Managing an itchy dog can be a real challenge, and if you’ve ever had a dog that’s suffered from allergies, you probably know how difficult it can be to convince your pet to stop scratching their skin.
To make things worse, allergies can sometimes lead to atopic dermatitis, in which case the dog would change their behaviour and develop scratching and excessive licking tendencies throughout their life.
But how can you get your dog to stop scratching? We’ve found the following tips to be most effective in completing the task, but if all else fails, go to the vet to have your pet correctly diagnosed by a medical professional. Dogs can have various skin complications, from bacterial and yeast infections to otitis caused by parasites.
5 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Scratching Frequently
Make sure your dog doesn’t have fleas
If your dog doesn’t get year-round treatment against fleas, they could develop a flea bite allergy. And once that’s developed, it can be quite hard to manage.
There are many products that you can use for preventing both internal and external parasites, such as fleas and ticks. You could apply a spot-on solution to the back of your dog’s neck every month, you could fit them with a flea collar, or you could give them a bath with our own Flea Flee medicated shampoo every four to six weeks for controlling both lice and fleas.
In any case, what we would like to recommend is that you try to use products that have natural extracts. The shampoo we just mentioned contains pyrethrins extracted from chrysanthemums, and to give you a clue as to how safe it is, we’ll tell you that it can be used on puppies and kittens younger than 12 weeks, too.
Also, not every dermatitis case is the result of a flea infestation. Some dogs could develop ear infections and irritations, as well a result of a scratching habit. If this happens, you should try our Ear & Wound Care product.
Change their diet
Dogs aren’t made to eat grains, and although they are considered omnivores compared to cats, the most notorious obligate carnivores of all pets, they shouldn’t eat wheat, corn, and other such ingredients that manufacturers commonly add to commercial diets as fillers.
Your vet can recommend a specific diet depending on your dog’s current health status, but ideally, you should look for the cleanest food you can afford. Rice and other such ingredients are a no-go, too.
Besides grains, some commercial dog foods can contain additives, binders, and artificial colours, some of which have been found to be carcinogenic. Try to keep your dog’s diet as natural as possible and you’ll see them scratching their body a lot less.
Sometimes, your dog might be itchy even after being diagnosed and after treatment was initiated against their specific condition. If this happens, you have to do your best at trying to calm down your dog naturally.
Keep your mate in a cool environment, use calendula tea or ointment on the itchy spots, and give them a bath with an Itch Relief shampoo every week.
Some anti-itch shampoos can contain oatmeal and natural ingredients, but others can have selenium sulphide which not only improves your dog’s skin health by removing dandruff or seborrhea but it can also treat some types of fungal infections.
Eliminate all stress factors
Atopic dermatitis in dogs can sometimes be the result of stress and anxiety. If you have recently moved homes, been away on a trip, or introduced another canine friend into your older dog’s living space, they’re likely to experience some kind of discomfort. Our Anxiety Aid should do the trick in helping you manage your pooch's anxiety level. It contains tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that boosts your furball's serotonin or 'happy' hormones.
Like humans, dogs can develop tics that they do repeatedly in order to soothe themselves. That’s how some dogs start scratching and licking their front paws to the point that they give themselves wounds on the feet.
Keep your dog busy
Sometimes, if the dog has scratching tendencies even when they are being treated, it is your responsibility, as a pet owner, to get their mind off of it and keep them busy and entertained. Go outdoors for a walk or some playtime, play fetch in your yard if you can’t get away from home for too long, or complete a training session.
Your dog will love to spend time with you anyway, so they might be less prone to wanting to scratch their body if they’re not bored.
A clear diagnosis is the best way to get your dog to stop scratching so make sure you go to the animal hospital as soon as you notice any worrying signs.
Wounds, insect bites, and consistent scratching can all be signs of a skin infection, but something else could be happening, too, from the inside -- such as an allergy to food, for example.