Is your dog scratching too much? If you frequently see him scratching his body raw, he might be suffering from one of several skin conditions. Here are some of the most common reasons why your dog can't stop scratching himself.
Parasites: Ticks, Fleas And Mites
These three parasites are your dog's worst nightmare. They are common parasites that prey on household pets, and they can cause your dog to constantly scratch itself. Immediate intervention is needed at the first sign of parasites, because parasites can become uncontrollable before long. Fortunately, there are many preventative medications on the market that you can use to combat the problem. Ask your dog's veterinarian for reputable brands, and make sure to clean your home thoroughly, particularly the areas where your dog frequents the most. If these parasites are breeding in your home, then this problem can be more complicated.
Your dog may also be suffering from allergies, which can be triggered by food or skin irritants. Beef and wheat are common examples of food that can trigger allergic reactions, while other dogs are allergic to dust mites, pollen, and even furniture stuffing. Unfortunately, there is no cure for allergies. The best thing you can do for your dog is to find out what triggers his allergic reactions, and keep him away from it. Your veterinarian can perform skin and blood tests to determine what exactly your dog is allergic to, and can prescribe either topical solutions or oral antihistamines to help neutralize the effects of the allergy.
Itching and excessive scratching can lead to bacterial skin infections for your dog. This can cause several different skin problems, such as pus-filled blisters, acne, and lesions. Your dog's skin folds are hot spots for bacterial growth, as constant rubbing of the skin leaves it wet and inflamed. Skin infections need a proper diagnosis from your dog's veterinarian before you can find the proper medication. Clipping your dog's hair off the affected area also helps control the itch, and makes sure topical medications are absorbed faster by the skin.
Boredom Or Anxiety
In some cases, excessive scratching can be your dogs' coping mechanism for either boredom or anxiety. This becomes a disorder that's not unlike obsessive-compulsive behavior in people, and can be triggered if your dog is under stress... or just plain bored! Make sure that your dog gets enough exercise, and has several toys to keep him occupied. It may also help to speak to a dog behaviorist to understand your dogs' needs more. Always consult your dog's veterinarian to get the proper diagnosis, and follow their instructions for treatment.