Your Dog’s Constant Scratching Could be a Habit
I have two dogs that both eat a healthy no grain, raw diet. One is a constant scratcher, the other rarely scratches.
Brie, the itchy dog, is a Westie mix. True, this breed is notorious for their itchy skin but with many dogs what starts out as a real problem, develops into a habit even after the underlying cause is cured.
We discovered that Brie had sand fleas. We live at the beach and she plays on the sand every single day. Since we wash her at least twice a week and were well past flea season, we didn’t suspect fleas were the cause of her distress. Once we found out what the problem was, we treated her immediately with a whole host of remedies until every last flea was gone.
Weeks went by and she was still scratching. We double checked and there were no fleas. But she scratched with determination and could hardly walk down the street without stopping for a scratch. She would even wake us up at night with the sounds of her biting, licking and scratching. Finally she started to develop actual lesions from the constant scratching, which only made her want to scratch those areas more.
It seemed to be a never-ending cycle until I noticed that Brie seemed to forget about her discomfort when she was playing, eating or chewing on a bone. Distraction seemed to be an excellent method- so we gave her a full schedule of bone chewing, game playing and toys to occupy her time.
Restraint is also another tool we used. You could try an e-collar (if you do look up Comfy Cones for a softer alternative) but what I did is purchase a a soft pair of inexpensive booties ($5.99) so that if she did scratch her paws wouldn’t have direct contact with her skin.
In addition, when she woke up at night and started scratching, I gave her Sleepytime Tonic , an all natural herbal blend that helps to calm dogs. This relaxed her enough so that she forgot about the itch and went back to sleep.
Amazing! Between her full agenda of bones and bully sticks, Sleepytime Tonic and her booties, scratching levels are down to a few times a day!