DOGS BEHAVIOR

dog scratching gets out of hand, why and what to do?

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Your dog is scratching a lot and you do not understand why and above all you do not know what to do to prevent it.

Here you will find all the answers to your questions in order to better understand this behavior, and be able to act in the best way!

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My dog ​​is scratching a lot: the limit between normal and excessive behavior

A dog scratching, so far it’s quite normal. But as with many behaviors, it’s when they become excessive that you have to start paying attention and sometimes even worrying about it.

In fact, especially if your dog always scratches excessively the same area of ​​the body, you may begin to suspect a discomfort, or even a behavioral disorder.

In addition, you can also dwell on the subject if your dog, in addition to scratching excessively, untimely and repeatedly, a particular area of ​​his body, adopts other behaviors such as biting/licking of that same area. , rolling on the ground, rubbing on all possible surfaces (walls, sofa, your legs etc.) or even regular shaking of the head.

A dog scratching himself
 

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My dog ​​is scratching a lot: why?

As with any excessive behavior, the most important thing is to find the cause and then solve the problem in depth.

The mistake that should not be made would be to penalize a dog for such or such behavior without really   understanding why he is doing so.

If a dog scratches a lot, it is necessarily that there is a reason and it is up to you (in collaboration with a veterinarian and / or a dog trainer) to identify it and then propose a treatment or a plan of adapted work. 

The main reasons that can explain this phenomenon:

  • Your dog is infested with external parasites

This is the first cause that we suspect when a dog is scratching a lot!

“Does your dog have fleas or what?” “

Indeed, your dog can be infected with fleas , lice, chiggers, ticks, etc.

Regarding fleas or lice, it will be relatively easy to identify them by their presence or by their droppings at the base of your dog’s coat.

dog-lyme-disease
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However, for mites (chiggers or cheyletia, for example) , they are so tiny that they cannot be seen with the naked eye.

In any case, I recommend that you consult your veterinarian so that he can offer your dog an appropriate curative treatment.

But it is well known that it is always more effective to prevent by therefore offering preventive treatment throughout the year so that your dog is protected from these infections. Again, consult your veterinarian or your specialist pharmacist to guide you towards the best option in terms of anti-parasitic treatment.

  • Your dog has a skin allergy

A skin allergy can also cause your dog to scratch excessively and therefore explain such itching.

Your dog may be allergic to the bite of an external parasite, but also to a food that he has ingested or to a product with which he has been in contact.

As with us humans, dogs can all be allergic to various products, various substances without really understanding the cause. Sometimes this is even due to a genetic anomaly of a skin nature, thus causing hypersensitivity of the skin to various products / substances / materials.

Once again, consult your veterinarian who will be able to help you detect the allergenic origin of your animal so that you can take all the necessary measures and precautions.

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  • Your dog is the victim of a fungal infection

A fungal infection is characterized by an infection caused by a fungus or yeast.

This infection can manifest itself in various places of the body and can be caused, among other things, by taking antibiotics, by high stress or simply by irritation of the skin.

In dogs, a fungal infection will most often be observed in the ear canal, the belly, the joints between the fingers and the base of the claws or in the lips.

This causes an increase in sebum production, making the skin very smelly. Redness may also appear and your dog’s skin will be thicker on the infected areas.

  • Your dog is anxious

Stress is also one of the main causes of dog itching. Just like with us humans, stress can cause many skin ailments. To use a technical term (and do well in social meals) , we are talking about psychogenic dermatosis here.

The dog will then try to calm down by licking the part that irritates him. We saw it in a previous article: licking allows the dog to calm down and calm down.

Additionally, you may observe this excessive scratching behavior if your dog is bored. This is called a surrogate activity.

epilespie-dog
  • Your dog is sick

Finally, and I don’t wish you that, your dog can also scratch a lot due to a skin tumor or autoimmune skin disease.

Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian to rule out any disease of this type.

Other reasons that may explain excessive scratching:

  • Otitis
  • Rhinitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Tooth abscess
  • Engorgement of the anal glands (your dog rubs his buttocks on the ground)
  • The presence of internal parasites
ibuprofen sick dog
  • Your dog suffers from dermatitis (dog skin disease)

Atopic dermatitis, parasites, demodicosis, allergies, sarcoptic mange…. There are many skin diseases in dogs, and not all dogs are the same. Depending on the breed of your dog, but also its age, its diet or the environments in which it evolves, it will be more at risk for one disease or another.

Genius Dog 300 x 600 - Animated

It is because of this diversity that it is important to regularly observe the skin of your companion to detect any symptoms announcing a deterioration of it and the possible appearance of a problem of dermatitis in dogs . The sooner you detect it, the faster you will be able to act and heal it.

The best way to get the correct diagnosis is to go to a vet, of course. Note, however, that a good groomer will quickly be able to tell you the existence of a probable disease, and therefore serve as a whistleblower. For treatment, a visit to the vet will be mandatory in order to provide you with the most suitable treatment.

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My dog ​​is scratching a lot: what to do?

In all the cases mentioned so far, the most important thing will be to have your animal examined by a veterinarian to rule out any potentially serious causes and especially to offer a suitable treatment for your doggie in order to relieve him of his itching.

But in general, the first thing to do, the first reflex to have: will be to treat your dog against internal and external parasites but also and above all to treat your dog’s entire environment.

Indeed, treating your dog without treating his environment would be like putting a bandage on a wooden leg: it is useless.

However, for scratching lesions due to stress or boredom in particular, you can of course ask your veterinarian for advice if he has a specialization in canine behavior, but I also recommend that you call on a dog trainer who can complete the information and advice of the veterinarian.

Indeed, a dog trainer can give you personalized advice, can guide you towards possible fun activities to spend your dog well, depending on his age, his morphology, his natural instincts as well as his physical capacities but he can also help you. talk about alternative solutions to reduce your dog’s stress.

Indeed, to reduce the stress of his dog, there are a lot of points to address: your attitude, the proposed environment, the routine installed, but also natural treatments to help your dog better manage his emotions.

Final words and important recommendations

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