Rainy is a 7 years old red standard poodle. The past 2 weeks he has been incredibly itchy. He has always itches here and there, but lately he seems to go nuts over how itchy he is. Poops are good and no runny eyes/nose. He is still in good spirits and as bouncy as ever.
I am worried it is food allergies. He has been on Acana grain free for the past 4 years and just got switched to Wellness regular food because of the recent news about how grain free linked to heart disease. We took him off kibble, transitioned him through homemade food, and fed him raw meat from yesterday. However it seems like the transition is not helping. I gave home 1 tablet (10 mg) Claritin tonight, not sure it will work or not.
His ears, face seem to be the itchiest area. I have checked his skin carefully, but only noticed that there are some small white stuff on the tip of his right ear hair. I'm not sure if they are bug eggs or dandruff. No sign of bites. There is redness around his nose and eyes.
Did this happen within a short time of changing his diet? If it is then it's likely allergy to some ingredient in his diet. Allergies could be seasonal - does his itchiness line up with when pollen counts are high in your area? Could be a reaction to some product you use in the house - did you start using new chemicals to clean the carpet or to launder clothes? Change his shampoo? It's tricky to pull these things apart, but if this itching started shortly after changing his diet, it's likely the food.
My dog has allergies and food intolerances to several things, including legumes (peas, beans etc) and fish. I went through many foods before I figured out what was causing the problems and ended up home cooking because it's hard to find lower fat, higher carbohydrates that is legume free which is what my dog does best on. I used to keep lists of what the ingredients of each food that she ate and her reaction to it, looking through that list I could see all the foods had legumes in them - my home cooked has no legumes and removing them did the trick. No more red ears or itchy skin.
I would go back to the original diet, Acana grain free. Does the itchiness resolve......if it does, then it's probably the food. Once you have him stabilized with no allergic response, you can start testing different foods.
Look at the ingredient list of what he was eating and compare it to what you are feeding now - anything that is different is the potential allergen.
If he continues to itch - the vet has a prescription hydrolized diet you can switch too.