Scratching is a normal behavior for dogs, since it’s natural for the skin to become irritated or itchy from time to time. If your dog has begun to scratch, bite, or nibble his skin excessively, however, it may become a cause for concern. There are many possible causes of irritation that can cause your dog to scratch—including allergies, fleas and parasites, dry skin, and anxiety. Therefore, the best solution for scratching is a visit to the vet’s office to identify the underlying cause. Some of the treatments you discuss may include:
Use Flea Prevention
You may not see fleas, but you will probably see the rash they leave behind when they bite your dog. Flea prevention is essential in all seasons in Southern Arizona, because the warm climate allows them to thrive all year long. You can ask your vet which flea medication is best for your dog, but steer clear of all-natural supplements or other alternative flea treatments.
Give Your Dog a Bath
Dry and itchy skin can be painful and uncomfortable, so soothe your dog with a bath using oatmeal shampoo. Select a shampoo designed for dogs, and avoid those with strong fragrances or irritating ingredients. Following a bath, dry your dog gently with a towel and brush out his coat.
Change Your Dog’s Diet
If itching is accompanied by stomach upset and a dull looking coat, allergies may be to blame for your dog’s scratching. Switching to a different type of dog food may be the solution, but it can require some trial and error with help from your veterinarian to pin down which ingredients your dog is allergic to.
When you need veterinary care in Scottsdale, call Horizon Animal Hospital at (480) 800-4559. You can rely on us to care for your canine companion in all stages of life, from puppyhood to his senior years.