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Itching – Possible Causes and How to Address Them

November 7th, 2018

Have you ever seen your furry friend licking his paws, scratching his ears or biting his own tail?  These behaviors are not uncommon and can have diverse explanations. In consequence, hot spots can appear rather quickly.

Fleas, ticks and mites are among the most common causes for this behavior. Some of these parasites are not visible to the naked eye, which makes necessary a thorough examination.

It’s important to investigate if the cause of the scratching/ itching is some kind of allergy caused by the environment – such as pollen or mold. Also, as with humans, dogs can have skin dermatitis, due to pesticides in your backyard or cleaning products that you use at home.

During the winter, the weather can cause the skin to become drier than usual. Then, your pet can scratch himself as a response to discomfort. Fatty acid deficiency can also be another possibility and hormonal imbalances can contribute to skin infections.

Weird as it may seem, scratching can be a sign of anxiety or boredom. Just as people tend to bite nails, dogs can also have a reaction to some sort of psychological distress, similar to human obsessive-compulsive disorder.

If the licking or chewing is excessive, you can also consider that something is making your pet uncomfortable. For example, if a dog is biting his paw repeatedly, he may have a thorn in it.

A good course of action to tackle the problem is cleaning you dog’s bed and toys regularly, vacuum your carpet and upholstered furniture and treat other animals that you may have at home. Doing so, you can prevent pest infestation.

Another important measure is scheduling an appointment with your pet’s groomer, so that to treat your furry friend’s skin locally with a medicated bath. After that, you can maintain the skin with oatmeal baths, as it’s appropriate ingredient to sensitive skin.

If the behavior is connected to boredom or anxiety, you can help your pet by providing some exercise and play time to entertain him. Have a walk or bring him to a daycare playground, so that he can spend that energy, socialize and avoid compulsive behaviors. You can offer him some treats, as a form to replace the undesirable behavior.

Remember to check if the scratching is connected to a food allergy. Look for advice to change the formula that you are offering, as there are good options in the market to choose from. If these steps don’t work, you can consider consulting a veterinarian that may prescribe medication to resolve the problem.

You can always count on Hollywood Houndz and ask for our advice. We’re partners and want to provide your furry friends with the best! If your notice that your dog is scratching himself, don’t hesitate: come to us and we’ll help you!