Sunday, March 20, 2011

Advice for Dogs who are Itchy

Question:  I am a dog and my paws are itchy like they are on fire. I spend most of my time biting my paws, they are so sore all the time and sort of tingle. I cannot stop myself from itching by biting my toes, even though my owner has put yucky tasting stuff on my paws. What is wrong with my paws.
Signed, Sad Feet

Dear Sad Feet
Very likely, unless you hurt them from walking on something bad such as lawn chemicals, the problem with your feet is actually a sign of a food allergy. Many dog owners only treat the symptoms of food allergies, which are often called “Hot Spots ”, or try to stop the dog from itching. A better idea would be to stop the problem itself.

Your owner could take you to a veterinarian for a proper allergy test but that can be expensive so they are better off to look for common allergy causing ingredients in your dog food, and dog treats. The most common allergy causing ingredients in dog food are beef, pork, soy, wheat, and corn. As well owners need to know that mystery ingredients, such as “meat meal” and “animal fat” could be anything and also should be avoided in dogs who are showing signs of food allergies.


Question:  I am a pit bull terrier dog, and I am itchy all over, I have no idea why, I did not roll in anything, I don't think I have fleas, but my skin kinda does not look as good as it should.
Signed, Scratchy

Dear Scratchy
Thanks for mentioning the type of dog you are, because some dogs are more prone to skin problems that are less common in other breeds and pit bull dogs are one of those who often have skin problems. Your owner should check for fleas even if you think you do not have them, as well mites are another concern and would cause hair loss as you mentioned. They should check the food ingredients, as mentioned for the dog in the question above, as these can make some dogs itchy all over, or break out in hives. Soy in particular seems to be an ingredient that Pit Bull Terriers are extra sensitive to.

You might have dry skin, or problems with seasonal allergies, even bug bites, such as from mosquitoes, seem to be more of a problem for dogs of your type.

Your owner can try bathing you in an oatmeal shampoo that is made for dogs with itchy skin. They should also look at the ingredients in your food as Pit Bull type dogs tend to be more prone to problems related to certain ingredients (soy, wheat, corn, beef, or pork), and make sure your bedding is washed without the use of strong detergents.

Your owner should have a veterinarian examine you to determine exactly what is causing you the problems.

Question:  Hello there, I am a Shih Tzu dog and my ears are driving me crazy. I scratch my ears and shake them, but nothing seems to help. What can I do to stop my ears from itching?
Signed, Itchy Ears

Dear Itchy Ears
There are many reasons why a dog's ears can be itching. Ear mites do occur in dogs, but not as often as in cats, and these could cause your ears to be itchy and irritated. Bacteria or yeast infections are common ear problems in dogs, particularly in dogs with floppy ears, and often your ears might smell bad if you have one of these problems. Sometimes these problems start when water gets in your ears and they are not dried properly. As with both other dogs, itchy ears, and infectins can be a problem related to dog food ingredients too.

Your owner should consider what could be causing the problem and take you to a veterinarian for a proper check up to see what the matter is. Your owner should be very careful about cleaning your ears themselves because they could make things worse if they push anything too deep into your ear.

Further Reading for Dog Owners


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  3. Thanks for this important information, Most of us don't think about allergies in dogs and pets. Thanks for sharing, keep up the good work.

  4. Dogs are my favorite pet. it is fun to have a dog. Thanks for this articles. Now i know why my dogs get itchy.

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  6. Thanks for sharing such valuable information.Keep posting such great info for us thanks.

  7. Too often We as pet sitters
    are asked this. It can be heartbreaking to see our pets scratching a way with what seems to be no relief. I appreciate the heads up on leading causes and propose a remedy as well. While you may want to check with your Vet but animals can be like people and be susceptible to the environment. Just as we need an allergy medicine so can they. A regiment of benadryl (children dose broken in fourths depending on the size of your dog) can be very effective.

  8. I have found that using maleseb shampoo and giving regular omega 3 oil doses has fixed many dogs problems.

    Natural meat dog treats,
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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. 10 things you don't think about when buying a dog :)


  11. I felt like this article was written specifically for me and my new new rescue dog my wife brought home two weeks ago. He has been itching and scratching ever since she brought him home.....
    I have been doing all of the right things for my new dog, I purchased an all natural dog food recommended by the petsmart sales person. I even started caring for her teeth with the oral care products from Vitahound. The one thing I couldn’t conquer was the itching and scratching issue until I started applying some of the techniques in this article. All of a sudden I am seeing great results!
    THANK YOU!!!

  12. The author is spot-on about dog food ingredients being the cause of a dog’s itching and scratching. Our lab suffered from allergies for years and our vets response was always the same, to medicate the dog with a steroid, the shots effectiveness deteriorated to the point they became useless. I friend directed me to a company who really understood the underlining cause of our dog’s skin and coat problems. The solution turned out to be a dog supplement from that remedied the food allergies our dog was experiencing.

  13. great post!

    looking forward for more stuff from you...


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