Why does my dog itch?

Have you noticed your dog scratching more than usual? Do they nibble at certain parts of their body? Have they developed any other symptoms such as red inflamed skin, bare patches, sores or stained fur? Itchy skin is a very common problem in dogs and can be caused by many different conditions, some minor and some more serious.  It can become a very uncomfortable problem that will make a dog feel miserable and out of sorts.

Some dog breeds can be more susceptible to itchy skin issues than others – so the earlier excessive scratching is noticed and the cause is found the better.  Some of the most common causes of itching are:

Fleas - Fleas are tiny insects that can live on dogs and cats and in your home.  They cause itchy skin, spread disease and can bite humans.  Some dogs have an allergy to flea bites and suffer severe irritation every time they are bitten.  Fleas feed on blood and can cause anaemia in young, old or ill pets.  Preventing fleas is easy by using a licensed veterinary flea product regularly.

Skin allergies - A skin allergy is an oversensitivity to items such as pollen, grass, house dust mites and/or certain foods. Skin allergies are one of the most common causes of itchy skin in dogs and symptoms tend to include itchiness, redness, hair loss, and repeat skin/ear infections.

Mites, ticks and lice – The most common mites are Demodex mites which are tiny skin parasites that cause hair loss and red, crusty, scaly skin and Sarcoptes mites (mange) which cause intensely itchy, crusty skin and hair loss. Most problems are around the ears, elbows, legs and belly. Ear mites are very small parasites that cause extremely itchy, red, waxy ears and subsequent ear infections.  Ticks are small, round parasites which are usually black, pink, purple or grey and can be mistaken for skin tags and lumps. They attach to the skin and suck blood. Ticks need to be removed very carefully, otherwise their head can get left behind. Lice cause itchy, dry, flaky skin and hair loss. They are most common in dogs kept in poor conditions, and very uncommon in pet dogs that live indoors. 

Infected skin – usually a bacterial infection or Mallassezia, a yeast or fungal infection. An allergic reaction to something (e.g. food ingredient, medicine/cleaning products/washing powder)

Hot spots - A hot spot (‘acute moist dermatitis’) is an area of inflamed, infected skin. Hot spots are typically damp, red, smelly, sore, and sometimes have a scab on top. They often begin as something minor, such as an insect bite or graze, then become inflamed and infected when rubbed, licked or nibbled.

Wounds - It’s very important to stop your pet licking, biting or scratching their wounds - their tongues are rough and their mouths contain bacteria which can cause infection.

Ringworm - Despite its name, ringworm is not actually a worm and it isn't always ring shaped! It's a fungal infection that causes raised, crusty, hairless patches of skin, often in a ring-like pattern.  Ringworm doesn’t only infect dogs. Ringworm is highly contagious and can spread easily to humans and other animals. It can spread through direct contact but also lives on surfaces such as bedding, towels and grooming equipment. 

What can owners do to help?

Whilst it is always advisable to consult a vet if you think anything is wrong with your dog, some owners are now looking for a more natural alternative to veterinary treatment – Turmeric and The Golden Paste Company has a number of products which can help.

Turmeric is a staple of the kitchen and whilst known for its culinary colour and flavour it is an ingredient which has been extensively studied and proven to deliver health benefits for a range of issues including many skin problems, inflammation and joint issues.

In the first instance, if you think your dog has fleas you should contact your vet who will prescribe the relevant treatment. You can then find many products on the market which help prevent the problem reoccurring. The Turmeric, Thyme and Lemongrass in TurmerItch from The Golden Paste Company can help to repel insects such as ticks and fleas.

For environmental triggers like pollen or dust the first step is to identify the cause. Checking your dogs’ favourite places and noticing when the reaction occurs is a good starting point. Once identified, it’s a matter of ensuring your dog avoids those places – if at all possible - if it’s tree pollen or grass seed it can be trickier to manage as we can’t keep our pooches indoors all the time!

Interestingly supplements such as TurmerItch, can help to support and maintain normal sensory parameters which in turn reduce the over response to the triggers which cause discomfort and itching.

Just like their humans, our dogs can have food allergies and intolerances. The most common food allergies are dairy products and some meats such as chicken.  Dogs can also be allergic to washing powders, cleaning solutions and other home items.  The ingredients within TurmerItch, have anti-allergy properties and can help lessen the allergic reaction.

Sometimes it can take time to identify the root cause and to find a solution to help ease your dog’s irritation.  TurmerItch, can help maintain and support normal sensory parameters, this is particularly relevant to the protective function of the skin. A reduced response to itching will lessen subsequent body and behavioural reactions that can lead to skin damage.

The tasty Salmon in the grain free hypo-allergenic Golden Paste Company supplement triangles is ethically *MSC sourced from the Pacific Ocean in keeping with the brand’s sustainability ethos. The Turmeric, Thyme and Lemongrass help to repel insects such as ticks and fleas which combined with other high quality natural ingredients help to soothe and support the skin, whilst ensuring maximum absorption, efficiency and antioxidant activity for your dog.

A 275g tub of TurmerItch for Dogs costs £30.25 which will give you approximately 50 days’ supply for a 25kg dog or subscribe and save 10%. You can find out more about TurmerItch for dogs including feeding guidelines, ingredients, FAQ’s and read more reviews on our website www.goldenpastecompany.co.uk or alternatively speak to one of our dedicated experts on 01423 503319.

Enjoy 20% off your first order using code GPCED20

* The blue MSC label is only applied to wild fish or seafood from fisheries that have been certified to the MSC Fisheries Standard, a set of requirements for sustainable fishing, ensuring that seafood with the blue tick comes from fisheries that are MSC certified as fishing sustainably.

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