"My dog is itching and scratching all the time"

Editors' Note: A common question we get is about itchy dogs.  Margo put this together in response to several inquiries on this topic.  It is meant to be a guideline and provide insight into why your pet may be itchy and scratchy.

By Margo Biba

Check for fleas-- He/she may be hypersensitive to flea bites.  Use Advantage or Frontline every 3 weeks instead of every month. (I just got this talk from Marcie Van Brunt, DVM.)

Supplement diet with a balanced blend of essential fatty acids. This will really help build body tissue, skin, coat.  Best buy on a quality product: "Now"brand "Omega 3-6-9" from Sun Harvest health food store.  1000 mg. soft gels, 315 per bottle, $23.99.  This is an excellent price (may have been a sale price). Lynnie Goodman did cost comparisons & Sun Harvest had the best price.

Food -- Use quality food, of course. If he/she wasn't itching as much on some other food, go back to that. [We also recommend Flint River Ranch]

Inhaled Allergies -- This is what causes the most problems.  Mold, spores, dust mites, oak, dogs have allergies like people.  The severity of the reaction will vary from day to day, week to week, month to month, depending on pollen counts, etc.

Lynnie has had recent success supplementing both canines & humans with honey.  The key: it must be locally grown honey so that it will contain the same pollens, etc. in the dog's environment.  A teaspoon or more daily on food should do the trick.

Shampoo -- Use a mild oatmeal type dog shampoo. Do not use a tearless shampoo, as they use harsh chemicals to make it tearless, same goes for the "flea and tick" shampoos, they can really dry out the skin and coat.  RINSE THOROUGHLY.  Dry skin and poor rinsing are big causes of scratching in goldens.

Thyroid -- Low thyroid can make itchiness & allergies worse.  Goldens are notoriously low on thyroid & often require supplementation.  Low thyroid can also cause behavior & aggression problems.  We are seeing benefits to supplementing dogs who test low, low normal, and even absolutely normal but have other clinical signs of thyroid deficiency.

Injections -- My Hairy has such bad allergies that we give him injections, just like humans. I would try the other ideas before going to the doggy allergy specialist...but there is a new one here in Austin.

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