Dealing With an ItchyDog
I have a half basset hound, half golden retriever pooch, and while he is happy to run around like a floppy sausage most days, he tends to suffer from the itchiest of skin. This causes him to dive onto the carpet, squirming around in an attempt to itch every bit of his body. Lucky for him, there are some things that can be done to alleviate his discomfort. Here’s what you, too, can do to help your itchy dog.
The first thing and probably thehardest thing to do is to not actually scratch your dog where they’re itching. Like humans, scratching the spotwhere there’s irritated skin does not actually help the problem in the longrun but only makes it worse, despiteproviding a temporary relief. Resist the urge to help them out and try to keep them from scratching too much aswell. It may seem cruel, but it’s actually helping.
Next, you can consider giving them abath in cold water with baking soda or Epson salt. Warm or hot water will, strangely enough, manage to make theitching worse. When your doggie gets out of the bath, pat them dry with a towel but don’t rub them dry since this,once again, will only increase the itch. Bathes won’t always solve the problem but they can provide relief for aday or two at times.
The more drastic methods require alongterm approach to really be effective, such as adding fatty acid supplements to their diet. Fatty acids,something found in marine oils, do help with itching, though again this isn’t an instant solution but rathersomething you want to do to help prevent itching from becoming worse later on. This is especially important if youknow your dog has a history of itchiness, such as most Bassets tend to have.
Much of the problem may just be thatyour dog is allergic to something. Dogs can and will have allergies to dust, pollen, and even food with some breedsbeing worse than others (Bassets, again, are just pitiful nerdlinger dogs for this kind of stuff). It is possibleto help relieve the itch with antihistamines, but don’t just grab something and hope it works. Many over thecounter antihistamines will work great, but it’s terribly important that you confirm with your vet before buyinganything. Air on the safe side here and get their professional advice as to which drugs and brands are okay for doguse and which ones are not.
Finally, the cause of the itch isimportant to know if at all possible. Fleas are a big problem and are easily solvable, plus easy to identify. Ticksas well as lice are a simple fix, too. Food allergies are harder to pinpoint, but once more, certain breeds aremore susceptible than others. Your dog could also have a simple skin infection with bacteria or dandruff, though inthe worst case scenarios, itchy skin could be a symptom of serious illness such as live disease of cancer, thoughdon’t jump to that conclusion yet since it’s far more likely to be allergies or fleas.
If your pup is suffering from a badcase of the itch for longer than seems normal, absolutely take them to the vet and have them checked out.Otherwise, follow this advice and good luck with your itchy dog!
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