How do you change it if your Labradoodle has a habit of scratching?
Labradoodle itching can be due to many different things, and you must find the underlying reason why your dog keeps itching and scratching, and treat it.
This article will hopefully help you find the cause.
Why Is My Labradoodle So Itchy?
If you have a Labradoodle that’s licking and scratching itself constantly is only a symptom of something else.
Itchiness isn’t the final diagnosis itself, but it is simply a sign that something isn’t right.
The trick to stopping Labradoodle scratching is to figure out the main driving force.
The most common triggers for excessive Labradoodle itching or scratching are either parasites or allergies.
To really track down the problem, a vet will most likely be your best option.
Before your dog damages their skin and creates complications, it is advised that you seek out a professional opinion.
Itchy and Scratchy Symptoms
Does your Labradoodle sleep with you on the bed?
If so, you have probably noticed if your dog is scratching itself all the time.
One thing to notice for you as the owner is where the dog is scratching itself. (And no, we’re not talking about if it is “in the kitchen” or “in the bathroom.”)
Some dogs will mostly scratch their ears, others their belly, while other dogs’ main area of interest might be rubbing their faces.
Mentioning where will help the vet to find the root and cause of the problem.
What Can You Look For?
A Labradoodle scratching itself is not the only clue to itchiness.
Some dogs might like scooting their faces across the carpet or crawl like a marine on their bellies across the concrete as a method to stop an itch.
Then there are those that enjoy licking. Excessive licking can also be a sign of something that’s itching.
A brown saliva-staining of the fur is typically a tell-tale sign of a secretive licker.
The paws, butt, and belly are the classic places you should check for these signs.
Unfortunately, excessive Labradoodle scratching can typically damage their coat but also their skin.
This can result in hair loss or skin infections, which will most likely require some form of treatment.
When to Seek Help
Does this sound a bit too familiar? “My Labradoodle is constantly scratching and biting himself!”
If you experience that your dog is biting, licking, or scratching in an excessive amount, something isn’t right and needs to be looked at.
Ignoring the problem could mean that you’re risking complications such as yeast infections (which can cause a greasy skin) or getting invaded by bacteria (that can end up creating weeping sores.)
Something seemingly as simple as a Labradoodle scratching their face could be a clue to a few different issues, anything from something as simple as a grass awn stuck in the ear canal to sore teeth.
A Labradoodle itching and losing their hair or turning their skin red is definitely something that you should have checked by a vet.
Getting your furry friend checked at the earliest hint of any discomfort, and you can avoid a lot of unnecessary distress.
What Can Cause Labradoodle Scratching?
The first thing your vet will probably think about when you tell him your dog is scratching and itching is “Does this dog some kind of parasite?”
If he can’t find any evidence of parasites, the next question from him probably is, “Could this dog have allergies?”
Parasites and Excessive Labradoodle Itching
All of us have probably experienced the intense itchiness after being bitten by a mosquito. And I bet that you couldn’t keep your hands from scratching the area!
And just like a flea or mosquito bite will irritate the human skin, the same issue applies to a dog.
Actually, some dogs are even allergic to flea bites, which will mean that the bites feel extremely itchy to a dog.
Fleas are the number one offender when it comes to Labradoodle scratching.
If you decide on going on a flea hunt on your dog, be aware that fleas only hop on to your dog when it’s time for it to eat, but they actually live in the soft furnishings or the yard and not on the dog directly.
But fleas aren’t the only scratchy blind passenger that can set a Labradoodle itching.
Other types of microscopic animals can also be to blame:
- Cheyletiella: A mite with the flattering nickname “walking dandruff.”
- Lice: Not the same species as the human head lice, but still extremely itchy regardless.
- Demodex: These highly infectious scavenger mites are usually found on wildlife.
Since parasites are often the leading source of licking and scratching in a dog, the vet will usually try to eradicate bugs first, before he’s doing any other tests.
If you’re are sure the fleas are gone and the patient is still scratching, then it’s time to look a little bit deeper into possible causes.
Allergies and the Urge to Scratch
Have you ever experienced the wonderful feeling of hay fever? With your nose running and your streaming eyes which are due to an allergic reaction to pollen.
Well, dogs can also be affected by “hay fever.”
But the symptoms affect a dogs’ skin, instead of their nose and eyes like you and i.
Which actually means that allergies make a dog itchy.
And just like with humans, dogs can also be allergic to anything from pollens to grass sap, perfumes to air fresheners, and also from dust mites to mold spores.
So if you want your dog to be as well-defended against allergies as possible, healthy skin is the ultimate solution.
And sadly, licking and scratching can quickly damage your Labradoodles’ skin.
And damaged skin can mean that additional problems, such as yeasts and bacteria can quickly occur.
And these secondary infections are also itchy, so this situation will just exacerbate the issue.
Why is My Labradoodle Scratching so Much? Finding a Diagnosis
The first thing you should be by yourself is going on a hunt for fleas.
Try to be on the lookout for those tell-tale flecks of dark dust in your dogs’ hair.
Try to collect some on a piece of damp cotton wool. If you notice there is an orange halo around each speck, this is what’s referred to as flea dirt.
In this situation, the first thing you should do is treat your dog against fleas.
If the Labradoodle scratching has not improved much within a month, the vet will most likely suggest some further investigation.
Typical actions after this can consist of:
- Running a blood test to expose if Sarcoptes mites are the culprits
- Giving the dog a bath with special medicated shampoo to strengthen skin health
- If an infection is present, a dose of antibiotics will most likely be prescribed
- The dog will then be put on a hypoallergenic diet for around eight weeks, in case they have a food allergy
Itching still won’t stop?
- Skin or blood tests for specific allergies
- A skin biopsy
How to Stop Labradoodle Scratching
There are quite a few things you can do at home to make an itchy Labradoodle feel more comfortable.
- Regular use of an effective flea preventative product
- Bathing your dog with a hydrating shampoo that can wash allergens off the surface of its’ skin
- Giving your dog a diet that is rich in antioxidants to strengthen skin immunity
- Administering a dietary supplement containing omega 3 & 6 oils, which are highly effective and natural anti-inflammatories
- Reduce the levels of potential allergens, such as aerosol products, in your home
If you’ve tried everything and the dog still keeps scratching, the time for the vet to get involved has come.
The vet will try to identify and find the correct treatment for the itch.
These treatments can include using antibiotics, medicated shampoos, and special anti-inflammatory drugs.
Options for Allergy Treatment
If the vet diagnoses your dog with allergies, there are a few options for treatment.
Normally this can involve using drugs that will suppress the itch but there are also some other non-drug options.
- Immunotherapy vaccines: A bespoke vaccine is developed. This vaccine contains small amounts of the allergen that triggers your dogs’ itch. The idea with this is that giving small, but increasing amounts of allergen. This will allow the immune system to get used to the allergen and in the end, it will result in the unwanted exaggerated response being turned off.
- Biological therapies: The new hot thing is called Cytopoint. This injection, which is to be given every 4 – 8 weeks, isn’t labeled as a drug but instead an antibody. It’s also to remove the pathway that triggers the itch, which in turn will stop it from developing entirely.
The downside is that both of the above methods are quite expensive.
Luckily, there is also a wide range of anti-inflammatory drugs which are also very beneficial and a lot cheaper:
- Steroids: Inexpensive and highly effective. Nonetheless, they have a high risk of side effects which means they’re often not the first choice.
- Cyclosporine (Atopica): Originally developed as a means to prevent organ rejection in transplant medicine, these will help switch off the unwanted immune response. They are very effective and without an extensive list of serious side-effects, but they are still quite expensive!
- Oclacitinib (Apoquel): Another relatively new anti-itch medication, this has proved to work quite well for some dogs and is almost free of side-effects. But as it typically is, this is also quite expensive.
Once an Itchy Dog, Always an Itchy Dog? Outlook and Prevention
We have some good news but also some not as good news.
If your dog is scratching because of parasites that is something can be cured, as getting rid of the bugs will typically bring a stop to the itching and scratching.
The less welcome news is that if your dog is suffering from allergies that is something which can’t be cured but only kept in check.
This involves taking a lot of small steps a time. Making several minor changes adds up to a big increase in comfort.
Some strategies to reduce the itch can include:
- Limiting exposure to allergens
- Improving skin health
- Washing allergens off the skin
- Controlling secondary infections, such as yeasts or bacteria
- Use of therapies like immunotherapy vaccines
- Different drugs to reduce the itch
Why is My Labradoodle So Itchy?
If it is just the occasional lazy scratch of the ear that is very common and nothing to worry about. But excessive scratching in a dog is something to act on immediately.
The most common things are typically fleas as the obvious cause of itchiness.
But if you can’t find any fleas on your Doodle, finding the explanation can prove to be quite complicated.
If you have even the smallest amount of doubt go and see the vet early, this will be a big help in avoiding unnecessary complications such as loss of hair and infections.
And if your dog sleeps on the bed with you, getting rid of its’ itch means you will get a night of infinitely better sleep.
Best Products For Labradoodle Scratching and Itching
Best Flea Treatment
Bayer k9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog is a reliable, veterinarian-recommended flea medicine that’s powerful enough to repel and kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes on extra-large dogs.
It is also convenient to use and typically kills fleas within 10 minutes of application.
This flea medicine stood out to us because it kills a wide variety of parasites through contact with no biting required.
This means that your pet is protected from irritation and deadly diseases that can be transmitted by pest bites.
Reviewers say Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog is highly effective, affordable, and easy to apply.
Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo
Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner In One! is a fantastic shampoo to help with your dogs’ itchy skin.
This is shampoo is based on organic oatmeal, baking soda, & aloe vera with coconut that provides natural & instant itch relief!
Not only does it help with Labradoodle itching it also neutralizes the dog smell for days and makes the coat very shiny.
And a nice little bonus is that after your bottle arrives, you’ll be given the option to send in a pic of your pet to the supplier.
When you do, they’ll donate a portion of the profits to a pet with cancer & reply with a pic of the pet you and your pet helped.
Best Anti-Itch Spray
All Natural Anti Itch Oatmeal Spray is instant relief for an itchy Labradoodle.
This spray is a plant and botanical based oatmeal baking soda spray that provides instant, soothing, topical, relief to pets suffering from flea bites, hot spots, grass allergies, pollen allergies, food allergies, surgical stitches from surgery, scratches, and flea-bitten or raw and irritated skin.
It’s made in the USA and they offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee, so if you aren’t happy with the results, just return the product.
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
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Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!