Itchy dogs’ skin is the second reason for veterinary consultation behind gastrointestinal problems. The causes of excessive itching are usually related to the presence of parasites, but there may be other responsible skin or psychological foci.
Scratching is a normal behavior in animals and humans. However, when it occurs excessively due to the prolongation or intensity of itching, it is known as pruritus. The latter can, in turn, trigger skin lesions due to the continued abrasion of patients in their attempt to stop it.
Before administering any treatment, the most responsible thing is to try to find out what is the origin of the itchy skin of dogs. When this is linked to fleas or ticks, it is usually easily detectable by the owners, but, if not, a general check-up by the specialist will be necessary.
Causes and treatments of itchy skin on dogs
If the presence of parasites is found, the procedure to eradicate itching will be productive quickly. Good hygiene with frequent washing and brushing according to the requirements of the fur along with pipettes, collars, or repellent sprays will be critical to the excellent health of the animal.
Also, in case there are ticks, it will be necessary to extract them with the appropriate methodology, for which it is advisable to go to a professional before their ignorance. If, on the contrary, the absence of parasites is confirmed, the veterinarian will try to diagnose possible allergies or skin disorders.
Some of the allergy triggers are pollen, grass, shampoos, or cosmetic care products, feed, or cleaning products. Therefore, when addressing the itchy skin of dogs, it is crucial to assess the incorporation of a new product or food.
Adverse weather conditions can also contribute to excess skin dryness, with the consequent desquamation. In cases of lack of hydration, veterinarians will recommend specific humectants.
Not exposing yourself to sources of heat or intense cold and having a proper diet are basic but essential guidelines in skincare. Yeast infection, causing itching and body odor, or even excessive stress, may also be responsible for the itching of these animals.
Natural remedies to alleviate itching
Although it is advisable to go to the veterinarian, there are some natural alternatives that can relieve the itching of pets. The use of essential oils may have antiseptic and antifungal benefits that control or reduce itchy skin on dogs.
These properties favor anti-inflammation, which is why they are usually included in shampoos, lotions, and other skincare products. Among the most used medicinal plants are basil, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, or tea tree oil.
Typically, the use of these oils does not usually harm the animal’s health unless it is allergic to its active ingredients. However, they can cause gastrointestinal disorders if accidentally ingested.
Other solutions go through the traditional apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, or even salmon oil. All of them can be applied in controlled doses in case of mild itching, and as long as there has been no injury or irritation due to excessive scratching. The goal of these is to stop or alleviate the itching in its early stages, but misuse can increase the symptoms of itching.