Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. May want to check for either food or environmental allergies if parasites/fleas have been ruled out.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Your dog may be biting himself in an attempt to relieve the itchiness of dry skin, which could be caused by a number of things, such as dry, cold weather or a lack of fatty acids. You may be able to spot flakes of dandruff and cracked, tough skin.
Your dog may be allergic to environmental triggers, like pollen, mold spores, or dust mites. Environmental allergens can cause allergic itch during certain seasons, or even year-round. Dogs with environmental allergies will often show signs of allergic itch around their face, belly, and paws.
It is a symptom caused by dry skin, allergies, parasites, or other underlying conditions. Anxiety and boredom can cause dogs to lick, chew, and bite as a response. Changing your dog`s diet may be the key to stopping obsessive licking behavior. Fatty acid supplements can help ease pain and itching from dry skin.
For owners of aging dogs, itchy skin, also known as pruritus, is a typical issue. It`s when dogs scratch repeatedly for longer periods. It could be due to something as basic as dry skin, but it could also mean serious ailments like allergies, hypothyroidism, or Demodex mites, among other disorders.
Your dog may be biting because they are brimming with excitement and energy. Australian Cattle Dogs do need a generous walk each day. So start taking them for a long walk and throwing things for them to fetch as you go. If they`re tired and sleeping, they won`t get worked up and start biting so easily.
Some of the most common reasons for excessive itching include parasites, allergies, and dry skin. However, there are also other, less common causes of itching, such as poor hygiene and yeast infections, which also deserve consideration.
Lack of Exercise or Mental Stimulation

Some dogs simply do not get enough physical and mental stimulation. Bored dogs tend look for ways to entertain themselves, and chewing is one option. To prevent destructive chewing, be sure to provide plenty of ways for your dog to exercise his mind and body.

Mites are tiny spider-like creatures that can typically only be seen with a microscope, but sometimes they may be visible as tiny orange, black or white dots moving on your dog`s skin.
Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings disease) due to an excess of cortisol production frequently causes the dog to itch, lose hair, have thin skin with dark pigment, drink excessively and have recurring skin problems.
Senior dogs often suffer from skin issues including hair loss and itching. The older they get, the more serious skin problems are and the more frequently they bring your dog down. Omega fatty acids are proven to help stave off those skin-related symptoms of aging.
Antihistamines with the active ingredients of diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, cetirizine, clemastine or loratadine are usually safe for most healthy adult dogs. Hydroxyzine is another dog-safe antihistamine and one of the most effective available, but it`s only available on prescription.
The last few days before your dog passes you may notice: extreme weight loss, a distant look in their eyes, a lack of interest in anything, restlessness or unusual stillness, a change in the way that your dog smells, and a changed temperament.
Vestibular disease is the main reason why an older dog may experience a sudden loss of balance and an inability to stand or walk normally. How can you tell if a dog has a vestibular disease? A few of the signs include dizziness, stumbling or wobbly steps, and falling over.
Benadryl is commonly used to treat itchiness in dogs caused by skin allergies, and it also reduces many of the other symptoms of allergies, including: AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org.
Plain Sugar-Free Yogurt: Feeding your dog plain yogurt might also offer relief from itchy skin. If your pup happens to have a food allergy, then plain yogurt can help soothe their digestive system and stem the scratching.
Most likely your puppy is teething. The baby teeth are getting ready to fall out and the adult teeth are starting to come in. It`s a difficult time for everyone! This is a time when many people living with puppies get frustrated and sometimes even take our their anger on their puppies.
Although scratching with their feet is the most common way a dog will address skin irritation, they may also choose to bite or lick themselves to try and soothe the irritation. This could be brought on by food allergies, bacterial infections, environmental allergies and plenty of other complications that aren`t fleas.
Most dogs will inevitably encounter excessive itchiness at some point in their lives. In many cases, it will be annoying for your dog but not serious. That being said, some skin conditions will need to be seen by a veterinarian and will require treatment in order to prevent them from growing in severity.
Apple cider vinegar for dogs may help prevent itchy skin while soothing skin irritation and rashes. Since it`s acidic, it may also prevent yeast infections on the skin and ears. In addition, the acidic compounds in apple cider vinegar can eliminate dandruff and treat some mild skin conditions like hot spots.
Topical Benefits – It`s been known to help skin conditions like hot spots, bites, stings, or itchy, dry skin. Shampoos made with organic oils such as coconut oil can improve damaged skin and reduce allergens. Some pet owners have even made a DIY paw balm with coconut oil as one of the ingredients.
Coconut oil is generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts or have applied to their skin or fur. When it comes to selecting a brand, virgin coconut oil is best, as most of coconut oil`s benefits have been observed with this type.
Otodectes cynotis are surface mites that target your dog`s ears and cause intense itchiness. Ear mites are most often found on puppies as well as dogs who interact with outdoor cats. You might suspect ear mites if: Your dog is constantly scratching at her ears.
Hypoadrenocorticism is an uncommon disease in dogs, and it is caused by a deficiency of essential hormones that are made by the adrenal glands. Also known as Addison`s disease, the clinical signs may appear as vague signs of illness that come and go.
Most dogs are 6 years of age or older when diagnosed, but it can occur in younger dogs. The disease is rare in cats.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. I have a 13 1/2 year old Shih Tzu. How old is he in dog years?
ANSWER : A. It’s used to be that dog years were 7 years to every 1. Now it normally around 5 years to every year as long as your dog is healthy and kept up with vaccines. So he’s about 68ish in dog years.

Read Full Q/A … : Shih Tzu Age

Q. How do I get my dog to stop chewing on things? I kennel her when I leave for a few hours, but I can’t go to the mailbox without her eating something.
ANSWER : A. If she’s young, then this is just normal puppy behavior. Don’t worry about it. The thing about puppies is, they explore using their mouths. If your puppy grabs a coat hanger, or a slipper, you should roll up a newspaper, and smack yourself on the head with it for leaving those things out.. your puppy is going to explore things, that’s normal! It is 100% up to YOU to keep those things away from your puppy when your puppy is unsupervised… even for just a moment.

Remember to never scold your puppy for grabbing these things. They are just curious little cuties, and they don’t chew things up to bother us.. Dogs do not have intentional thought, so they aren’t ever doing anything ON PURPOSE to us.. The most important thing you can do when your puppy is chewing something you don’t want her to be chewing is TRADE her the inappropriate item with a toy of hers, so she understands “no honey, that isn’t what puppies chew on… THIS is what puppies chew on!” and then begin playing with her using her toy to show her that TOYS ARE FUN.. Way more fun than a boring ol’ coat hanger.

Another helpful thing you can do is have two bags of toys. In each bag is many different kinds of toys. Lots of chew toys, lots of soft squeaky toys, lots of rope-type toys, a bunch of balls.. All kinds of things! For one week you have bag#1’s toys out for your puppy to play with.. At the end of the one week, you collect those toys, and you bring out bag#2! The toys will be more interesting/feel like new to your puppy, which will in-turn, make her chew less inappropriate things. Her toys are too fun to care about that dumb Wii-mote that you left laying around.

Hope this helps!

Q. Does an indoor cat need to be vaccinated every year?
ANSWER : A. In practice, I recommend a feline combo vaccine every year, but will generally start administering every 3 years once they have had their kitten vaccines and 2 additional yearly vaccines. Rabies, is required yearly by law, and if kept up to date can be good for up to three years also. Based on the age of your cat I would give a yearly feline combo and rabies, and then boost the combo again next year.

Q. My dog is 14 years old and just this year have we noticed scaly skin and it is all over his body except stomach. What should we do?
ANSWER : A. Scaly skin can be caused by a number of things in dogs ranging from general allergies, external parasites, infection and metabolic disease. If your dog is already on a preventive medication for external parasites, it is a good idea to monitor for any other signs of illness. Signs such as hair loss, scratching and chewing, redness and more can help you figure out the cause. For general allergies, a treatment with an allergy medication appropriate for your dog’s size and preventing licking and chewing of areas can help. If hair loss or other changes in behavior such as increased thirst, changes in weight or appetite and vomiting or diarrhea happen in addition to scaly skin, then having your vet check for a metabolic issue with bloodwork is best.

Q. I was wondering what would be the best dog for a nine-year-old 14-year-old and a nine-year-old that cannot walk
ANSWER : A. You should pick a gentle, no agressive, inteligent dog. some breeds are predisposed to this kind of character but you should always asses the single animal and its behaviour. You can choose from family breeds like labs, shephards, retrievers.

Read Full Q/A … : Caring for an Elderly Dog

Q. My Pug’s nose is red and he doesn’t have a yeast infection. He is taking medicine for that. It seems to get worse when he goes outside. Any ideas?
ANSWER : A. Redness or irritation can be caused by a number of things including yeast infections as you mentioned, but can also be caused by allergies to the environment, or even cold or hot weather. Dogs with short fur can often get sunburns on the skin, and the cold may also irritate or cause redness when outdoors. Allergies to pollens or other outdoor allergens may also cause redness on the body or nose. An allergy medication from your vet is usually all that is needed to clear this up.

If the redness is happening just when outside, it may also be that your dog is digging or nosing around in something that is irritating. It may be a good idea to watch your dog a few times while he is outside to see if there is anything he enjoys exploring. The redness could just be irritation from that.

However, if you are concerned about the redness, it is always a good idea to bring it up with your veterinarian to make sure there is not a more serious cause behind it.

Q. My 8 month old puppy is chewing off her hair. She does not chew to the point of raw skin, only the hair. Any ideas?
ANSWER : A. I’d agree with the answer below, and I’d add that with a puppy as young as yours the most common cause of chewing is external parasites and fungal disease. It’s important to realize that almost always, chewing is caused by being itchy. It’s essentially a way that dogs scratch.

The first thing to do is to rule out parasites. Even if you don’t see fleas, treat her for fleas. Use a good product like Frontline – it’s easy to apply (avoid the hairless areas, it should be placed between the shoulderblades. You should also consider that your dog might be getting bitten by mosquitos – a common problem in thin-skinned dogs, and depending on where you live they can still be a problem this time of year.

Your vet also needs to perform a scraping of the skin to rule out mites. And again…even if no mites are found, I would recommend treating for them. They are almost as common as fleas in puppies, and depending on her recent situation (rescued from a shelter?) stress can depress the immune system and cause a mite infestation to take hold.

And finally, ringworm, which is actually a fungal disease, should be ruled out. It’s also almost universally related to conditions, like overcrowded shelters, but it does happen and puppies are more susceptible.

One more note: allergies are possible, but other things are probably more likely at this point. If your vet doesn’t know what to do, I would recommend looking for someone who does.