I used to be one of the pet parents, who ask, “how to get my dog to stop chewing on himself?” because I know that I need to do something.
Dogs chewing on themselves beyond a regular frequency are probably suffering from underlying issues that we must address immediately, but the question is, “how?
It is common for dogs to bite or scratch themselves for from time to time to get rid of an itch. They are like humans. Just like us, dogs tend to relieve themselves through biting and scratching their body parts or fur.
However, we know that it is beyond ordinary at all if the biting or scratching becomes more frequent, and the area turns red or sore. There might be more than what meets the eye.
What Do You Need to Know First?
To know how to save our dear pets from their suffering, we should understand what causes the behavior first. Here are the lists of the reasons why our pooches tend to chew on themselves.
Your Dogs Might Have Allergies
Just like us, dogs suffer from allergies too. It is typical from their age of six months to three years. A breed of a dog is also more prone to allergies. Breeds like Lhasa Apso, boxers, and golden retrievers are at risk of developing atopic dermatitis.
Poor and change of diet play a vital factor in why dogs have allergies.
Your Dogs Might Have Skin Problems
The dogs’ sebaceous glands might be overproducing sebum, which can cause seborrheic dermatitis. Do not mistake sebum is terrible for our dogs. Sebum is vital to protect our pooches. However, the overproduction of it can make our furry friends’ skin flaky. The sign associated with it, aside from frequent self-chewing, is the presence of foul odor.
Your Dogs Might Have Parasites
We know that parasites like ticks, mosquitos, and fleas are among the precise reasons why our pooch might be chewing themselves.
Your Dogs Might Have Dry Skin
If the weather is cold or dry, our dogs might suffer from dry skin. Some signs that our dog has it is if he has dandruff or hardened skin.
Your Dogs Might Have Infections
Dogs’ thyroid or cortisol imbalances often cause infections, so as an open, untreated wound.
Your Dogs Might Have Stress and Anxiety
If our dog feels bored, our pooch might feel like it wants to do something, like biting itself and your couch. Expect to see our dog chasing and biting its tail if it feels anxious after we leave for work or school.
Dogs are social animals; that is why they can feel lonely and depressed if they feel that we left them behind.
The dog might have brushed or stepped on something that would irritate its skin. Some of these include pollens, thorn, and glasses. Orthopedic disorders might also cause our pooches to react by chewing on themselves.
What Can We Do to Stop Them from Chewing on Themselves?
Deal with the Allergies
If we are confident that allergy causes this self-chewing problem, we can buy foods formulated for dogs that are sensitive to allergens. It also helps if we can mix or switch the dog’s diet or add omega-3 fatty acids to them if we can.
If it is the bedding that causes our pooch the allergies, wash his bedding with vinegar and hypo-allergenic detergent. We also have to choose the right shampoo for it.
Deal with the Parasites?
Meanwhile, if we see flea dirt, which are the black particles that turn red once we introduce it to water, our furry friend might be suffering from parasite infestation.
Among the remedies that we can do if our pooch suffers from parasites is to ensure proper grooming and bathing. We may use a flea comb to stroke it hair while dipping the comb in soapy water from time to time. Applying eucalyptus oil to our dog’s fur and adding garlic and brewer’s yeast in our dog’s food can repel fleas. Trifexis, Nexgard, and Bravecto can help too.
Related Topic: 8 Tips on How to Stop a Dog From Being Possessive of Owner
Relieve Your Dog’s Stress or Anxiety?
To know the answer to “how to get my dog to stop chewing on himself,” we must be ready to sacrifice some of our time to bond with our dogs. It should feel that we love or compassionate with it. Providing it with stimulating toys are among the examples.
If we are extremely busy, we can keep our pooch happy by taking it in daycare before we go for work. We can also hire a pet-sitter or a dog walker if we can. Buying another pet as his companion is also one of the options.
If we do not have the budget to spend to buy another pet or to hire an individual to take care of him, what we can do is change our routine. One example that we can do this is by exiting on a different door when we need to go out. Before we leave our pooch alone, make sure that we have satisfied all his basic needs.
Keep Your Pooch from Chewing Itself
To help our pooch relieve himself from the itch, get rid of the fur in the sore area. We can use mild shampoo and keep the area dry. To prevent our dog from scratching itself, we can use e-collars or Elizabethan collars.
Seek a Vet’s Advice
Most importantly, seek professional help. No one can answer the question, “How to get my dog to stop chewing on himself?” better than our pooch’s doctor.
Once we bring our pooch into its doctor, we must prepare to answer a few questions which may pertain on the dog’s diet, medical history, allergen exposures, and the like. The vet might recommend antibiotics to treat hotspots caused by bacteria overgrowth due to frequent chewing and biting, and anti-inflammatory pills and painkillers for pain and itch relief.
If we see that our dog is frequently scratching or biting itself, it is a sign of a medical or emotional problem that we need to solve. As pooch parents, we are the only ones that they can rely on for help. They cannot go to hospitals on their own, and they cannot talk.
If we neglect this issue, it may lead to more severe problems like secondary infection caused by Malassezia overgrowth, which worsen the condition.
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. Just like you, I have also had problems on how to get my dog to stop chewing on himself. I solved it by asking professional help and applying the right remedies. Write your thoughts and comments in the comment section and share if you enjoyed it.