5 ways to help your itchy dog - Dr. Marty Becker

5 ways to help your itchy dog

Monday, Jul 28th, 2014 | By Dr. Marty Becker

Dog WashIs your dog’s itching driving you crazy? Imagine what it’s doing to him!

Itching causes real suffering for pets, just as hives or poison oak or ivy do to humans. Don’t just take signs your dog is itching lying down. Try these 5 tips:

1. Make fleas flee! I can’t count the number of clients who assure me their dog doesn’t have fleas, only to see all signs of itching go away when flea preventives are used. Ask your veterinarian which is the best choice for your pet, and also be sure to treat your house. Wash all bedding in hot water, and vacuum thoroughly and dispose of the vacuum bag immediately.

2. Make an itch-free fashion statement. Putting your dog in protective clothing or footwear can keep allergens off the skin.

3. Suds up! Bathing with an appropriate shampoo even as frequently as every day will not dry out your dog’s skin. What it will do is wash allergens away and help make the skin more resistent to penetratation by allergy-triggering substances. Oatmeal-based shampoo is great for mild itching, while your veterinarian or a dermatologist can recommend products for more complicated conditions.

4. Food trials. Talk to your veterinarian about an allergy elmination diet to see if food is contributing to your pet’s itching.

5. Call the vet! Your veterinarian can do allergy testing, design a desentization program, help with parasite control, diagnose and treat secondary bacterial infections (important because dogs can be allergic to bacterial waste!), and refer you to a veterinary dermatologist if the condition persists.

Don’t wait… get the itches under control today!