Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

 My 1 year old goldendoodle has been acting odd and chewing himself all over. It doesn't seem like a nervous habit he just keeps scratching himself. I think he's itchy. He just had a bath so I think it might be his shampoo. Any suggestions on products I could use that might help him? Anything will help. Thanks!

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It probably isn't the shampoo, unless you used something new and/or didn't rinse him well.  Is he licking or biting at his paws? Rubbing his face? These can be signs of allergies in dogs. Allergies in dogs typically show up between 1 - 3 years old. or it may just be dry itchy skin, exacerbated by the dry heated indoor air.

If you are sure he doesn't have fleas, you can try giving him a 500 mg evening primrose oil capsule once a day, you may see an improvement in a week or so. Adding a little wild salmon oil to his food may help, too. There are OTC cortisone sprays for itching that you can buy in the pet supply stores that will bring temporary relief, but if it continues, he should be checked for mites; your vet will need to do a skin scraping, they are invisible to the eye.

At this time of year, in your climate, seasonal allergies would be unusual. It's possible that he has dust or storage mite allergies. It's also possible that he is developing an allergy to his food, if you have been feeding the same food for a long period of time. Food allergies are relatively uncommon, but about 10 percent of allergies in dogs are related to foods- usually wheat, corn, beef, chicken or soy. If you want to pursue that possibility, you can try switching to a food with none of the above ingredients, preferably one that is grain-free.

Thank you so much for the information! He's mostly chewing his body. He almost never sheds, but we've been finding little clumps of hair around. I don't know if this could be because of his food, but we have just been gradually putting him onto adult food. So that might be it. If he keeps having the same issues we'll take him to the vet. Thanks for all of the advice!

A new food wouldn't be the culprit; it takes time to develop allergy symptoms. But if the proteins are the same, i.e. if the old food was chicken-based, and the new one is as well, he may have developed an allergy to chicken. The itching is not from the new food itself, he wouldn't have had time to build up an allergic reaction to it.

As I say, food allergies are relatively rare. The danger with ther scratching and bting themselves is that it leads to hair loss, which you are beginning to see, and then to skin infections, requiring antibiotics and sometimes oral steroids. So you want to do something to stop the itching before it gets to that point. The fatty acids in the evening primrose oil and salmon oil will help, as well as the temporary relief sprays. If you aren't running a humidifier on your furnace, you may want to consider getting one. And try washing his bedding and eliminating as much dust as possible from the areas where he spends the most time. For things like dust mite allergies, it helps a lot. Since Jack has storage mite allergies, I also have to debag his food and keep it in air-tuight containers, along with washing his bowls every day. But it's hard to know which things apply to  your guy without knowing what's causing the itching. The fact that he isn't chewing his paws is a very good sign, since that's almost always the first sign of allergies. Hopefully this is just dry skin. When he gets a bath, it's also a good idea to use a cool dryer or let him ari-dry, if he continues to have this problem. Goodluck, let us know how it goes.

We had a terrible issue with itching and scratching with our new puppy Bella when she got here in Oct. (In Arizona from Michigan) We had thought it could be the change in environment, being so dry here, and we knew it wasnt' the food as they don't show food allergies that young (10 weeks). But my breeder and several others did mention that I may be washing her too often, which I do. The vet advised a soapless dog shampoo, a DK;'er advised Tropiclean shampoo for itching and an Earthbath tea tree spray. I also added the EPO to her fish oil supplements daily and did not bath her for 3 weeks, ( a long time for me)

She improved with the shampoo almost immediately by 50% and has continued with the EPO and fish oil daily. I use the spray intemittedly now as needed. She went from scratching about 4-5 times every 10 minutes to 4-5 times a day at most. And that's mostly if she has been rolling around in the grass, and I even itch when we do that!

I am back to weekly baths and using the shampoo has worked great. Murphy still gets the good ol dog shampoo by the gallon from the petstore as i could wash him in laundry soap (no I never have) and he just doesn't itch. And he has been in every climate from Utah to Florida. Just not itchy. But he has Always gotten at least the Fish oil and has had EPO for about a year or more.

Hope this helps

I dont know where you get the energy to bath your dog every week - Cooper gets a bath ever 3 or 4 months (with lots of Earthbath spritzes in between), it takes 2 of us, and its such a long winded chore!

I have to bath two doodles by myself every week (well, sometimes I skip Sophie's bath). But now Winston has to be bathed twice a week... it's really tough but you get used to it. I actually tether them in the bathtub so they don't try to escape and then I hop right in there with them lol!

We had a golden retriever mix (looked like a golden) and when he was a puppy we were told that goldens can have sensitive/dry/itcy skin.  He was also extremely allergic to fleas (I understood as I'm very allergic to bug bites :-) ).  Anyway, we made sure to keep him on a lamb & rice dog food with a higher fat content - some actually specify that they are for skin and coat.  I have also noticed that dry, winter air will cause skin to be dry and itchy.
Shelby had seemed to want to itch like that too.  There is some good advice here.  I will tell you what I tried and have seen some dramatic improvement.... Head and Shoulders Shampoo.  It has done wonders for her and turns out that it is ten times better than any dog shampoo I have ever tried.  It gives fluffy hair for longer,  easier to run the slicker brush through and smells really good.  Also you can try Selsun Blue.  These products are for itch dry scalp.  These wonderful Doodles are known for Sensitive Skin so go with what feels right!

Thanks for posting this about people shampoos for itchy skin.  I'll start Ozzy on one next week and hopefully see a difference in his itchy behavior!!!!!  :)

I've actually heard that human shampoos shouldn't be used on dogs. I don't think it's good for their skin as the ph balance isn't the same. I would check with a vet before doing this...

Sherri is correct, human shampoos are not the best option. But also, this discussion is more than a year old, and so is the response about the human shampoo, lol.

Does he have any spots on his body that he targets most, like a patch that is red and sore (hot spot)?

Also, check his belly for little pimples too. Winston has a bacterial infection that is causing him to lick himself a lot, and has little red bumps on his belly. The veterinarian dermatologist I consulted has put him on a special antibiotic and I have to bath him twice a week with antibacterial shampoo. I have no idea if this will help you, but maybe it's something to check into...



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