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Itchy Scratchy Dog

Aug 17, 2007
Many dogs today suffer from constant scratching and this can cause much dismay and annoyance from pet owners especially if they are their wits end on what is causing the itch. Some dogs end up scratching themselves raw which could lead to infections as well. Included are some suggestions on what could be causing your pet to scratch constantly and remedies recommended.

1) Fleas and Ticks

This is one of the most common cause of concern for many pet owners. There are many commercially produced monthly medications to ward off these pesky insects. However, I find that the best method to keep fleas and ticks off is ensuring that your pet has a good immune system. This is the best way to keep the fleas and ticks off your dogs for good! These pests do not like to feed on healthy dogs. They tend to go for animals with weaker immune system. Regular use of anti-fleas spray is good prevention especially if you are still in the process of building up their immune system. A more natural flea spray would contain ingredients such as neem oil or lemon grass oil. If your dog has a serious infestation with fleas and require immediate attention, bring him to the vet to address the situation or you can drip Frontline, Accurate or fipronil medication. Use a flea comb to comb out as much fleas as you can. Avoid bringing them to grassy area especially during fleas and ticks season when building up their immune system.

To remove ticks, care must be taken to ensure the tick bite do not irritate the skin after you remove it. You can numb the ticks with clove based products or isopropyl alcohol. Once the tick bite is off the skin, it will be easier to pull him off without damaging fido skin. Spray on or apply wound disinfectant on the affected area to prevent skin infection.

2) Mange

A dog suffering from allergy can be a constant nightmare for both the dog and owner. It is disheartening to see your pet constantly scratching and causing raw wounds on their skin due to itch. The following recommendations must be done in stages to assist you in identifying possible causes.

Before we start, ascertain that the skin rash is not due parasites such as mange, fleas or ticks. If you suspect mange, bring the doctor to the vet and get it verified. Mange can get very serious if not treated early. The constant scratching can cause the skin to be raw, red and balding. The vet can do a skin scrap to ascertain if the condition is an allergy or mange condition.

For allergic condition, other then food which could be causing allergic reaction, we cannot ignore environment causes as well.

3) Environment Allergy

Firstly, we need to check if your dog is allergic to environment conditions of your home. Like humans, some dogs are allergic to pollen, dust mites and insect bites.

For pollen allergens, keep your pet away from the source and if it cannot be avoided, clean and wash them often to rid them of as much allergens as possible.

For insect bites, to prevent occurrence, use natural sprays such as those that contains aroma oils like citronella oil, eucalyptus, lemon grass, clove or neem oil. Any of these oils in the content can ward off insects.

For dust mites, throw away any old mats or cloth that they usually sleep on, use plastic beddings instead of soft bedding as soft beddings attract dust mites. If you need mats in the home, make sure your pet is not resting on it and wash and change them regularly (at least 3x a week).

After clearing their beddings or clearing off mats and they are still allergic, it could be floor detergent that they are allergic to. If this is the cause, dogs usually get more skin rash on their tummy area as a result of resting on the floor. To resolve this, stop using the detergent and switch to a more natural range which is available in some organic health stores. If the skin rash cleared up, you can be sure the commercial floor detergent is the cause of the skin rash.

These steps are essential to check if they are allergic to substance in the environment or allergic to food source.

4) Food Allergy

This form of allergy is most challenging for most pet owners as discipline needs to be instilled to determine allergy food source. A faster approach would be to perform food allergy test with your pet. Call up your vet to check if they provide such as service as not all vets have this service.

Alternatively, minimize your pet food intake including treats to very basic meals and until you notice improvements to the skin condition, then add one more type of ingredient one at a time over a period of few weeks to determine what triggers the onset of allergy. This method requires a lot of patience, time and cooperation from the rest of the family as they should not be feeding fido anything else other then their basic controlled meals during the testing period.
About the Author
Veronica Eng researched on dog care from various sources for many years and summarized many effective yet simple guides to dog lovers. Her techniques have made her dogs healthy, vibrant and gorgeous coat that many envy. Natural pet health is her passion! More tips at http://www.dogcarezone.com
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