body cause scratching

Your dog’s scratching may be caused by parasites on his skin. I mean, among other things, fleas that are known to all dog owners but not only.

Your pooch may suffer from parasite-induced skin diseases such as scabies and Demodex. They cause inflammation of the dog’s skin, redness and local hair loss. It is accompanied by an unpleasant burning and itching sensation. So the dog may persistently scratch or bite in a given place, wanting to bring himself at least a temporary relief.

Medical treatment will be required for parasites. It will be difficult for you to help your pet on your own. Therefore, if you notice any of the symptoms I have mentioned on your pooch’s skin, be sure to see a vet for help.

What can you do if your dog is scratching himself

Persistent itching is nothing to please your little dog. Therefore, you certainly want to help him get rid of this unpleasant feeling and bring the desired relief as soon as possible.

The first step you should take is to see a specialist. He or she will help you assess what is causing your dog’s scratching and provide a treatment program. Follow your vet’s recommendations if you want to help your friend.

If you want to bring some relief when your dog is scratching, you can use comforting mixtures that are not only intended to cure the problem but also to slightly alleviate the unpleasant itching sensation that torments your pooch. Typically, such ointments contain panthenol, chamomile extract, aloe.

While I know it can be difficult, try to distract your pet from scratching. This is a difficult moment in your dog’s life, so spend as much time as possible with him. Playing together outdoors will help to distract your pet’s thoughts from the unpleasant itching for a while.

Prepare treats for the pooch, dried DIY delicacies, which delicious taste will slightly compensate him for the unpleasant feeling he experiences.

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Don’t do this if your dog is scratching

If you notice a change in your pet’s behaviour, try to observe him. Your doggie’s intense, frequent scratching is a disturbing symptom and should not be underestimated by any means.

If you react quickly enough, it may be possible to avoid developing the disease and getting it under control before his condition becomes serious. So don’t hesitate and if you have any suspicions that something is wrong, ask for a vet consultation.

A frequent reaction during the dog’s persistent scratching is to bathe him. Unfortunately, in the case of skin inflammation, it can be counterproductive. We can only unnecessarily irritate the skin by using washing cosmetics unsuitable for sensitive, sick places on the pooch’s body.

Also, do not try to scratch the dog on your own where he feels itchy. Although I’m sure you want the best for him, unfortunately, it can bring even more discomfort to the dog.

Dog excessive scratching is a serious matter

If your pet occasionally scratches himself, that’s fine. But when he does it much more often and nervously, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

The most common causes of dog scratching are skin allergies and the presence of parasites. In such a situation, consult a specialist.

Have you ever noticed your pooch was scratching more intensely? Or maybe you have an allergy pooch under your care? Let me know in the comments section.

Zdjęcie Klaudii

Author: Klaudia, author and a great dog lover
The doggy by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and see each new day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. Searching for my soul mate, I found her in dogs' wise eyes.

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