Lynn Potts - Author
So, your dog is scratching, licking, chewing and it is not stopping. What do you do?
First let's look at the difference between an allergy and an intolerance.
Allergies are more severe and even life threatening, while an intolerance has less severe symptoms. As most people use the term “allergy” to describe what is going on with their dog we will use that term as well to avoid confusion.
There are a couple of items to rule out before you assume it is definitely a food allergy.
- A single flea bite can cause dogs to scratch excessively so thoroughly check your dog. A flea comb can help with finding fleas.
- There are three mite species found on dogs – demodex, sarcoptes and ear mites. As they are so small, they may only be seen under a microscope.
- Tick borne diseases have been on the increase. There are a variety of tick removal products on the market that will help in removing the whole tick.
You can’t rule out the possibility of an environmental allergy. Just think of the human environmental allergens, such as grasses, pollen, dust mites, etc. These can also affect our dogs and cause itching and scratching. You can also look deeper and ask: What laundry detergent are you using to wash your pet’s beds? What cleaning products do you use? Are you using insecticide on your lawn? If you are bathing your dog, what are you using? Are you using any sprays on your dog? Remember your dog is walking on the floor you washed, the lawn you fertilized, and has a nose that is 100,000 times more acute than ours.
It takes some time for dogs to develop signs of an allergy, so keep in mind it is something that will take time to heal.
As you can see there is no straightforward answer of what can cause itching and scratching; if you feel it’s a food allergy it's time to educate yourself.
Learn more in the next blog: I Think My Dog has Food Allergies