Why is my dog scratching so much?

Why is my dog scratching so much?

“Why is my dog scratching? Why are they itchy?!”

When the seasons change, you might notice something strange happening with your dog

Especially in the summertime, you might find your dog is scratching a lot more than usual. What is turning your pup into a self-scratching scratch post?

To understand why your dog is scratching as much as they do, we have to look at different types of allergies your dog may be experiencing. Because the scratching fiasco that’s in your hands? It could be that your dog is dealing with a bout of allergies.

There are two categories of allergies your dog could be experiencing:

  • Skin allergies
  • Acute allergic reactions

Skin Allergies

The most common of allergies experienced by dogs is skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis. A skin-related dog allergy is the result of any of the following or a combination of the following:

  1. flea allergies
  2. food allergies
  3. and/or environmental factors

About Flea Allergies

Is this the reason why your dog is scratching so much?

“Flea allergy dermatitis (flea allergies in dogs) is the most common skin disease in pets,” shares Pet MD. “And although flea allergies in dogs usually develop when dogs are young (less than 1 and up to 5 years of age), a dog flea allergy can begin at any age. It is the saliva from flea bites on dogs that is actually believed to be the cause of the allergy or sensitivity.”

To prevent this, it’s important to stay on top of a regular de-fleeing schedule for your pup

About Food Allergies

Is this the reason why your dog is scratching so much?

Another common allergy experienced by dogs is food-related. It leads to symptoms like severe itching, red or inflamed skin, hives, and/or gastrointestinal issues. When it’s a food allergy, it’s a consistent issue year-round. 

About Environmental Factors

Is this the reason why your dog is scratching so much?

Your dog’s environment and the environmental allergies, or allergens, may have can lead to severe itching, red or inflamed skin, hives, and/or gastrointestinal issues. The only difference is the frequency of the symptoms. Food allergies show year-round, whereas environmental allergies change depending on the year.

Acute Allergic Reactions

These allergies are the most alarming of all and hard to miss. 

Say your dog gets stung by a bee or reacts to a vaccination. Both of these can yield symptoms and fatal reactions, so be sure to seek medical assistance as soon as possible so that they can treat them. 

Treatments more than likely will involve the use of antihistamines. 

Here are the symptoms to keep an eye out for when your dog has an allergic reaction due to one of the causes above:

  • Inflammation of the face, mouth, eyelids, ears, or earflaps
  • Itchiness and/or hives
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Vomiting 
  • Sneezing
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Watery eyes
  • Overgrooming or constant licking

Are allergies the only reason why my dog is scratching so much? Why are they so itchy?

Not at all. Allergies are definitely not the only cause of an itchy and scratchy pup.

If your veterinarian cannot find anything wrong with your pup, it could be that your dog needs help getting energy out. The scratching could be a symptom of boredom and restlessness. 

Pets WebMD shared, “​​Just as people with anxiety might bite their nails or twirl their hair, dogs can have physical responses to psychological upset, too. In fact, some dogs develop a condition akin to human obsessive-compulsive disorder. It can manifest itself in scratching, licking, or chewing behaviors that can cause severe damage.”

What do I do?

If the scratching is getting out of hand or is a sudden behavior change, we advise getting in touch with your trusted local veterinarian. They can determine which type of allergy they are experiencing, if any, and prescribe medications or options to assist.

This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog at this section. Feel free to leave a comment with tips you’re looking for!

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