Scratching is normal with any animal, but there is such a thing as a pet that’s itching and licking more than normal. If you’ve noticed that your pup is scratching more than usual, and you’re not sure why or what to do, the team at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital is here to help. Our team of veterinarians has seen dogs scratch for a myriad of reasons, each requiring a different type of treatment.  

In today’s blog post, we are going to cover a few of the most common reasons that your dog could be scratching and how you can help to alleviate them. If, however, you feel that it has gotten to a severe point, contact our office, and get your pet into the office immediately. As Charlotte’s Top Rated Local® Emergency Animal Hospital, we are here to help when your pet needs it!

Dry Skin

One of the more common reasons that a dog will scratch frequently is because they have dry skin. Even though it can be incredibly humid at times in Charlotte, there are also times where we experience severely dry weather. If you notice that your dog is scratching in the dryer seasons, it could simply be because their skin is on the dryer side. 

The good thing about dry skin being the cause of their scratching is that it’s relatively easy to notice. For starters, your dog is likely going to have dandruff in their undercoat. At times, you may even see that their skin is cracked and tough from being overly dry. In these instances, even the slightest touch of their skin can lead to a scratching fit. 

When it comes to dry skin, you want to make sure that you’re looking at the food that you’re feeding your dog. Believe it or not, dry dog foods are more often than not robbing your pet of the healthy oils that they need to maintain a healthy coat and avoid dry, itchy skin. Adding some wet food to their diet as well as probiotics can definitely help avoid the dry skin that’s causing your pet to be so itchy. 

Allergies

Another common cause of dogs being overly scratchy is allergies. Many people are entirely surprised that dogs can experience allergies, but the truth is that it’s actually pretty common for pets to suffer from allergies. Allergies can make a dog’s skin dry or greasy, or a combination of the two. Unfortunately, when this happens your pet is much more likely to wind up licking or scratching, which only makes the skin dryer and itchier.

The challenging thing about allergies is that they can be pretty difficult to diagnose, thus making them all the more difficult to care for. In some cases, switching food to something that isn’t processed is the answer. For pets where changing food isn’t doing much, a pet-friendly allergy medicine or probiotic can make all the difference in the condition of their skin, any allergies that they have, and their health down the road. The best part is that both pet-friendly allergy medicine and probiotics for pets are relatively affordable, making it easier to invest in your pet’s health sooner rather than later.

Again, the unfortunate thing about a pet scratching because of allergies is that we’re currently seeing more and more pets struggle with allergies, and we have no idea why! For now, sticking to the solutions that we’ve listed above and visiting with your pet’s veterinarian to see what they suggest are the most proactive things that you can do.

Contact West Ballantyne Animal Hospital

Itching can seem completely harmless, but there may be underlying health issues that are causing your pup to be so itchy. We’ve mentioned a few of the things that you can do to help with your pet’s dry skin, but it’s important to note that any of these changes can take upwards of three months to really show any difference. 

If, after three months or longer, you still see that your dog is scratching quite a bit and you’re at a loss of what to do next, contact the team at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital. We would be more than happy to schedule an appointment where you and your furry friend can meet with a veterinarian. Reach out to our team today for more information or to get an appointment scheduled.