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Dog that scratches what are the causes

Have you noticed that your dog is often scratching, licking and rolling around on the carpet? You may be feeling the itch yourself, just by observing all this activity.

Your dog scratches for many reasons. Veterinarians believe it’s best to find the cause as soon as possible. While occasional scratching is normal for dogs, frequent scratching could indicate a medical problem that could worsen over time.

According to a survey conducted in the United States, for the tenth year in a row, allergic dermatitis is the number one reason dogs are brought to the veterinarian. This condition can cause your dog to experience allergic itching, frequent scratching, recurrent ear infections and skin changes.

Itchy skin, parasite or food?

So what’s behind your dog’s itchy skin? It may be caused by a medical condition called allergic dermatitis (skin allergy). This means that your dog’s body is overreacting to an allergen in the environment or in food, causing itching. There are a number of potential culprits:


Flea and insect bites can create extreme itchy areas on your dog. They are most common on the back legs, the base of the tail and the hindquarters. Just because you don’t see fleas on your dog doesn’t mean they aren’t there – one flea bite can cause your dog to have an allergic itch.


Your dog may be allergic to environmental triggers, such as pollen, mold spores or dust mites. These allergens can cause allergic itching during certain seasons, or even year-round. Dogs with environmental allergies often show signs of allergic itching around their face, belly and paws.


Your dog’s itching may be caused by a food allergy. Some dogs are allergic to common ingredients in dog food, such as meat, vegetables or dairy products. Food allergies in dogs can lead to signs of itching around the paws, head, armpits and belly.

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Dermatitis: what are the signs?

Allergic dermatitis can be very unpleasant for your dog. It can also lead to secondary health problems if treatment is not started in time. When a dog licks or scratches an area excessively, it can damage the skin and lead to skin infections and sores. These can lead to changes such as coat loss, body odor and inflammation. The resulting wounds can even be painful for your dog.

You may notice dermatitis in your dog’s behavior:

How to soothe the itch?

There are many treatments available to help dogs with itching. Massages, baths, skin care products and various more or less natural products are suggested. But if, as is often the case, the problem is related to a food allergy, it is better to treat the problem at the source, by adapting the diet with a hypoallergenic kibble.

Why feeding your dog is so important.

Food allergy is one of the most common allergies or hypersensitivities in dogs. In an allergic animal, the immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances that it normally tolerates. In an allergic reaction, antibodies are produced against a part of the food, usually a protein. Food allergies usually occur after prolonged exposure to the food. Allergy can develop spontaneously and at any age. An ingredient in the diet, often meat but sometimes vegetables, can suddenly trigger it.

The most common food allergens in dogs are proteins, especially those from dairy products, meat (beef or chicken), eggs, soy or wheat gluten. Whenever an animal consumes a food containing these substances, antibodies react and symptoms appear. However, virtually any food ingredient can cause an allergy. Proteins are the most common culprit, but other substances and additives can also be responsible.

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Hypoallergenic kibbles to the rescue of itchy dogs

In order to detect a food allergy, the animal should ONLY be given hypoallergenic kibble and fresh water. This is called an exclusion diet. Everything else is excluded from the diet: cookies, table scraps, vitamins, toothpaste or flavored medications. Be careful: during the food allergy test period, if your pet manages to steal even a small crust of bread, you may mistakenly believe that your pet’s allergies are not related to its food.

If the test with the hypoallergenic dog food is done properly and the problems disappear after two months at the latest, then your dog has a food allergy. If not, you should seek advice from your veterinarian.

An animal protein-based diet with no known allergies, such as insects, and no wheat gluten is a simple, effective and inexpensive way to confirm an allergy.

More and more veterinarians are using Bazoef’s hypoallergenic dog food to detect possible food allergies, but also because it is of high nutritional quality.