Why Does My Goldendoodle Itch So Much and What to Do About It

Why Does My Goldendoodle Itch So Much and What to Do About It

Is your Goldendoodle itching?  There are many reasons that they are itching and many things you can do at home to help give them some relief.  Sometimes these at-home treatments are just not enough, and you will need to take your Goldendoodle to the vet.  

This article will explain all about why your dog may be itching and what you can do about it.

Why Does My Goldendoodle Itch So Much?

  1. Allergies
  2. Fleas or other mites
  3. Ear Infections
  4. Dry Skin

Each one of the causes has many parts that can cause your pet to be itchy. 

Allergies

Your Goldendoodle can develop allergies to things in the environment, such as plants, pollens, fungus, to certain foods and food dyes, and on more rare occasions, even other pets.

The Most Common Type of Allergen seen in Goldendoodles

The most common allergy that any Goldendoodle has is being allergic to something in their environment. This does not always mean something found only in nature. A

llergens like trees or flower pollens, molds, and fungus, or dander are still the most prevalent. It is also becoming more common for our dogs to develop allergies to human-made things like soaps and clothing dyes. 

Environmental allergen

Pollen

Pollen is the most common allergy because it is found in just about every region. Trees and flowers both shed pollen into the air, so it makes it extremely difficult to determine what pollens that are causing your pet could be allergic.

Your veterinarian can run tests to see what your dog is allergic to, but they can be expensive, and not guarantee to find a specific allergen. Most people deal with the symptoms as they arise, because like with humans, there tends to be a time of year when these allergies worsen.

During certain times of the year, a pet with seasonal allergies may show little or no signs of allergies at all.

Mold

Mold is another common allergy for pets. There are many different types of species of mold, but all are formed from a fungus. Each fungus grows into a specific form, which is how doctors identify them.

The fungus needs a dark, damp place to thrive, so under a house or behind furniture, are places where our pets also seem to like. Cleaning your home can certainly help, but then again, some of those cleaners may be adding to the problem.

Chemicals

Pets are presenting with more and more signs that they are allergic to human-made soaps and dyes. You may have noticed that every time you wash your pet’s bedding or toys, they seem to itch a lot, or sometimes have little raised bumps on their skin.

The chemicals in detergents can be extremely irritating to pets. An allergic reaction like a rash is a tell-tale sign that your pet is allergic to something it has come in to direct contact.

It is important not to be alarmed, as most allergic reactions are mild and may be treated at home with antihistamines.  A more severe reaction like swelling in the face or limbs, or trouble breathing, will require immediate veterinary attention.

Some allergies may not clear up on their own and may become much more severe.  They can cause secondary infections that can be more difficult to treat.

Dog Foods Allergies

Many dog foods are loaded with food dyes. These dyes are put in to make food look more presentable to your Goldendoodle. 

They have no real nutritional value, and can even end up making your pet have an allergic reaction. Food dyes are not a natural substance, so our pets can sometimes react to it.

The most common is having a rash with hives and even hair loss. By properly transitioning your pet to food not containing these dyes, you may easily correct this problem.

What are the signs your pet has allergies?

Most of the time, our pets will present an allergic reaction on their skin. Tree pollens are very sticky and coat the entire surface of your pets’ skin. The longer these pollens can stay on your pet’s skin, the more likely a reaction will occur.

Rashes

The most typical physical sign of a skin reaction is when it becomes red and irritated and sometimes form a mild rash.

Though skin irritation is the most common sign, it is also the most difficult to pinpoint where the allergen came from, because it could come from anywhere. 

A skin reaction could mean it was something they touched, but also could be something they ate or even something your pet inhaled.

Hair loss

A more severe skin reaction is hair loss. Often hair loss can be associated with low-quality food, fleas, or parasites like Demodex, but it can be a sign of much more severe disease as well.

Thyroid disease is common among dogs and cats and can make your pet very sick. Any time hair loss is observed, it is recommended to have your pet examined by a veterinarian, as some diseases can become life-threatening.

Just like with humans, your pet may develop a runny nose and sneeze frequently. Watery eyes and sometimes itchy or infected ears may occur.

Do allergies cause infections?

Yes, allergies can cause your dog to scratch and damage the natural skin layer. 

This can cause an infection to set in quickly. Ear infections occur when, during an allergy attack, your pet’s immune system is compromised. While their body is busy fighting off pollen and mold, sneaky little fungi get the chance to overgrow, causing what is known as a yeast infection.

The best way to tell if your pet has a yeast infection is by noticing a foul odor in the ear canal.

Your veterinarian can confirm a yeast infection by looking at a sample under a microscope. Usually, an ear wash is prescribed along with a daily regimen of ear cleanings.

Fleas and other Mites

Certain parasites can cause your dog to be very itchy.  These are common parasites that we see in dogs that cause them to itch.

  1. Fleas

Fleas are commonly seen in dogs who spend any time outside.  These parasites are easily seen on the skin. 

If you part the hair on the back near their tail, you can see small little black bugs moving around.  Sometimes you may just see flea dirt.  This looks like little flakes of pepper on their skin. 

If you are having a hard time finding these mites, you can use a flea comb to use to easily bring any fleas to the surface.

Most Goldendoodles are allergic to the saliva that is produced by fleas. 

When your Goldendoodle gets bit by a flea, it transfers its saliva on to your dog.  This causes a local allergic reaction and causing your dog to be very itchy.

If you notice fleas on your Goldendoodle, you can bathe them in a flea medicated shampoo or get flea prevention from your veterinarian. 

There are many different types of flea medications.  Some is a topical liquid that you put on their skin, some are a pill that they eat, and then there are flea collars. 

Ask your veterinarian to discuss all your options of flea and tick medication.

  • Demodex Mites

Demodex Mites are a type of mange mites that is commonly seen in puppies. 

This type of mite is not contagious to people or other dogs. Puppies get these mites from their mother. 

These mites are microscopic cigar-shaped mites that burry into the hair follicles of your dog’s skin.  Common signs of Demodex mites in dogs are itchy skin, hair loss, and sometimes skin infection.

If your dog does have Demodex, your veterinarian will want to do a skin scrape and look at the scraping under the microscope. 

If your dog does have Demodex, there is a medication that your dog can take to treat their Demodex infection. 

Usually, once your dog has been treated once, they do not have a relapse, but there is always a chance that your Goldendoodle can have a relapse later in life.

  • Scabies Mites

Scabies mites are another type of mange mite that your dog can get.  These are more commonly seen in dogs who are in a shelter or found on the streets.  These mites are contagious to people. 

These mites can cause your dog to be very itchy, hair loss, and skin infection.  Usually, these puppies will come into the vet clinic with little to no hair on their whole body. 

Your vet will skin scrape your pet to check for these mites and start your puppy on medication to help kill these mites.  Since you can also catch these mites, it is best to wash your hands very well after touching your puppy. 

If you start itching or develop a rash, consult with your doctor right away.

Ear Infections

Your Goldendoodle can get an ear infection for many different reasons.  These usually cause your Goldendoodle to itch their ears.

More serious things can occur from having an ear infection such as a hematoma, or your Goldendoodle can even go deaf. 

These are a common cause of ear infections and what you can do about them.

  1. Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions in Goldendoodles are seen very often in the early spring to late fall.  Allergies are usually seasonal, and you will usually see a reoccurrence around the same time every year.  

Your Goldendoodle is most likely allergic to something that is blooming and releasing pollen during this time of year.  The pollen is most likely from trees or grass. 

Your vet can run an allergy test to figure out exactly what your Goldendoodle is allergic to. 

There are many ways to help your Goldendoodle’s seasonal allergies, and one of the best ways is by bathing them regularly. Baths will keep the pollen and grass off your Goldendoodle’s fur.

  • Food allergies

Food allergies are not seen as common in dogs, but they can be the main cause of ear problems. 

The two most common sites associated with food allergies are ear infections and infections around their rectum. 

Most Goldendoodles who have food allergies are allergic to beef, eggs, chicken, and dairy. If you think that your Goldendoodle has a food allergy, try switching their diets.

These are three great diets to try:

  • Diet with a different protein.  A diet with a different protein is known as a novel protein diet.  This diet is one where the protein is different than their normal diet.  These proteins include meats such as kangaroo, fish, rabbit, or venison.  
  • Hydrolyzed protein diet. By hydrolyzing these proteins, you are shrinking them.
  • A limited ingredient diet. These diets only have a few ingredients meaning it is much easier to pick a food that does not contain the ingredients that your Goldendoodle is allergic to.
Hydrolyzed protein diet for Dogs with Allergies - Hydrolyzed protein diet

Both types of diets should be fed for at least 6 to 8 weeks before giving up hope that they are not the source of your Goldendoodle’s allergies.  

  • Bacterial infections

Bacterial infection in the ear is a  common cause of ear infections.  Ear infections cause discharge to come from your Goldendoodle’s ears. 

There are many different types of bacteria that can be causing this infection.  One of the most common types of bacterias found in your Goldendoodle’s ear is staph. 

A bacterial ear infection is treated with ear cleaner and topical medication inside your Goldendoodle’s ear. 

This may be something you may have to do every day for a few weeks, or your vet may pack your dog’s ear with medication that stays in place for 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Yeast infections

Yeast infections the other common cause of ear problems.  If your Goldendoodle has an allergic reaction, it will produce more skin oils.  These oils build up in your dog’s ears and make it this perfect environment for yeast to grow.

Yeast infection in your Goldendoodle’s ear will make a very smelly waxy debris.  If you notice a very strong smell coming from your Goldendoodle’s ears, take them to your vet. 

They can make sure that your Goldendoodle does have a yeast infection and get your Goldendoodle started on a treatment for the yeast.  These infections commonly reoccur many times throughout your Goldendoodle’s life. 

If you notice that your Goldendoodle is commonly getting yeast infections in their ears, talk to your vet about any preventative maintenance you can do for your dog’s ears.

  • Mites

Ear mites can cause ear problems in young Goldendoodles. These microscopic mites are moving around in your dog’s ear. 

This can cause irritation and your dog to constantly itch their ears.  Your vet can check for ear mites in your Goldendoodle’s’ ear by looking at a swab of ear debris under the microscope. 

If your Goldendoodle does have ear mites, your vet will prescribe a medication that will be put directly into your dog’s ear.  This medication will quickly kill all the ear mites and stop your Goldendoodle from itching their ears.

  • Foreign objects

There are foreign objects that your Goldendoodle could have accidentally got in their ears, causing problems. 

These are some of the most common things that vets find in Goldendoodle’s ears.

  • Dirt: Goldendoodle love to play outside and roll in the dirt.  When they are playing, they can easily get dirt into their ears.  This dirty does not usually cause an infection but can cause your Goldendoodle to itch their ears.
  • Plant debris: When your Goldendoodle is outside smelling around in the tall grass, they can easily get a piece of grass or grass seed in their ears.  Grass seeds or debris can be very irritating to your Goldendoodle’s ears.
  • Small bugs: Small bugs, fleas, or ticks can get into your Goldendoodle’s ear.  Your vet can look into their ears to make sure that there are no small bugs that have taken up residence in your Goldendoodle’s ears.
  • Dried ear medication: If your dog has recently had an ear infection, the ear medication can dry in their ears and cause their ears to bother them.  This is very easy to fix with an ear cleaning. 

Symptoms of ear infection

There are many symptoms of ear infections in your dog.  Some of the signs most commonly seen with dogs with ear infections are:

  • Shaking their head
  • Odor coming from their ears
  • Scratching their ears
  • Bloody or yellow discharge coming from their ears
  • Redness in and around their ears

If you notice any of these common signs in your Goldendoodle, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. 

They will examine your Goldendoodle’s ears to determine the cause of the redness.

Prevention

There are many ways to prevent many ear problems in your Goldendoodle. 

If your Goldendoodle is prone to ear infection, these are some steps that you can take in order to help decrease the chance of ear infections.

  • Cleaning your Goldendoodle’s ears after bathing or other outdoor activity.  After your Goldendoodle has been outside or after they get a bath or groom, make sure that you clean and dry their ears.  When a Goldendoodle’s ear gets wet, there is a good chance of their ears getting infected. Keeping your Goldendoodle’s ears clean and dry will help decrease the reoccurrence ear infections in your Goldendoodle.
  • Monitoring diet and allergies: If your Goldendoodle gets ear infections a lot, and you think that they have a food allergy, switch their food to a novel protein diet. This may be an easy fix to help clear up your Godlendoodle’s ear infections.
  • Regular vet checkups: Seeing your veterinarian often will help catch ear infections early.  Your vet can prescribe your Goldendoodle allergy medication and other at-home preventions that can help prevent ear infections in your dog.

Dry Skin

If your Goldendoodle has dry or flaky skin, you will notice that your dog will itch a lot. This dry skin will be dandruff that you can easily see on their undercoat. 

You will also notice that your pets’ skin has cracked and is very tough.  There are many at-home remedies that you can try for your Goldendoodle’s dry, itchy skin. 

Goldendoodles with dry skin need baths in soothing shampoo such as oatmeal many times these shampoos also have a conditioner.  These are best to help keep your pet’s skin moisturized. 

It is advised to only bathe your dog once a week. 

Baths, more often than once a week, can cause their skin to become very dry.  You can also consider adding supplements such as Omega 3’s to your pet’s diet.

Treatment for Itchy Skin

Many times, the treatment will depend on what is causing your dog to itch. 

Environmental allergies are usually treated with dog allergy medications such as Cytopoint or Apoquel.  Sometimes steroids or other immunosuppressant drugs are used. 

If you are looking for an over the counter medication for allergies, Benadryl is a great choice.  Your dog would need 1 mg per pound of body weight.  So a 25-pound dog would need one 25mgs tablet. 

Many times, Benadryl will help treat very mild cases of seasonal allergies, but most of the time, this medication is not strong enough to help your Goldendoodle stop itching.

Fleas and mites will need medication specifically targeted to killing these parasites. These medications can be purchased at your vet’s office. 

Ear infection many times will need to be treated with medications that you put into your dog’s ear every day or once a week.  This medication will help treat the bacteria and yeast that could be living in your dog’s ear, making them itch.

Dry skin is easily treated with dietary supplements or routine bathing. 

How to Tell If a Goldendoodle Puppy Will Be Curly

Supplements for Itchy Skin

If your Goldendoodle is very itchy, there are many things that you can do to help decrease their itching.  These are common supplements that can be added to your Goldendoodle’s diet to help with their itching.

Omega 3’s

Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial to give your Goldendoodle. 

Studies show that Omega 3’s can help improve skin disorders, help with allergic conditions by decrease the over-responsive immune system, and help with yeast infections. 

There are many different ways that your Goldendoodle can take Omega 3’s.  A trip to a health food store, pet store, or other online retailers, you can easily find many of these products.

Many of these oils do not contain a preservative, so they can spoil very quickly.  It is not recommended to purchase large amounts at one time.

Salmon oil

This is a wonderful natural source for your Goldendoodle to receive. 

Most dogs cannot break down alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to the common types of Omega 3’s — EPA and DHA.  Salmon oil directly provides eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 

This allows your Goldendoodle to receive the full amount of EPA and DHA since it does not need to be broken down into another substance.

Coconut oil

This is a way you can give your Goldendoodle Omega 3’s. Coconut oil is very high in fatty acids and has also shown to also help with dog’s digestion and skin problems.  Coconut oil can be found as an oil or as a tasty treat.   

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice commonly used for cooking.  This is a plant similar to ginger root, except it is a bright orange color. There are many great benefits of giving your Goldendoodle turmeric.

This is a wonderful supplement to add to your Goldendoodle’s daily diet. Turmeric has been shown to help with many medical conditions. 

Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that make it a great supplement to add to your pet’s daily diet to help with seasonal allergies, as well as epilepsy and liver disease. 

If your Goldendoodle has any of these conditions, ask your vet if turmeric is an excellent choice to add to their diet.

CBD

CBD oil or cannabidiol is developed from hemp plants.  CBD does not contain THC.  This is . the product linked to the psychogenic state. 

This oil has been shown to have been added benefits to a Goldendoodle’s health, such as decreasing inflammation and helping repair the natural skin barrier. By using CBD oil your dog, has been shown to help reduce inflammation. 

When your dog itches their skin, your Goldendoodle will cause local inflammation at the spot that they have been itching. 

Studies show that CBD products help repair the natural skin barrier and allow the skin to heal. This makes CBD products a great supplement for any dog with itchy skin.

When do I need to see my vet

Sometimes you can treat your dog’s itchy skin at home, but there are times that you will need to take your Goldendoodle to the vet.

If your Goldendoodle has been itching for more than a few days or if they have itched so much that their skin or ears have started to bleed, they will need to see a vet. 

Remember, the quicker you start treating a problem, the better the outcome.  No one likes to watch their Goldendoodle suffer from itchy skin.  There are many products that your veterinarian can give you to help relieve pain and suffering from your itchy dog.  

FINAL THOUGHTS

There are many reasons that your Goldendoodle may be itching.  Some of these are very easy to treat, while others may have lifelong maintenance that you must do. 

Staying on top of treating any problems in your Goldendoodle will help them live a healthy and happy life.  Itchy skin is no fun for you or your pup, so start treating their problems as soon as possible.

Why Does My Goldendoodle Itch So Much and What to Do About It

Dr. Sara Ochoa

I am a graduate of St. George's University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. I have been practicing Veterinary Medicine for the past 5 years treating small animal and exotic animals. I own a dog, cat, rabbit, and tortoise. I have extensive knowledge treating all species of animals with a passion for surgery.

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