Tips for a Dog with Itchy Skin

"A dog with itchy skin can be caused by diet, parasites, fungus or commonly allergy. Diagnosis is accomplished through the examination of skin scrapings and location of the dog skin problem. Treatment involves identifying and removing the cause of the condition."

A dog with itchy skin is can be due to problems that range from the simple such as a skin allergy to something more serious. It’s important not to ignore itchy dog skin, though, because excessively itchiness can be a symptom of a more serious problem.


Beyond the obvious, signs of itchy skin include:

Diagnosis Canine Itchy Skin

Diagnosing skin can be a challenge, because there are so many possible causes. The most likely cause of a dog with itchy skin is an allergic reaction to either food or something in the dogs environment. For example, the sudden onset of allergy may coincide with the introduction of a new dog treat or a change in season.

The location of the canine itchy skin can indicate the cause of the problem:

Diagnosis of common culprits for itchy skin are performed using some of these techniques::

Treatment of Dog with Itchy Skin

The first concern is to bring some temporary relief to a dog that is itching. Some tips include:

Fleas - If the itching is due to fleas, a flea treatment is necessary.  Most veterinarians recommend that treatment begin with the elimination of fleas from the dogs body.  This involves the use of a herbal flea dip such as the one offered by Adams, combined with the use of a herbal shampoo.  Dips have the advantage of having a lasting or residual effect  while shampoos do not.

This is followed by a preventative and product that kills fleas such as a topical spot-on treatment such as Advantage.  Many spot on treatments such as Frontline Plus and Revolution are effective for  other skin parasites as well.

All of these treatments begin to work almost immediately to kill fleas, but it may take a few days for your pet to stop itching as the spot on are IGR, which interfere with the fleas life cycle.  It prevents fleas from becoming adults, but the existing adults need to slowly die off.

Fungal Infection: If the itching is caused by a fungal infection, medication and baths with medicated shampoos or the the use of a lime-sulfur dip such as Dermisil combined with a herbal shampoo is  the treatment of choice. The baths will help stop the itching as well as treat the fungus.

Diet: Improving the diet will naturally help. Most commercial dog foods supply adequate nutrition, but if you’re not sure, ask your vet what he or she recommends feeding your dog.  Often fatty acid supplements for skin can be of help as part of a dogs diet such as Dermaquin.  These types of supplements can take up to 2 months to start working.

Also the use of a natural remedy such as Skin and Coat Tonic can help to improve skin and coat condition by strengthening the body's natural abilty to grow health hair and fight off skin problems.

Dog Paw Itch:  If a dog is licking its paws, epsom salts could bring some relief.  Fill a bath or pan with a few inches of water. Use 2 cups of salts and soak the dogs paws for 5 to 10 minutes.

References Dog with Itchy Skin:

Scott, D. W., Miller, W. H., Griffin, C. E.
Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology

Mueller, R. S.
Flea Control in Veterinary Dermatology

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