Why Does My Lab Itch and Scratch? Is it Dog Allergies?

Posted on April 1, 2013 under Pet Health & Safety

Dr. Fiona Caldwell is a veterinarian guest blogger for Pets Best Insurance, a provider of dog insurance and cat insurance.

Hi. I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell; I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m answering some questions from Pet’s Best’s Facebook page today. This question comes from Rebecca, who asks: Why does my Lab always have a skin problem; itch, scratch?

This is a great question, and obviously, very, very common. There’s several different reasons that can cause a pet to be itching and scratching. Probably the biggest ones to consider, external parasites are a big one; making sure your pet doesn’t have fleas or mites that kind of thing. The other large thing that can cause an itchy dog are allergies. There’s really 2 big components to allergies, one is your food allergies and other are environmental allergies.

Working with a veterinarian is really important because allergies are really frustrating. There isn’t a magic pill; there isn’t some sort of magic thing that you can do that’s going to cure this. It’ll probably be some combination of potentially a special diet, shampoos, and antihistamines. Any infection whether it be fungal or bacterial is going to be itchy, so curing those first is really important to managing allergies.

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Hopefully working with a veterinarian, you’re going to be able to fine-tune what it is that works best for your pet to keep them as comfortable as possible. If you guys have questions for me, feel free to post them in the comments or at Pets Best Insurance Facebook page.