Many dog owners work hard to make their pets comfortable and happy, so it can be frustrating when a dog is constantly itching and distressed.
Dr. Adam Patterson, clinical assistant professor and Chief of Dermatology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Small Animal Clinic, explained how some perpetually itchy dogs may suffer from food allergies.
“Food allergies in dogs present themselves quite differently than food allergies in humans,” Patterson said. “For instance a person who is allergic to shellfish may experience throat swelling and a possibly critical or fatal reaction, but in dogs the allergy is expressed through the skin and seen most often as itch.”
Dogs who itch, lick, chew, rub, bite, and scratch themselves year round, typically around the face, ears, armpits, groin, paws and around the anus may be showing signs of a food allergy.
Since itchy flare factors have an additive effect, it is important to eliminate other possible causes of itching. First, it is necessary to eliminate any possibility that parasites, particularly fleas, are causing the dog to itch. Likewise, the veterinarian should also look for signs of skin infections (bacteria or yeast).
Secondly, the veterinarian will also determine if environmental factors are causing itchy skin.