While fleas can be one of the instigators of itchiness in dogs, they are not the only culprit. If your dog is itching with no fleas in sight, there could be a number of reasons why. Seasonal allergies are common ailments among many pets. This is not very dissimilar to humans who often catch runny noses and fevers. Some itch-causing allergens like animal proteins are one of the main reasons why pet parents are switching to organic fresh food for their dogs. From food allergies to skin conditions and anxiety, there are a variety of different reasons why your dog may be itching if no fleas are found. In this article, we look at why your dog may be itching without fleas and what you can do to help them.
What Causes A Dog To Itch?
Dogs can suffer from itchy skin as a result of food allergies they may have or certain environmental triggers such as pollen. Certain skin infections can also cause uncontrollable itching and tender or painful skin. Abnormal itching can potentially be caused as a result of parasites. Besides medical or dermatological reasons, sometimes dogs can actually scratch themselves compulsively because of anxiety, distress, or even boredom. However, if your pup’s itching has got to the point of extremity, then it is more likely to be caused by internal or external health complications.
What Are Some Symptoms Of An Itchy Dog?
Itchiness can be accompanied by a variety of different symptoms. Some of these include:
- Compulsive and frequent licking, which can be identified through a saliva stain on the fur
- Hair loss in some areas of the coat
- Constant biting, which can potentially lead to self-imposed injury
- Blood spots in extreme cases
How To Help An Itchy Dog With No Fleas?
If your dog has severe itchy skin, then it should not be left untreated. Delaying treatments and remedies can cause the skin to become inflamed. While some cases of itchiness require medical prescriptions, less severe cases can be supported through natural remedies and practices. We listed a few strategies below that you can follow to help your itchy dog with no fleas.
Dog Itching Relief: 7 Solutions And Preventions
Feeding An Animal-Protein-Free Diet
Intolerance to animal proteins are one of the primary causes of allergies and itchiness in dogs. An excellent way to ensure this is to remove animal-protein from your dog's diet. Feeding your dog fresh food that is void of animal protein is one of the best ways to prevent allergies caused by animal protein. Your vet may recommend a hydrolysed diet to avoid animal proteins. It is worth considering if this is the best and healthiest choice for your dog. Read the ingredients carefully on any commercial dog food to make sure there is no harmful ingredients.
Avoiding Dust/House Mites
House mites or dust mites are also common allergens for dogs and can be the reason why your dog is itching with no fleas. Mites are traditionally found in kibble. Therefore, feeding your dog fresh and organic food such as Fleetful’s fresh food recipe kits that are free from animal proteins can help eliminate this concern and keep your pup itch-free. If you wish to continue to feed kibble, then freezing the kibble in advance of feeding to your dog will help kill any mites inside.
Supporting your dog's healthy gut microbiome
Ultimately, one of the best ways to withstand environmental allergens is to ensure your dog has a healthy gut microbiome. 70% of your dog's immunity lies in the gut so it is important to keep their gut healthy. This is achieved through an adequate intake of healthy probiotics and prebiotic fibres that are commonly found in fruits and vegetables like bananas, carrots, and courgettes, which are all found in Fleetful’s fresh dog food kits. Another excellent way to ensure your dog gets enough probiotics and prebiotics is by feeding it nutrient-rich snacks like Umameo treats.
Regular grooming is not only beneficial for giving your dog a shiny coat, but it is also good for overall health and well-being. Experienced groomers will make sure your puppy's skin is well-taken care of so that it does not become itchy. A healthy coat will act as a shield to protect your dog from various irritants. Maintaining a routine practice of either at-home or professional grooming sessions will lead to better protection against itchiness. It will also help you form a bond with your dog through regular touch.
Now bear with us and maybe give it a try! Meditation is a tool that can help if your dog is itching with no fleas. Meditating can help your pet feel more relaxed and less anxious. However, meditation sessions with your dog are not solely helpful for anxiety. Meditation can be incredibly valuable for itchy dogs with no fleas that are restless and can’t get a break. Deep breathing during meditation helps calm your pet down and relieves them from the compulsive urge to itch all the time. Continued harsh scratching can lead to worse skin conditions. Therefore, helping your pup through meditation can help decrease the intensity momentarily and give your dog a much-needed rest from scratching, and the pain that comes with it. However, meditation alone cannot solve your pup's itching completely. It is only a short-term solution to a long-term problem that requires your deeper attention.
Being Aware Of Your Dog's Surroundings
If your dog is sensitive to any environmental allergens like pollen and mites, then being aware of your pup's surroundings can help prevent incidents where your dog catches an allergy. While complete environmental control is not feasible, it is possible to monitor and safeguard your dog from environmental allergies to a certain extent.
Walking Your Dog
One of the potential reasons why your dog is itching with no fleas is boredom. Taking your dog on frequent walks can be beneficial for your dog's health and can also help decrease the constant scratching by keeping your dog distracted. When your dog goes on walks, they use their sense of smell. Sniffing different areas on their walk will stimulate your dog on the walk and beyond! Some people say that dogs even dream of the different sniffs that they have!
Why Is My Dog Itching And Losing Hair?
Continuous scratching and itching can not only be painful for dogs, but it can also lead to hair loss. If itching persists, you may notice your dog's hair coming out in bunches or following a pattern similar to shedding. This can eventually create bald patches within your dog's coat. This can occur due to a number of reasons. Some of these include infections, trauma, mites or parasites, allergic reactions and even hormonal imbalances. Mange is also one of the primary reasons for hair loss in dogs, and can be the reason why your dog is itching with no fleas. Mange is a disease in which mites crowd the skin and may continue to multiply and invade the skin if unmanaged. This can result in hairless patches in your dog's coat, accompanied by extreme itching. You will need to seek veterinary treatment for your dog's skin if it is severely infected with mange. It is worth noting that dogs with a healthy immune system do not succumb to mange as easily. So feeding your dog a healthy balanced diet with probiotics and fresh pre-biotic fibres will help prevent mange.
Mange is not the sole reason why your dog may be itching and losing hair. Some forms of trauma can also cause your dog to lick the same spot repeatedly. Continuously licking the same area will ultimately lead to hair loss or bald patches in that specific spot.
Can Dogs Itch From Mosquito Bites?
If a mosquito bites your dog, the itchiness will last for a few hours. You can protect your dog against mosquitoes by using a natural mosquito repellent. Since mosquitos have a sensitive sense of smell, using dog soaps with essential oils like cedarwood can help ward them off. Additionally, eliminating any potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes around the house can help. These can look like areas of standing water, which are ideal for mosquito breeding. If you have a bird bath, make sure to change the water regularly to prevent mosquitoes from propagating and minimise any chance of them biting your pup.
Dog Itching With No Fleas: FAQs
Q: Can dogs itch from anxiety?
A: Just as humans tend to bite their nails or fidget when they get nervous, dogs also develop and display certain behaviours when they are experiencing anxiety. Chewing, itching or biting their skin can all be signs of an anxious dog.