“My dog keeps scratching but I don’t see any fleas.”
If your dog has been itching and scratching non-stop but they don’t seem to have any fleas, then you have good reason to be concerned. Dogs don’t normally scratch like that unless they have cause, and in this article we’ll be exploring some potential reasons for your dogs itching.
Does your dog have a food allergy?
Food allergies are one of the biggest reasons for itchy dogs who have no fleas in sight. The good news is that this is a pretty easy problem to fix, at least after a little bit of sleuthing to see exactly what your dog is allergic to.
If you have a dog breed which is particularly prone to food allergies, then this should be your first stop. Common breeds with frequent skin allergy issues include Pitbulls, French Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, Boxers and German Shepherds but any dog could have allergies.
Putting your dog on a good limited ingredient dog food is the best way to figure out what could be causing them problems. This is a dog food which uses very simple and very few ingredients. These foods are not only healthier for your dog but they contain fewer potential allergy triggers.
While dogs have extremely varied allergies, there are of course some common problem items for you to look out for. You should also keep in mind that allergies can develop at any time. Your dog doesn’t have to have been born with his or her food allergy.
Is your dog food grain-free?
One of the first things to go in your dog food should be grains. If you’re feeding your dog a big box store brand, then you’ll most likely see corn as the first ingredient.
This is a low grade filler item and many dogs have trouble digesting lower quality foods that have these items in them. This can result in continuous scratching from skin irritations, vomiting or diarrhea.
Does your dog food have too many proteins?
While this is normally an issue for a dog who vomits or has intense diarrhea, it might cause some skin problems as well. Swapping to a food that uses only one protein item is easier on a dog’s stomach, and you might find it to be more agreeable to their allergies.
Is your dog allergic to chicken?
Believe it or not, some dogs have a very hard time eating chicken. Most pet food manufacturers use chicken in some way in their foods because it’s cheap. So, if your pup seems to be itching non-stop no matter which food you give them it might be worth trying a food that is chicken or poultry free.
Need help finding the best dog food for dogs with skin allergies? You can use our healthy dog food guide. All of the dog foods that we recommend to pet parents are extremely limited in ingredients, and by using that list you can find a great food for your dog that will help to rid them of their constant scratching.
Does your dog have a fungal or yeast infection?
Dogs can actually get fungal infections similar to what people can get. If you’ve noticed that your dog has red, irritated skin, bad odor or a loss of fur in addition to his constant itchiness, then you may want to pick up some chlorhexidine spray.
It’s a cheap and effective method to control skin infections, and very safe for your dog. A product like this one from Strawfield can help with numerous skin conditions common to canines. This includes fungal infections, yeast infections, ringworm, mange and persistent skin allergies.
PS. You should also be careful not to use human soap on your dog! These can throw off their PH balance and cause issues with irritated skin.
Signs of yeast or fungal infections
- Constant scratching
- Dry or flaking skin patches
- Hair loss
- Red and irritated skin
- Odor to fur and skin
- crusted skin
Does your dog have anxiety?
If your dog’s itching doesn’t seem to stem from skin irritations or allergies then have you considered that they are just suffering from anxiety? Take a moment to think about when your dog begins scratching.
Does it happen a lot when you’re not home? Sometimes animals deal with anxiety or the fear of being alone by constantly scratching themselves, even to the point of causing themselves to bleed.
If you have recently moved house or there has been some change in your dog’s routine, this could also lead to anxiety. If this is the case, then figuring out what has changed could stop the issue.
However, if your dog is an anxious mess then you could help them out with a supplement. CBD oil supplements are becoming more and more popular, and they even make them for dogs! It can help to calm an anxious pup and stop them from harming themselves with constant scratching.
If their anxiety is tied to them being away from you while you’re at work then there are a number of other steps you can try to ease this anxiety as well.
Get a dog camera
Getting a dog camera can help both you and your pup to be less anxious! These devices come with companion phone apps that allow you to check in while you’re at work. Talk to your pup and make sure he’s doing okay on your lunch. The Furbo camera featured above also includes a “treat tosser”.
Load the device with your dogs favorite treats and toss him a snack using your phone! In addition to keeping your dog happy, you could also make yourself happier with a doggy break added to your day.
Give them a darkened kennel
If your dog is scared of being alone, then you could provide them a darkened kennel. A dog kennel with solid walls could help them to feel less exposed while you’re gone. A crate cover can easily transform your existing dog crate into a safe space for your pup to feel more at ease.
Offer them better toys to keep them busy
Sometimes a dog’s anxiety actually stems from boredom or lack of mental stimulation. Giving them something else to focus on could reduce their anxiety. Try offering them a neat food puzzle toy to make their time away from you seem shorter.
Try some calming music for dogs
Some people leave the TV on when they leave to help their dog feel less alone. However, you could also try some calming music for dogs! You might be surprised at home helpful this can be in taking care of their anxiety.
This neat device offers 4 hours of canine focused music which is proven to relieve anxiety in dogs.
It’s a great way to help dogs that suffer from separation anxiety or even those that are spooked by loud noises like fireworks! Music can help your dog to be more zen and stop scratching themselves red all the time.
While there can be a lot of reasons for your dog’s constant itching, hopefully this article has helped you to identify your dog’s issue. Answering the question of: “My dog keeps scratching but I don’t see any fleas.” isn’t so simple, but armed with the right knowledge you can tackle anything that comes your way!