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Senior Dog Constantly Scratching? Here’s How to Help

Written by: Amber King
| Published on April 12, 2018

The effects of aging can wear down your senior dog, but dedicated dog owners are choosing a popular supplement to keep their pups living happy and healthy. Omega fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties paired with natural healing qualities that make them an essential part of a dog’s nutrition.

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. If you notice any of these signs in your senior dog, it might be time to introduce them to an omega fatty acid supplement.

Common Skin Concerns in Senior Dogs


Seeing your dog satisfy the occasional itch is nothing to worry about, but scratching themselves frequently and for long periods of time is a sign something isn’t right. Itchy skin is officially called pruritus, and it’s a common concern for owners of senior dogs. Allergies could be to blame, and deodex mites, hypothyroidism, and other rare diseases could also be the culprit. In some cases, dry skin is the simple reason behind a dog’s constant itching. Regardless of the cause, older dogs have aging immune systems that leave them vulnerable to infection. It’s important to talk to a vet to determine the exact cause of your dog’s incessant scratching.

Hair Loss

When the itching becomes especially intense, bald spots might develop on your dog’s skin. Most cases of hair loss happen because the dog licks, nibbles, and scratches the same spot so often they actually pull their own hair out. Other times, fur falls out due to issues like parasites or Cushing’s disease. Hair loss can manifest as a single bald spot with defined edges, or it can be a gradual thinning of the fur. Either way, it’s important to regularly inspect your dog’s fur for signs they’re losing more hair than usual. Remember to check under their chin, on the inside of their legs, and on their paws.

Sores and Hot Spots

Also called moist dermatitis, hot spots are red, angry-looking sores that can develop anywhere on a dog’s body. They’re most often caused by bacteria and also happen when a dog excessively scratches and licks a specific spot. If the dog breaks the skin through scrathcing, the door is open for bacteria to get into the wound. Senior dogs are especially at risk of developing hot spots because their thin skin is more subject to being torn. Most hot spots can be treated at home with special sprays and creams, but they’re still painful for the dog.

Dull Coat

It’s hard to see your dog’s once prized coat gradually lose its luster. Older dogs often experience nutrient deficiency, and one of the first signs is dull, rough-feeling fur. Their fur relies on nutrients to remain moist, soft, and healthy. As the dog ages, they’re less able to absorb the nutrients they need. Their fur loses its shine and instead of being soft, it’s brittle. This change won’t happen overnight, but it’s a gradual shift in how your dog looks.

How Omega Fatty Acids Can Help

Fatty acids are an essential part of every dog’s healthy diet. Unlike other nutrients dogs depend on, fatty acids need to come entirely from the food they eat—their bodies aren’t capable of making their own. The fatty acids dogs need most are grouped into categories including omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9. Dogs need the perfect balance of all three to reap the rewards of a healthy diet.

Studies show supplementing a senior dog’s diet with fatty acids has numerous benefits for the dog’s skin and fur. Fatty acids reduce inflammation caused by allergies and help calm the skin to relieve itching. They also sooth dry skin and bring the shine back to a dog’s fur. Most dogs on a diet of commercial dog food get some fatty acids, but not enough. It’s especially important for senior dogs to consume the correct ratio to help relieve the effects of age-related skin conditions.

The Right Product

Omega 3-6-9 Select from Happy, Healthy is a grain-free, soy-free chewable supplement that helps senior dogs relieve the itch and maintain healthy fur. It’s formulated by veterinarians to provide a nutritional and natural boost to a dog’s health. The main ingredient, krill meal, is a better source of fatty acids than salmon oil and provides water-soluble phospholipids that are gentle on the stomach. Anchovy fish oil, flaxseed meal, safflower oil, borage oil, and evening primrose oil round out the powerful ingredient list.

Dogs love the taste and all they need is 1-4 chews (depending on weight) a day to start feeling and looking better. Making the deal even sweeter is the fact that, through Happy, Healthy’s mission, buying this product feeds 14 shelter dogs in need!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.

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