Itchy skin is a common problem in dogs. It is one of top reasons owners take their dog to the vet. It is uncomfortable for your dog and the constant scratching and licking can be very annoying for the owner. There are a number of potential causes for this issue.
Symptoms Of Dry Itchy Skin On Dogs
The most easily noticed symptoms are scratching and licking. If you see this behavior, you should examine your dog’s skin and look for the following:
Your dog may also have a stronger odor than usual.
Your dog will probably not have all of these symptoms. They might just have one or several.
Causes Of Dry Itchy Skin
Just like humans, dogs suffer from allergies. They can be affected by food allergies or environmental allergies. There are also seasonal allergies caused by things like pollen or grass. If left untreated, these allergies can lead to atopic dermatitis which will cause tchiness and inflammation.
Some dogs are allgergic to flea saliva. You should keep your dog and home free of fleas as this is the only sure-fire way of avoiding flea allergy dermatitis.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from an allergy visit your vet and discuss treatment options.
Some bacterial and fungal infections can cause dry irritated skin. These symptoms can be a sign of a larger problem. Your vet can organize tests to identify the cause of infection.
Roundworm infection can be transmitted to humans.
Mange is caused by parasites. The most common culprits are species of mite or lice. Each different parasite could require a different treatment. A vet will need to identify the exact parasite. Sometimes your vet will refer you to a specialist veterinary dermatologist.
Other Reasons For Dry Skin.
Bathing your dog too often can cause dry skin, especially if you are using a harsh soap. Make sure your dog is getting a balanced nutritious diet. A deficiency of certain nutrients can lead to dry skin.
Sometimes a dog will experience dry skin during periods of cold weather or when the air is very dry.
Treating Dry Skin On Dogs
The first step is diagnosis. The treatment your dog needs will depend on the cause of the problem. Dry skin can be a symptom of a larger underlying problem. So start with a visit to the vet, work out what is causing the dry skin and then discuss the best course of treatment.
If excess bathing or harsh soap is the problem, Then the solution is simple and obvious.
If your dog’s condition is caused by dry air, you might consider buying a humidifier for the worst days.
Make sure your dog is free of parasites.
If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, it could be quite difficult to identify the exact ingredient which is the problem. Your vet may suggest you avoid several different foods in turn to try and work out the cause. The foods which most commonly cause allergies in dogs are eggs, beef, dairy, chicken, soy and wheat – that’s quite a list.
There are allergy shots which may help.
The prevention methods are pretty straight forward.
Groom your dog regularly, removing all dirt and debris and inspecting for parasites.
Keep up to date with your dog’s parasite preventatives.
Feed a high quality balanced diet.
Visit your vet for regular health checks.