When my husband first got me Leia, I can not express to you the joy I felt. She passed the Rocco Test right there in her own front yard, she got along great with our son, she was beautiful, and she was Chihuahua. Everything I was looking for in a dog. I snuggled her into my arms on the way home, and discovered something very quickly about my wonderful dog.
My perfect puppy had a whole lot of fleas. To compound the problem, we’d taken Rocco with us to make sure any new additions we brought home were ones he approved of. What were the odds one didn’t migrate?
We took them by my workplace where Rocco and Leia both got flea baths and 30 day flea protection. I figured the bites would heal in a week, and there’d be no more itchy dog. Boy was I wrong.
Leia continued to itch for weeks. I changed her food, changed her shampoo, and called the vet.
Between these things, I learned a lot about itching dogs and what causes them. If you have an itching dog, check for these problems:
They can hide from you. They can hide in short haired dogs, and just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Use a flea comb to check the base of the tail, chest, belly and the top of the head. If you have a flea collar on the dog, check under it. Fleas frequently hide under them. If you don’t find fleas but you do find little tiny black grains, you found flea dirt.
If your dog has 30 day flea protection on, he may still be suffering from fleas. Flea protection works by killing any fleas that bite the dog. The dog still has a flea bite to show for the dead flea, and that bite still itches!
A common culprit in dog allergies is grain, or rather the toxic insects frequently found in animal-grade cereals. Common signs of allergies include itching, black pigmented skin on the belly, red oozing ears, yeast infections and more. That’s a lot of problems! Unfortunately it takes anywhere from six weeks to six months for a food change to help with itching since it has to work from the inside out.
Leia’s major problem was her previous food. Switching her to EVO solved the problem…six weeks later. This can be frustrating when you’re buying an expensive new food and even though you can practically see your dog eating dollar signs, he’s still itching!
Dogs get hay fever too. If you’ve ruled out food and fleas, ask your vet about environmental allergies such as pollen. You can limit this by wiping down your dogs feet and belly with a cleaning wipe or even a damp rag every time they come in. Don’t forget shampoo and topical flea treatments as possible external allergies.
Some dogs are prone to skin problems, and a few breeds have skin disorders specific to their breed alone. Unfortunately there is no easy solution for many of these diseases. Ask your vet for help, and do your research before getting a puppy.