How Can I Prevent My Dog From Scratching All The Time?
Does Your Dog Have Itchy Skin?
Chihuahuas can be prone to skin problems. There can be many different causes of itchy skin, but, it is certainly not uncommon for Chihuahuas to suffer from them. It can be very frustrating to see your dog miserably scratching and not know how to help them and it can be difficult to figure out what exactly is the cause. The problem is there are many different skin issues that can affect the Chihuahua breed.
SOME COMMON CAUSES:
Parasites can definitely cause your dog to scratch. Some of them are well known and common. These are some common parasites:
- Skin Allergies
- Food Allergies
- Environmental Allergies
Some suggestions for diagnosing why your dog has itchy skin:
If you see that they scratch around the rump area and around the neck it is most likely a flea allergy. That is where fleas live on a dog.
If they are scratching their elbows, the tips of the ears or chest area, it is probably mange That is where the mites live.
Inhaled allergies usually cause itching on the tops of the feet, on the top of their front legs and the corners of the mouth and around the eyes and ears because histamine is located in highest concentration in those areas.
How to treat Parasites:
- The best way to treat parasites is prevention. Make sure that your dog is treated regularly for fleas, and tics. This is usually on a monthly basis. Even in the winter they need to be protected. Reasons why most vets recommend year around protection are as follows:
- Fleas can live for up to five days in temperatures as low as 33 degrees. That is long enough for them to latch on to your dog, come into the house and enjoy the warmth all winter long.
- The eggs that fleas lay can live all year in spaces such as crawl spaces or porches.
- Ticks can become active again in temperatures as low as 32 degrees according to some experts. So on those winter days when the temperature is warm and you and your dog go out to enjoy a walk in the sunshine you are also exposing him to ticks.
How to treat Allergies:
Again Prevention is the best treatment. Some things you can look for are:
What is the air quality in your home like? Pets are much more sensitive to second-hand smoke and other airborne toxins than we are.
Is your dog drinking fresh clean water? Your dog deserves quality drinking water as much as we do. They need water that doesn’t have fluoride, heavy metals or other contaminants.
Don’t over-vaccinate or over-medicate your dog. I’m not telling you to go against your veterinarian’s advice here. I’m suggesting, however that you consider exactly what vaccinations that your dog, in your particular part of the world really needs. Do some research. Of course you want to make sure that your dog is protected from preventable diseases, however there is a big difference between protecting them and putting unnecessary toxins into their bodies. The same goes with flea and tick treatments. If your dog seems sensitive to these treatments try using some natural less harsh treatments.
Don’t forget to bathe your dog. Bathing is especially necessary for dogs with allergies. Bathing rinses the allergens away and brings immediate relief to your dog. Remember that your little tiny Chi is very close to the ground where they can pick up dust and allergens that you aren’t even aware are there, most of which have come from outside. Pollens, ragweed, molds and spores for example.
Food allergies are less common, but can be more severe. To figure out what ingredient in their food that they are allergic to will require putting them on an elimination diet. Click here for a step by step guide.
How to treat skin infections:
If the infection is bacterial, bathing is the best treatment. But bathe them in a good quality medicated shampoo, one that contains an antibacterial ingredient. Bathe them twice a week for two weeks and then once a week for a month, only once a month after that.
If the infection is fungal then bathe them in an antifungal shampoo. Follow the same suggestions as above for when and for how long.
If your dog’s scratching is severe or none of these treatment help, please see your veterinarian.
Dr. Karen Becker Always Has Great Advice