Get to the Bottom of all That Scratching!

What’s causing your pup to scratch so much? Modern Dog magazine offers up some reasons and solutions.

Step 1: Could it be flea-allergic dermatitis?
It’s that time of year! Make sure your dog doesn’t have fleas. If she does, get rid of them (stop in and see us at the Barkery for safe solutions)! If the scratching stops, you had a flea problem.

Step 2: Ask yourself—is it seasonal?
Spring and fall are the most allergic seasons for dogs. Like people, dogs suffer from inhalant allergies (all those spring blooms mean airborne pollen!), but instead of sneezing like humans do, dogs scratch. Bring your dog to your vet and they may very well note that you were in there around the same time last year with the same complaint. If so, the diagnosis is seasonal skin allergy.

Step 3: Could it be your dog’s dinner?
Food allergies are less common than inhalant allergies but can cause serious, ongoing itching. If you’ve ruled out #1 and #2, try a limited-ingredient diet. This means novel ingredients your dog has hopefully never been exposed to (think new protein, new grain, and that’s it—no treats, no table scraps.) Do this for two or three months; if it’s a food allergy, the itching will stop once you’ve eliminated the culprit food(s).