4 Reasons Your Dog May Be Itching

Is your dog super itchy and scratching constantly? Well, you’re not the only pet owner with this problem. Itchy dogs are among the most common patients of vets.

Itchiness or pruritus makes dogs miserable, and this is the last thing you want to see. You want to make them happy and comfortable, but first, you need to know what’s causing the itchiness. It can be anything from seasonal allergies and mites to bacterial infections and more dangerous skin conditions. You might be able to prevent future scratching by learning about these causes. Here are the four most common reasons your dogs may be itching.

1. Infections

There are many reasons why your pets may be scratching themselves, but one of the most common reasons is infections.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections (pyoderma) are the primary cause of skin infections. They can accompany allergies to cause itchiness in your dogs or be the primary reason on their own. These infections happen when your dog’s skin is injured. The surface bacteria penetrate the cuts and cause them. Staphylococcus bacteria are the leading group that can create moist and inflamed skin lesions that make your dogs itchy. Antibiotics are the most effective treatments for bacterial infections.

Yeast Infections

Yeast naturally lives in low amounts in your dogs’ skin and ears. In warm and humid weather, they can overgrow and lead to infection, especially in your dogs’ ear canals and under their skin folds. Yeast infections are accompanied by flaky skin and itchiness. Effective treatments for these infections include oral medication and special shampoos.

Fungal Infections

Fungi can infect any part of your dog’s body, and skin is one of them. Their symptoms are often similar to other infections and include excessive scratching and inflammation. You must detect fungal infections early on since some fungi like ringworm can be contagious. Anti-fungal topicals and shampoos are among the most effective treatments for fungal infections.

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2. Allergies

Itchiness is one of the first symptoms of dogs’ seasonal allergies, and most dogs who are scratching themselves have at least one allergic reason behind it.

Flea Allergies

Flea allergies are the most common type of allergy in dogs who are sensitive to flea saliva. They can pick it up in late fall when you’re out in the park or at home. Just one flea bite is enough to make your dogs itch like crazy. They will scratch themselves aggressively to the point of infection. Once they spread the fleas around the house, it becomes difficult to get rid of them, so using year-round topical or oral solutions is the best way to prevent them.

Food Allergies

Your dogs can be allergic to certain foods just like you, but they may have different reactions. Some dogs will get rashes, while others will start chewing and scratching, causing various infections. Food allergies can also lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Your veterinarian will put your dogs on a strict diet to detect the food they’re allergic to, so you can remove that from their meals.

Environmental Allergies

Another common type of dog allergy that leads to intense itching is caused by environmental factors such as dust, pollen, mold, and mildew. Environmental allergies are often seasonal and most common in early spring and fall. Effective treatments include special shampoos and oral medicine.

3. Mites

Bugs are another cause of skin irritation in dogs. The most infamous ones are mites (Sarcoptes scabiei) that can invade your dogs’ skin and cause scabies. Mites are highly contagious and easily transferrable. Your dogs can get contaminated at a grooming facility or from contact with other dogs. They will develop red spots and start scratching themselves vigorously. Hair loss is also typical with mites. You need to learn how to keep your dog’s skin and fur healthy to keep these vicious creatures away. Treatment involves a round of medication.

Demodex is another mite that naturally exists in low numbers in your dogs’ hair and can cause demodicosis. Symptoms include reddish-brown, itchy skin and can progress into bacterial infections. Ear mites can also cause skin itchiness by infecting your dogs’ ear canals. With regular use of anti-flea products, you can combat most of these bugs.

4. Diseases

Skin irritation in your dogs cannot always be easily treated since there might be an underlying health condition. Itchiness can result from cancers such as lymphoma and malignant histiocytosis that manifest in the skin. It can also be due to hormonal imbalances or autoimmune diseases where the body attacks itself.

Find the Cause of Your Dog’s Itching and Help Your Dog

You know how miserable it is to be itchy, so you can imagine what your furry friends are going through. You can help your dogs get rid of itchy skin in numerous ways, but the first step is identifying the reason. Our list highlights just a few of those reasons. You can keep an eye out for them the next time your dogs start scratching non-stop. Know when it’s time to visit a vet and get help so you can make your dogs and yourself happier and more comfortable.

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