How to Stop a Dog from Scratching (Finally!)
Dogs scratch, and it’s the most natural thing in the world. We all know that. However, it doesn’t stop you from worrying about how much your dog scratches – there’s always something that could be wrong in a dog owner’s eyes.
What’s more, dogs don’t just scratch themselves – they scratch everything under the sun, as any dog owner can attest. Even the most obedient pup will get a little handsy (and clawsy) every now and then. Looking for ways to stop your dog from making a mess of themselves and your home? Read on!
First, A Few Words From an Expert...
Why Do Dogs Scratch?
Dogs can scratch for any number of reasons – they have separation anxiety, they want to assert their territory, they just have an itch – so it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why your dog is scratching itself.
When dogs specifically scratch themselves, this might end up being a cause for concern. Excessive scratching is known as pruritus, and dogs with pruritis might be dealing with any number of problems. To be completely fair, it might end up being the most innocuous thing in the world; for example, your dog’s skin might just be a little dry and dehydrated. They might also want to scratch an insect bite or something that irritates them mildly on their skin.
Could It Be Something Bad?
While itchy skin might be no big deal in most dogs, there are a few instances in which you want to get your dog checked out.
If your dog is scratching itself to the point of wounding itself and drawing blood, you might want to get that checked out.
Your dog might be suffering from some kind of parasite, such as ticks or fleas, which can lead to constant irritation and anxiety in your dog.
Your dog might also have an allergy to something it has encountered, whether it is a material it has touched or something it ate. Some of the biggest threats, however, are infectious sources of dermatitis like ringworm and yeast infections. These causes (and others) of your dog’s incessant scratching need to be taken care of as swiftly as possible.
Solutions for Your Scratching Dog
So your dog is scratching herself and everything else, and nothing seems to be able to fix it. What now? First off, it is highly recommended that you take your dog to your local veterinarian – if she has any other problems, your vet will be able to figure it out fairly quickly and offer expert advice on how to take care of it.
That being said, there are a few things that you can do to help your dog and give them some relief. For instance, dogs with dry skin should be getting food that will stimulate their coats and give them moisturization and shine.
If you serve your dog only dry food, give them digestive enzymes along with it to prevent drying, such as priobiotics. (If you can, try to incorporate more wet food into their diet.) Try out slightly different environmental and dietary combinations to determine whether or not your dog is allergic to something.
If your dog’s problem is strictly behavioral, you can curb that in several ways too. Dogs may scratch compulsively; to that end, you could spray things you do not want scratched with a bitter formula that make them unappetizing to lick, or put special collars on your dog to keep them from accessing any places that you don’t want them to go.
As with all things, consult your vet before trying any of this stuff – there’s no point in doing this unless more major causes are being ruled out.
Regardless of the reason for your scratching dog, there are things you can do about it. Your dog might simply be bored or anxious, or might be fighting off an invasion of ticks, or even allergic to something it ate. With the help of your veterinarian, you should be able to figure out the problem and come up with an elegant and effective solution in no time at all.