What Is the Best Dog Itchy Skin Remedy?

There are a number of things that can give your dog itchy skin. The potential causes of itchiness in pet dogs include parasites, infections and more serious diseases, among other things. While there is no single treatment for each of these conditions, there are some that work better than others. Still, you will need to consult with a veterinarian and have your pet properly diagnosed before you can best work to treat his condition. Amongst all of the various treatments for canine itchiness, prescription anti-inflammatory medicines like anti-histamines are the most popular.

When Itchiness Is Caused by Allergies

If your dog is itching his skin and appears to have red or irritated spots underneath his fur, he may be suffering from an allergy of some kind. Allergies are among the most common canine ailments, and they oftentimes result in symptoms related to the skin. Properly diagnosing your pet's allergy may take a fair amount of time, as the diagnosis typically requires that you and your vet run a series of elimination tests in order to isolate the offending allergen. While allergies themselves are untreatable, you can reduce your pet's symptoms with anti-histamine medicines. These reduce your pet's reaction to the allergen itself, thereby lowering the swelling and itchiness associated with the allergen.

When Itchiness Is Caused by Infection

Infections, either bacterial or fungal, are another common cause of canine itchiness. These also require prescription medicines to treat, but the drug most often used to address an infection is an antibiotic of some sort. Infections are usually characterized by itchiness, open sores or lesions and other irritation in an isolated part of your pet's body. Treating an infection quickly is crucial to help ensure that the condition doesn't spread to other parts of your dog's system, where it may cause additional harm.

When Itchiness Is Caused by Parasites

Dogs are subject to infestations by mites, lice, fleas and other parasites as well. While some parasites live inside of your pet's body, those do not generally cause itchiness. The parasites that feed on dead skin cells on the surface of your pet's body are the ones more likely to contribute to excessive itching. Most veterinarians recommend a prescription medicated shampoo to treat common parasite infestations. These medicines contain mild insecticides that help to disable or kill the insects living on your pet's skin. The exact treatment method will depend somewhat upon your pet's condition and on the type of parasite living on his body.

There are also other types of medicines used to treat itchiness. These typically come into consideration when your dog is suffering from an underlying disease or chronic condition that leads to itching. As a result of the varied causes of canine itchiness, and the fact that no single treatment method is effective at eliminating all of these causes, it is best to speak with your vet to determine the best course of action to treat your dog's condition specifically. An anti-histamine is effective at reducing inflammation and itchiness across the board, but it does not address the root cause of your pet's ailment.