Scratching is normal for dogs. But it could become a cause of concern if they don’t stop scratching themselves. Maybe due to skin irritation caused by allergy from food. Perhaps out of boredom and even anxiety. Whatever the reason might be constant scratching indicates that the dog is in discomfort. And leads the human to ask this all too familiar question: My dog won’t stop scratching. What should I do?
“The first step is to identify the cause of itchy skin. Its only then that we can arrive at a solution,” said Claude Azih, Head Groomer at Romi’s Home Pet Nursery.
So, what causes itchy skin in dogs?
Claude: There are many causes for itchy skin in dogs. From bacterial and fungal infection, allergies, parasites (ticks and flea) to stress and hormonal imbalance, among others. But the most common causes for itchy skin in dogs in the UAE include allergies from food, weather etc. Bacterial and/or fungal infection causing dry skin, dandruff, hot spot and more. While parasites such as tick and flea can also cause itchy skin, it is mostly seasonal.
Also read: Unwanted guests, fleas and ticks
Do you groom a lot of dogs in the UAE with severely itchy skin?
Claude: Yes, from time-to-time I do get to see dogs with itchy skin. But only a few of them are severe cases.
While grooming what kind of products do you use for dogs with itchy skin?
Claude: Only after identifying the cause of the problem can we determine the right products to be used. But generally, its best to use hypoallergenic or organic products on dogs with sensitive skin and medicated products on dogs with skin infection.
Usually, how long does it take for itchy skin to heal?
Claude: If the condition is not severe such as dandruff or dry skin in early stages it may take a week if a medicated product is used two or three times. While bacterial infection may take two weeks or even a month depending on the product being used.
What are some home remedies that pet parents can explore to treat their dog’s itchy skin?
Claude: First thing that every pet parent must ensure is to keep a close eye on their dogs to identify the problem in the early stages and take immediate action. Below are some common home remedies for itchy skin:
- If your dog has developed itchy skin suddenly, check if you have given them a new brand of food or treat and stop it.
- You can dilute apple cider vinegar with water (50/50) in a spray pump bottle and spray on the area. But DO NOT use this on open wound.
- Mix baking soda with water and apply on dried out rashes to reduce itching and redness.
- You can add a small quantity coconut oil in your dog’s food or use on their skin.
- Clean anal glands because when the anal sac is full it causes skin irritation in dogs.