|Like people, dogs can be allergic to almost |
anything, from fleas to hay to certain foods.
Your first task must be to establish the reason why your dog scratches. Watch him carefully, and take note of his surroundings. See what things, especially plants, he comes into contact with whilst outside. Make note of where he spends the majority of his time, and what food he eats. An allergy to fleas is generally the most common reason for a dog to suffer from dermatitis. If you find that your dog has fleas, he may well have an allergy. If this is the case, then take him to the vet for treatment. Your vet will likely treat your dog by giving him an injection to prevent any further itching, and will provide you with a prescription for a quality flea medication to get rid of his fleas. It is not uncommon for dogs who scratch as a result of having fleas to cause an infection. If this is the case, your dog may also require a course of antibiotics to treat the infection. Upon returning home, be sure to take extra care when cleaning your house, and to make a particular effort to rid your home of fleas.
If you have treated your dog for fleas and you find that he is still scratching, then you need to seek out other possible causes for the irritation. There are a number of common skin irritants which may be the cause, so check your yard and garden for possible problem plants such as poison oak or nettles. Do you find that there is any particular time when your dog scratches more? You may notice, for instance, that he likes to roll in the lawn after you have mowed the grass. Try to prevent this kind of behavior by your dog, and make sure that you clear away any potentially irritating plants from your yard. You will likely find that your dog’s dermatitis should clear up once he is no longer exposed to irritants.
Some cases of dermatitis are as a result of poor nutrition. Take note of the ingredients within your dog’s food, and if necessary make the change to a higher quality dog food containing a larger proportion of natural ingredients. If possible or appropriate, you may consider purchasing organic dog food, or even making the dog food yourself, so that you know exactly what is going into your dog’s body. It is always wise to seek your vet’s advice if you are unsure on the subject of your dog’s nutrition.
The simple exercise of bathing your dog will help to relieve the symptoms of dermatitis. Use a soothing ingredient such as oatmeal to add to the bath water, or find a quality shampoo with naturally formulated ingredients that relieve itching and irritation. Spend time brushing your dog’s skin to remove fleas and dirt which may be the cause of the irritation. Your dog may have an allergy to pollen, and a soothing bath will remove the pollen from your dog’s coat and alleviate the resulting dermatitis. If your dog tends to spend a lot of time outside, and has a habit of getting himself dirty, frequent bathing is recommended all the more.
If you have attempted to treat your dog’s dermatitis by using the methods stated above, it is possible he may be suffering from a bacterial infection or from a virus. You may notice that your dog has lost his appetite, or that he has a fever. If this is the case, then seek the assistance of your vet, who should be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment for your dog’s condition.