Why is My Dog Itching?

Puppy Dog ItchingIt can be painful to watch your dog itching constantly. The annoying itching goes on day and night driving you and your beloved dog crazy without any relief. But it gets worse, the constant itching and scratching can lead to loss of hair andbleeding.

dog itching

So how do you stop your dog from itching?

First and most obviously you must determine the root cause of the itching.
Here are some of the most common causes for itchy skin:

Fleas

The diagnosis of fleas is the most obvious and easiest to diagnose and treat. A variety of over the counter medications are available to treat a flea infestation.

Mange

Mange is a canine skin disease caused by microscopic mites that make your dog skin its home. These mites can cause severe itching and eventual hair loss. Diagnosis of mange will require a scraping of the skin to be viewed under a microscope. Treatment for mange must begin at the vet where they can determine the specific type of mange and prescribe the proper medication to eradicate the parasites.

Psychological Issues

Psychological issues are unfortuneately the hardest to determine and treat. Most issues have to do with some sort of anxiety that your dog is experiencing. There are products available that promote calming which you can try if you have ruled out any of the other causes.

The following two conditions account for most of the dog itching conditions other than the obvious flea infestations.

Nutritional issues

Nutritional deficiencies can undoubtedly cause itchy, dry skin in your dog. Believe it or not, most commercial dog foods do not contain all of the nutritional requirements that your dog needs to maintain optimum health. Much more effort is put into dog food marketing and taste than acually creating a dog food with the optimal dietary requirements that your dog needs. This condition can be easily combatted with a quality dog vitamin that will provide the additional nutrients and minerals that your dog’s food alone just doesn’t provide.

Allergies

Allergies in your dog can be caused by many different factors. Dogs can be particularly vulnerable to a whole host of environmental irritants. As in humans, our dogs can develop an inappropriate immune response to certain substances.

Airborne allergies such as pollen, dust and mold can cause allergic itching as well. Although it is quite difficult to eliminate airborne substances all together, you can use hypo allergenic air filters in your house and increase your cleaning ritual to eliminate as many of these particular allergens as possible.

One of the most common and often overlooked causes of dog allergies is the dog food they are consuming. As in humans, food allergies are very prevalant. This may be as simple as changing your dogs food. Finding the dog food that relieves all of your dogs allergic itching may be very difficult because a lot of the commercial dog foods manufactured use much of the same ingredients.

The first line of defense for your dog is to ensure that they have the proper diet and nutrition. Providing quality dog foods that contain plenty of quality protein, and that is low on grains and meat by products will ensure that your dog has a healthy digestive system and a boosted immune system.

Supplementing your dogs diet with a quality dog vitamin will ensure that your dog will have the optimum dietary requirements to maintain a healthy immune defense against allergies.

Facts About Your Dogs Weight Control

Veterinarians generally define a dog that weighs 20 percent more than its ideal weight as obese. Surveys have found that approximately 5 percent of dogs in the United States are obese, and another 20-30 percent are overweight. The primary cause of canine obesity is overfeeding and insufficient exercise.

Like humans, being overweight does not only put a strain on your dogs cardiovascular system, but it also puts unnecessary strain on your dogs joints and ligaments. Also as in humans, overloading a dogs joints compounded with a lack of exercise can cause poor muscle tone and fitness leading to joint strain and or joint injuries.

If you think your dog is overweight, you should first consult with your veterinarian before putting your dog on a diet. Your vet will be able to recommend the proper weight loss plan for your dog.

Some things to consider when trying to get your dog to lose weight.

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. This applies to your pets as well. Eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods, including dog foods, is the primary reason for dogs being overweight. By making some simple changes regarding your pet’s diet, you can make a big difference in their weight and overall healthiness.

Feed them smaller portions at meal time. Small regular meals are better than one big meal, so divide your dog’s daily portion into two or three smaller portions given throughout the day.

Be careful with dog foods you choose. Be sure and avoid dog foods that contain high levels of artificial additives, fats and sugars.
Cut down or eliminate the snack and treats that you give your dog. If you do give your dog a treat be sure to select a healthy treat. Not all treats are created the same, look for a treat that contains less fat and more nutrients. Another option is to give your dog a vitamin supplement such as NuVet Plus as a treat. Your dog will still be happy to get a treat and you will be happy knowing your dog is getting the nutrition he needs.

Fat Dog

fat dog

Don’t feed your dog from the table; even as hard as it is sometimes with their sad eyes and starving look about them (they aren’t actually going to starve)! And make sure that your entire family follows the no table feeding rule and are aware of the situation and the consequences of your dog being overweight.

You mustn’t forget possibly the most important aspect to weight control. EXERCISE!! Just like us, exercise and healthy eating go hand and hand.

When considering the type and extent of exercise to give your dog, it is worth considering that older or unfit dogs will require a very different recommended exercise regiment than younger dogs. You may need to build up their exercise schedule slowly and not overdue it prematurely which could lead to injuries or other health risks.

The bottom line is that your dog’s weight control is very similiar to your own. Eat healthy and exercise. Finding healthier food for you is often much easier than for your pet, so learn all you can about the dog food you are feeding your dog and look for healthier alternatives. Click here to get more information on finding healthy dog foods. Providing your dog with a quality all natural vitamin supplement will assist you in your dog’s weight control as well and give them the vitamins and nutrients that dog foods alone won’t supply.

What are the best dog foods to feed my dog?

To be perfectly honest, the best food that you can feed your dog would be dog food that you make homemade to include the correct proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fats etc. and minus all of the preservatives and fillers that are present in a lot of commercial dog foods.

That being said, I understand that most people just don’t have the time, resources or every day dedication to make regular properly balanced homemade meals for their dog.

Not all commercial dog foods are made from inferior ingredients and byproducts. There are good dog foods available, but you will have to actively search for them. Unfortunately there are many more commercial foods that will just meet the bare minimum standards of nutritionalrequirements. To determine a good dog food from a bad one, in some cases it will be as simple as reading the ingredient list to determine if quality ingredients are being used. But some ingredients listed can be misleading and it may take a little research to determine which food is best.

Most dog food manufacturers are particularly good at marketing their product with the professional looking packaging and the clever names for their products. Don’t fall victim to the marketing. Do your homework. Some good marketers also make good products, so you must take the time to look at the ingredients first and foremost and understand what they are.

A little insight into pet food labels.

If a food is named specifically, e.g. “Beef Dog Food”, the named ingredient must not be less than 95% of the total weight if the water required for processing is excluded, no less than 70% if the water is included in the calculation. If more than one ingredient is named, for example “Beef and Liver Dog Food”, all of them combined must not be less than 95% (or 70% respectively) and they must be named in descending order of content by weight. This description is used almost exclusively for canned foods.

If a dog food includes the word “dinner” (or similar ones like “formula”, “nuggets” etc.), such as in “Beef Formula”, the named ingredient must not be less than 25% of the total weight. If more than one ingredient is named, e.g. “Beef and Rice Formula”, all of them combined must not be less than 25% and they must be named in descending order of content by weight.

If a dog food name contains the word “formula” or “dinner” etc., the ingredient named must not be less than twenty five percent of the total weight. And if more than one ingredient is named like “beef and Liver Formula” then both ingredients COMBINED must not be less than twenty five percent and must be listed in order of weight amount.

That being said, a product that markets under “Premium Beef and Liver Formula”, following the guidelines above can advertise a dog food that has beef and liver but may actually only contain twenty five percent combined of those two ingredients meaning that most likely they are not even the main ingredient of the dog food.

If a dog food uses the phrase “with (ingredient) like “with Beef”, the ingredient named must not be less than three percent of the total weight. So be very leery of a so called quality food that touts their product with the phrase “with beef, lamb etc. because it only has to contain 3% of that ingredient.

If the dog food includes the word “flavor” or “flavored”, it is only required to contain a sufficient amount of that ingredient to be detected. So you are most likely going to get a minimal amount of “flavoring” while the manufactures may actually be hiding their main ingredients.

These tips will get you started in the right direction to finding your dog a quality dog food. But also remember that ultimately, dog food alone will not give your dog all of the vitamins and nutrients they need to maintain the healthiest, longest life possible.

So along with a good quality dog food we highly recommend NuVet Plus as an all natural dog vitamin supplement for your beloved pet. We use it ourselves and our dogs has never looked better or been as active and happy.