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10/31/2009 17:43:02 PM by daisyd   Send Message to daisyd  2754  views, category: Pet care, safety and insurance view all blogs

                

It’s funny to see the lengths that dogs will go to just to reach those itchy spots on their backs.  Some rub against furniture, some roll around on the floor, and some, like my dog Boss, just stand there with their little behinds pointed at you begging for some back scratching. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6HcgGn80ig

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztljCPHaBaY

 

I thought it was cute and laughed at the silly behavior, until Boss started to chew on his back so much that patches of fur were missing.  I realized how unbearably itchy he must be, so I started doing some research and found some simple things to do to help him out!

 

GROOMING

 

The first and easiest thing I found I could do was brush Boss more often.  Not only does brushing get out all of those annoying tangles and extra dirt that he seems to collect everywhere we go, but it helps release natural oils to make skin and fur healthier.  So your dog is happy and your house is cleaner since you collect all that dog hair in one sitting!  Vetinfo.com recommends brushing against the direction of hair growth first to loosen the hair and then brushing in the same direction of hair growth to remove the hair.

 

Boss was a little nervous of the hair brush when I first brought it home, but now he loves it!  It’s like getting a little massage for him and it really did help with his itchy skin.  He’s still hesitant about brushing around the face and ears, but it’s important to be gentle around those areas.

 

DIET

 

Brushing was helping some, but it wasn’t completely taking care of the problem.  So I took a trip to my local PetSmart and asked for some advice.  The first thing they recommended is adjusting my dog’s diet.  Dogs with itchy skin need extra fatty acids in their diets.  So you can specifically look for dog food high in omega fatty acids, or you can do what I did and add fish oil to their regular food.  The guy at PetSmart warned me that not all dogs will eat the fish oil if you add it to their food, but as soon as I pour it on Boss’s food every morning he devours it!  I noticed in the first week after giving him fish oil that his coat was shiny and smooth and he was scratching himself a lot less!  They make fish oil specifically for dogs, or I’ve read that it is also ok to give your dog fish oil designed for humans as long as you are careful with the dosage size.

 

BATHING

 

Another great piece of advice that I got at PetSmart was not to overbathe your dog.  I was giving my dog a bath once a week and apparently it was drying out his skin.  They recommended a bath every other week so that his skin wouldn’t get so dry.  I also give Boss a bath with oatmeal shampoo.  It’s soothing for his skin and some kinds even help prevent problems with fleas and ticks.  There are lots of home remedies to try as well for your dog’s baths that a little internet searching will pull up: apple cider vinegar, aspirin, and baking soda.

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

If none of these things work for helping your dog’s itchy skin, you might want to look for environmental triggers.  Dryer sheets often contain irritants to the skin.  Dogs can be allergic to grass and pollen just like humans can.  And they can be allergic to certain types of foods as well.  Try some changes around your home to see if your dog gets better and consult a vet for more details about allergies.

 

I am happy to report that Boss is no longer chewing and licking himself until his fur comes off!  With a few adjustments to our lives, he is less itchy and I don’t worry as much!



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