It is very likely that, among our readers, there are animal lovers and, among them, certainly more than one will have a dog in the house. Well, you have surely noticed that your four-legged friend spends a lot of time scratching his ears, back or side. It seems to be his favorite pastime.
Logically, many worry about their pet ‘s health , as this scratching can become compulsive. It can even hide some dysfunction or problem with the balls or a disease, due to the presence of fleas, ticks or other.
The reasons why dogs scratch
Even if scratching is a fairly normal behavior in pets such as cats and dogs, this gesture must never be neglected if it becomes exaggerated, excessive. Not surprisingly, there can be many reasons for a dog to scratch themselves, from the presence of a parasite to severe skin infections .
It is estimated that one in six visits to the vet concern the suspicion of a possible dog skin problem. One of the reasons why you should never neglect a dog that scratches too much is because it could also hide a psychological imbalance .
In this sense, recent research results have shown that skin problems cause various kinds of discomfort to man’s best friend. For example, a pathology not taken in time that causes itching can generate chronic depression in the animal.
Let’s find out why dogs scratch
- The most common reasons why a dog scratches is the presence of parasites : fleas and ticks are the main ones. These lurk on the skin to suck blood and cause an unbearable itch for the poor animal. If yours is also allergic to flea saliva, the problem could be greater to the point of causing allergic dermatitis.
- To know if your dog has fleas, take a good look at his coat. Check hair and skin for fleas or their feces. The favorite places of these parasites are behind the ears and in the inner crease of the dog’s legs. You may also notice reddish areas, due to the bites of these unpleasant and unwanted guests.
- Both fleas and ticks have to suck blood to live, and through their sting they can transmit many serious diseases to your four-legged friend. Therefore, it is advisable to wash it frequently with specific products to eliminate all traces of parasites.
- Nervousness or anxiety . Humans can also suffer from momentary bouts of stress, discharged through gestures such as nail biting, moving the foot or leg quickly. For its part, the dog can manifest his anxiety by scratching frantically.
- The amount of exercise you allow your pet to do plays an important role. Make sure your dog is burning enough energy. Excessive accumulation of stress, boredom, and lack of attention can make him anxious and cause him to scratch.
Diseases, fungi and dry skin
- The scabies is a dermatological problem that causes the animal is scratching constantly. The scabies mite penetrates the dog’s skin and causes annoying lesions . The places with less hair are the most affected by this mite: the groin, armpits, elbows and the edges of the ears.
- Although allergies can be the basis of a scratching more intense than normal . These reactions can be seasonal, usually more frequent in spring and summer, but they can occur at any time of the year. Grass, seeds, flowers or pollen will certainly trigger a reaction that causes the dog to scratch.
- Even certain foods can cause allergies and push the dog to scratch. Some dogs can react badly to certain types of meat, grains or even some particular brand of food. Check to see if there has been a change in diet , as this may be the reason your dog is scratching excessively.
- If your dog has hair-free areas in addition to scratching himself, the cause could be the presence of fungi . To eliminate them, treatment with the products indicated by the trusted veterinarian will be necessary.
- Finally, one aspect that should not be underestimated is dry skin . It can in fact cause itching. If you notice obvious damage on the animal, wrinkled and crusted skin, it means that it lacks proper hydration. The climatic conditions, some hygiene products, a wrong diet and dehydration or hormonal problems could cause this dryness. With veterinary prescribed treatment and proper hydration, the problem can be solved easily.
Watch and intervene in time
These are just some of the reasons that may explain why dogs scratch. Always be vigilant and watch for any changes in your pet’s behavior . If your dog scratches normally, you don’t need to worry. But beware of excessive dynamics.
Every good owner goes to great lengths to keep their little dog in excellent health. Ignoring the problem and underestimating it can be a risk for your dog. Not only for the wounds that the animal risks self-inflicting. But also for the psychological damage that can be triggered, to feel abandoned and in pain.