Itchy skin is a common complaint in dogs. While many dogs scratch for fun, itchy skin in dogs can be a sign of something more serious.
Dogs will scratch or chew their skin to relieve the itching or to remove dead or loose hair. Some dogs will also bite and lick their paws, legs, and other parts of their bodies. It is important to recognize that scratching, biting, and licking are normal behaviors for dogs, but if you notice that your dog is doing this excessively or if there are red bumps on his skin, then it may be time to take him to the vet.
Here are some main causes of itchy skin in dogs.
Main Causes Of Itchy Skin In Dogs
Bacterial, parasitic, or fungal infections are possible reasons for itchy skin in dogs. The infection can be transmitted via direct contact with other dogs like when they are enjoying a dog treats, but it often results from environmental exposure. Skin infections usually accompany scaling and oozing of the skin, hair loss, and a distinct odor.
A bacterial skin infection can cause itchy hot spots (pyotraumatic dermatitis). Fungal skin infections in dogs are most commonly caused by ringworm (dermatophytosis). It causes hairless patches with reddish, scaly sores on affected dogs. A dog’s ringworm can be spread to other dogs in the house and even to humans. Also, all home pets are presumed to be infected, even if only one dog has ringworm.
Some skin problems do not initially cause itching, but when secondary infections develop, itching soon occurs.
Chronic itching can occur if your dog’s diet lacks vital nutrients. Zinc, copper, and omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies, for instance, can cause skin problems.
Poor-quality dog food usually causes nutritional deficiencies. Long-term, it is best to switch to a nutritionally balanced and complete diet, but supplements can also help.
It is also possible to become nutritionally deficient because of medical conditions causing malabsorption in the gut.
Food and skin allergies often cause itchy skin in dogs. When dogs are allergic, their skin tends to be itchy, rather than sneezing or getting a runny nose.
Interestingly, food allergies can develop at any time. When a dog repeatedly consumes the same type of food, an allergic reaction can develop suddenly.
Pollen, dust mites, and mold can cause constant skin itching in dogs. There are specific times of the year when these allergies can cause dogs to scratch a lot.
Fleas and other pests are also leading causes of itchy skin in dogs. They can also cause other skin problems, such as hot spots, redness, and hair loss.
Fleas are very prolific and can quickly infest your dog if you are not careful. You should regularly check your dog for fleas and other pests during walks or playtime outside. Get your dog a special shampoo that kills fleas if you see any signs of parasites on its body. Because fleas might lay eggs, you must get rid of them.
Overall, it’s crucial to remember that skin problems in dogs can result from various causes. Your dog’s health, hygiene, and diet are all important factors you should consider when looking for an answer to this problem. With the right diagnosis, proper treatment can follow, and your furry friend will return to their old self in no time.