Itchiness is a common problem among all furry pets. It's not unusual to see your German Shepherd scratching itself compulsively. Don't be annoyed looking at your GSD when he does that. Instead, you need to pay more attention to your furry friend when he's itching.
Problem Signs of A Dog's Itch
How do you know that your dog's itching is a problem? First of all, you will notice a red, wet spot in the area where your dog consistently itches and licks. You can call this the hot spot. It can be quite painful for your dog.
The cause of an itch can be harmful to your dog. It would be helpful to know the warning signs of a dog's unhealthy itching. Your poor little pup could be suffering from a painful, but manageable condition.
Reasons for Your Dog's Itchiness
Dogs can have plenty of reasons why they itch. Let's look at a few of these reasons. The list here is not exhaustive. There could be other reasons not mentioned. These are just the common ones.
Fleas, ticks, and mites
These three little rascals are the dog's nemesis. Most dogs with an itching problem are suffering from an infestation of these tiny parasites. These microscopic organisms love to lodge behind your dog's fur. You may not see them, but they are there. So, the next time your GSD starts to itch, consider getting a flea and tick control solution to get rid of those pesky parasites. Get it here on Amazon
Cold weather and poor nutrition can cause dry skin in dogs. It feels uncomfortable for them. So, they try to scratch themselves to soothe the itch. Parasite infestation and harmful soaps can also exacerbate dry skin. Be careful when choosing hygiene products to care for your pet. Always choose proven natural products with great reviews. You may also want to seek recommendations from your vet on these matters.
Not all food is good for dogs. Some dogs have allergies to certain kinds of food. A small piece of these allergens may cause them to itch severely. Be sure you're feeding your German Shepherd quality dog food. Many dogs nowadays have developed gluten and grain allergies, among others. See our post here on the "10 best foods for your German Shepherd". If changing to a higher quality dog food doesn't relieve your dog's itching, you may want to see your vet.
Meanwhile, dust, pollen, and other elements in the environment may also trigger an allergic reaction in your furry pet. Both factors can give them an itchy feeling. See our post on "10 Signs your Dog has Allergies" for a more in-depth look at this common symptom.
Harmful substances like pesticides and strong soap can irritate their skin. They may also suffer from a skin condition that makes them itch. Bald spots on your dog's fur are signs of an itchy skin problem. Hormonal imbalances like too much cortisol can cause itchy skin infections. That can be quite uncomfortable for your German Shepherd.
Boredom and anxiety
If all the above reasons don't support your dog's itch, then it could be a psychological problem. When your GSD tends to scratch, lick, or bite itself habitually but doesn't have fleas or skin problems, then it may just be expressing its boredom. It could also be suffering from anxiety. It may not look alarming at the onset, but it can also cause further damage when left unattended. The dog can hurt itself with its sharp paws if it keeps scratching and itself.
When Should You Call Your Vet
Furry pets naturally get an itch occasionally. You may find your cuddly pooch scratching itself a few times. You don't have to rush him to your doctor right away.
Here are two itchy circumstances when you need to call your vet:
When you see breaks or scratch marks on your dog's skin, then it's time to see your veterinarian. As mentioned, hot spots appear on an irritated area of a dog's skin due to consistent scratching. This chronic itchiness could be a sign of a severe skin condition.
Persistent itching can also be a sign of a psychological problem for your pet. Observe some other changes in your dog's behavior. Loss of appetite, a depressed mood, and restlessness are symptoms of dog anxiety. It helps to see your dog's vet so you can narrow the cause of such illness.
It's also good to seek your vet's advice when considering a skincare regimen to treat your dog's itch. Remember that certain substances may be harmful to your pet's skin. It could cause them to itch even more. Your pet doctor can give you good recommendations on effective topical solutions to soothe your dog's itch.
Natural Remedies For Your Dog's Itchy Skin
As you can see, allergies are a major cause of your dog's itchiness. It may be due to reactions to some food, dust, or other environmental factors. Whatever the cause of these allergies, the best way to soothe the itch is to apply topical solutions on your dog's skin.
You may not need to go very far to find a solution to your dog's itchy skin. Here some natural remedies to treat your dog's itchy spots. You can easily find them sitting on your kitchen counter and blooming in your backyard. You may want to try one of these to treat your German Shepherd's itchy skin.
A Drop of Marigold
They call it Calendula Officinalis. It is a popular herb for healing wounds. This flower can help heal those itchy wounds on your floof's skin. Soak its dried petals with boiling water and spray or rub the extract on your dog's itchy skin. Get it here at Amazon
This one is truly a miracle worker at home. From a kitchen condiment to a natural pesticide, it can also help relieve your dog's itchy wounds. Add some water to the baking soda to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to your dog's itchy skin for about 20 minutes and rinse. Get it here at Amazon
This herb has always been known as a natural healing agent. Rub a leaf of aloe vera on your wound, and you would feel a soothing relief from the painful sting. It can work the same on your dog's itchy skin. Fresh aloe vera leaves work better than those sold in stores. Growing Aloe Vera plants at home are easy, and you never know when you'll need their healing properties! Bottled aloe vera gel lacks the enzymes found in the leaves. These enzymes are responsible for its healing effects on itchy skin. Get it here at Amazon
No, she's not someone who makes potions and casts spells. It's called winter bloom. The shrub commonly grows in North America. You can use its leaves and twigs to soothe your dog's itchy skin. It contains a chemical compound used as a natural astringent in some skincare products. It helps reduce the swelling on your dog's itchy skin. Get it here at Amazon
They call it colloidal oatmeal. You ground the oatmeal finely and boil it. Then you give your dog a good oatmeal bath. Rub the oatmeal on your dog's itchy skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve itchiness and swelling. You also do not have to worry about your dog licking the oatmeal. Get it here at Amazon
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal solution for your dog's itchy skin. Be very gentle when using apple cider vinegar. Never apply it on an open wound as it can cause a painful sting. Dilute the vinegar with water and spray lightly on your dog's itchy spots. Get it here at Amazon
Chamomile and Green Tea
You can give your itchy dog a good soak in a chamomile and green tea bath. For treating itchy spot, dab a cooled tea bag on the affected area of your dog's skin. Get it here at Amazon
The above remedies are topical solutions for your dog's itchy skin. If you would like an oral treatment for your pet, consult your veterinarian for recommendations.
Putting It All Together
Dogs get an itchy sensation for plenty of reasons. It is common to see your fluffy pet scratch and itch a few times. You may not need to worry.
However, consistent itching can be a sign that your dog needs a visit to his vet. It could be a symptom of an underlying skin condition. There are two good reasons to take your itchy dog to the vet. He may have a skin problem, or he could be suffering from dog anxiety. Either way, he needs treatment and care.
Several reasons can make your dog itch persistently. Fleas, ticks, and mites are common parasites that give your pup an itchy feeling. On the cold, winter days, they itch because of dry skin. Food, dust, and other particles can cause allergies that irritate their skin and making them itchy. Lastly, your dog's itching behavior can be a sign of a psychological problem.
Allergies are a major cause of a dog's itchy sensation. The vet can give you prescriptions to treat these allergies, but topical solutions can give your dog a quick relief. You can help relieve your dog's itchiness with some natural herbs and a few household kitchen ingredients. You can make these natural solutions yourself, or you can get them ready-made at the store.
Make sure to consult the vet before trying out a skincare solution on your dog's skin. Some products may have harmful chemicals that may cause even more harm to your pet. Some of these natural remedies can be quite painful for your pup. Always be gentle when treating your itchy dog.
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