If your dog seems to be itching more than usual, it is essential to determine why they are uncomfortable. While fleas are often the problem, that is not always the case. Once you figure out the probable cause, then an anti-itch spray may help. In the case of extreme itchiness, you should talk to your vet, but here are some things you may want to think about before your visit.
Even if you have not switched up your dog’s food, they can become allergic to it. Repeated exposure to a food that the dog is allergic to can cause an immune system response. While some animals may vomit or develop diarrhea, others will develop hives, bumps, or itchy sin. It can take several weeks to eliminate the food allergy from the pet’s system.
Vets often put these dogs on an eliminator diet to see if it helps them. This diet consists of feeding your dog one source of protein and one source of carbohydrates for 12 weeks to see if the condition improves.
The vet may prescribe particular medicines to help with skin infections and look for worsening conditions. You may be able to bring relief to a dog’s itchy skin from a food allergy by diffusing peppermint, chamomile, or lavender near the dog crate or where your pup sleeps.
If you notice your dog itching more than usual, think about any changes you have made in the dog’s environment. These things can be in your home, backyard, or even at a dog park the dog plays at frequently. Just like people have trouble with allergies during specific periods, so can dogs, and these allergies can cause their skin to itch. Often itching from environmental allergies is accompanied by rubbing the nose and face. Depending on the source of the allergy, the dog may lose hair on its paws and lower legs. Retrievers, terriers, and bulldogs seem particular to suffer from environmental allergies.
In severe cases, your vet may prescribe medications like antibiotics, antifungal medications, and steroids to help alleviate symptoms. Once the problem is identified, the vet may give hypoallergenic vaccinations when the issues are most severe. Adding a capsule of Omega 3 to your pet’s food can help . Check the dog food you are feeding as many are higher in Omega 6 than Omega 3. If that is the case, you may want to switch to a food higher in Omega 3 slowly. You can also feed your dog some fish or sprinkle whole flax seed into its food to help.
Mites are microscopic arthropods that are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. They burrow into your dog’s hair and skin, causing your four-legged friend to itch. The mite causes mange, but your dog’s case may not be that severe. In most cases, if mange is the problem, you will also notice hair loss or the coat becoming thinner along with red skin patches. These dogs often have severe dandruff.
While it is always best to talk to your vet, in most cases, mites can be killed by using an anti-parasitic wash. You can easily make your own at home, although commercial options are available. The American Kennel Club recommends grinding one cup of uncooked oatmeal in a food processor until it is the consistency of flour . Then, add ½ cup baking soda and a quart of warm water. Stir until all ingredients are well combined. Then, add 10 drops of lavender essential oil. This essential oil naturally repels mites. Lavender is also a great essential oil that can help dogs relax, so it may be easier than expected to give the bath.
Once you have this homemade oatmeal bath for dogs, then get your dog wet all over and scrub it into their skin. After you are sure that you have used it on every part of the dog’s body, except for their eyes, rinse the dog off and let him dry naturally. Towel drying a dog can harm its hair and cause damage similar to split-ends in human hair.
Anxiety or Stress
Most itching caused by anxiety and stress is a temporary condition because your dog is anxious for you to hurry up and take them for a walk or play their favorite game. Part of your responsibility as a pet owner is to make sure that you are providing enough mental stimulation for your animal. You can do this by using a food-dispensing toy that requires the dog to do something to earn the food inside. Be sure that you take your dog on daily walks and allow them time to sniff and explore. Most dogs love learning new tricks.
Some breeds are highly suspectable to separation anxiety, including Labrador retrievers, border collies, Jack Russell terriers, and Australian shepherds. Then, the dog may scratch the entire time you are away, leading to fur loss and skin conditions. Often these dogs may also howl or bark, urinate or defecate where they know better and try to escape. Giving your dog a unique, enjoyable activity to do, such as a food puzzle, can often help. Make sure to remove any remaining treat as soon as you get home and give that treat only when you are gone, so the dog starts associating your absence as a positive thing.
Some dogs scratch when they have hormonal problems. When this is the issue, you may also notice dry and brittle hair. In the early stages, you may see hair loss on the perineum, stomach, thighs, and back of the neck. If you do not catch it early, the hair loss may spread to the rump and flank. You may also notice that your dog’s color may seem to be getting darker. Furthermore, you may see blackheads appear on the dog, especially in the stomach area. Take a look at the animal’s ears because they will often appear red or inflamed.
You should take your dog to the vet if you suspect hormone problems. In most cases, the vet will do some simple bloodwork to determine if the dog’s hormones are balanced. If he finds they are not, he will recommend a prescription, which may be short-or-long term or given only during particular periods in the dog’s life, such as their heat cycle.
If you are feeding lots of table scraps or buying the cheapest dog food, your dog may be itching because of nutritional deficiencies. In particular, zinc, copper, and omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients that can affect your dog’s skin, causing them to itch.
Zinc deficiency is a significant problem for dogs often seen in giant breeds, such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards, huskies, and malamutes. Dogs with a zinc deficiency often have crusty, raised patches of skin. When zinc is absent or the level is too low in the body, cells cannot split properly, which can cause the skin to become itchy and flaky. You may feel like you are constantly taking your dog to the vet for seemingly unrelated illnesses. While the areas often respond to topical zinc treatments, the spots will often reappear once the treatment stops. Often switching to a raw-food diet can help.
You should be grooming your dog regularly to look for possible skin infection as these can cause itchy skin. One of the most commonly seen skin infections is a yeast infection, occurring anywhere on the dog’s body. While any breed can get a yeast infection, they are prevalent in Shih Tzus, West Highland white terriers, American cocker spaniels, and basset hounds. They often appear as a secondary sign to another problem, such as food or environmental stress. Most dogs with a yeast infection will have a sweet or musty odor. While the skin may appear dry, it may also appear greasy, but it will always be flaky. Take your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis. They will probably recommend topical antifungal creams, wipes, sprays, or shampoos.
Some breeds are prone to genetic disorders that make them feel like they need to itch constantly. One condition commonly seen in vet offices is canine atopic dermatitis, which may be referred to as hot spots. It is inherited, and some breeds are more suspectable to canine atopic dermatitis than others, including golden retrievers, Irish setters, Lhasa Apsos, dalmatians, bulldogs, old English sheepdogs, and most terriers. Often, you will see dogs with this condition rubbing their faces on the carpet. If you suspect that your dog may have inherited this condition, it is especially vital to keep an eye on their ears because that is where the problem often starts.
Homemade Anti-itch Spray for Dogs
Now that you know what may be causing it to itch more, you can easily make a homemade dog anti-itch spray that may help until you get a vet treatment if needed. This anti-itch spray recipe may also be effective with dogs who itch for behavioral reasons.
- ½ cup green tea
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup distilled water
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- Put the cooled green tea in a large bottle. Green tea effectively stops your dog’s itchiness because it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.
- Add the apple cider vinegar to the cooled green tea. Apple cider vinegar is effective because it helps to kill any bacteria that may be causing the itching.
- Add the distilled water. The water helps to dilute the solution so that it is not too strong to use on your dog.
- Finally, add the lavender essential oil. This acts as a calming agent. Always choose an essential oil that uses only pure ingredients and has the scientific testing to prove that the products are consistent.
- Shake well and spray on the affected area.
Frequently Asked Questions about Why Your Dog is Itching
1. What can I spray on my dog to stop itching?
You can find many commercial products that will help your dog to stop itching. There are also simple recipes that you can make using ingredients you probably already have on hand.
2. What can I give my dog to stop itching naturally?
Yes, there are natural remedies that may soothe itchy skin. You can combine equal amounts of green tea, apple cider vinegar, and water in a spray bottle. Add two-to-three drops of lavender essential oil to make your anti-itching spray.
3. Will vinegar and water stop my dog from itching?
It depends on why the dog is itching whether water and vinegar will be effective. Allergies, nutrient deficiencies, and genetics can play a huge role in determining if water and vinegar alone will be enough to stop the dog from itching.
4. Why is my dog so itchy but has no fleas?
There are many reasons that your dog may be itching, even though it has no fleas. Medical issues, like yeast infections, may be to blame. Some breeds may inherit genetic conditions that make them itch more. Additionally, allergies and stress may be to blame.