Why is Your Dog Constantly Scratching and Biting Himself

Dog Scratching

“My dog is constantly scratching and biting himself,” is a common pet owner complaint. It can be annoying to see your dog practically scratching and biting his skin off. If you feel worried about your pet’s skin irritation, imagine how your dog might be feeling. You have to put an end to this scratching, but how?

My Dog is Constantly Scratching and Biting Himself Because of…

Believe it or not, the most common cause is diet. Most pet owners lead busy lives and they don’t really give a second thought to what their dog eats. Grabbing whatever dog food is available on the shelves at the supermarket or pet store has become a habit that needs to be corrected right away. For all you know, your dog might be allergic to the pet food you’re serving, which is why he is constantly scratching.

How would you know if your dog’s scratching himself because of food allergies? Does he nibble his toes, have watery eyes, a red-raw belly, and is continuously scratching his ears? These are all common symptoms.

Another reason why your dog is constantly scratching and biting himself is because of parasites. Check for ticks, which are visible to the eye. However, you should remember that fleas aren’t too obvious unless there is a large infestation. Mites, on the other hand, are microscopic. So, don’t assume that your dog is parasite-free just because you don’t see anything on his skin.

There are also other reasons like anxiety and boredom. The good news is that the most common causes of itching and scratching in dogs can be remedied at home without going to the vet.

Common Home Solutions to Scratching and Biting

If your dog is constantly scratching or biting himself, try to switch from canned or dry dog food (all have cooked meat, wheat, and other allergy-inducing chemicals) to fresh, simpler, raw dog food. Try to feed your pet with meat that he has never had before, like pork, turkey, or even venison. These meats (as well as other ones) can be purchased in your local supermarket or butcher shop.

In the case of parasites, simply use treatments that are available to you. Use them as prescribed. If the instruction says to bathe your dog twice a week, then you should do so religiously until the parasites have been dealt with. Don’t forget to treat other pets in the household as well. While you’re at it, clean your dog’s bed, your carpet, and any other upholstered furniture to make sure that you rid your home of parasites too.

If the cause is anxiety and boredom, you can fix this right up with some love and attention. Take time off from work and actually play with your dog. It’s probably been a while since you last spent quality time together. You could also try taking your dog out more or introducing him to different chew toys or bones so he can have an outlet for relieving himself of stress.

When Should Your Vet Get Involved?

Have you tried all of the home remedies, but nothing seems to work? Then, it may be time to visit your vet. If you find that other symptoms, like hair loss, scaling, or foul odor, accompany your dog’s itching, there could be something more serious happening. To find out what the cause is, your vet will check your dog’s skin history and do a thorough physical exam. Depending on your vet’s findings, your pet might be treated for bacterial or fungal infections, which require antibiotic treatment for a number of days.

John at My Pet Child

is the Founder of My Pet Child, where he shares his tips on living with a dog in an apartment.

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