Ask the Vet: Why is My Dog So Itchy?
Dogs can be “itchy” for any number of reasons — some of which are extremely benign and shouldn’t worry you. Still, your dog’s itching may seem like more than just getting at a scratch, and it’s important to take these concerns seriously.
Below, we’ll outline some of the top reasons dogs itch themselves — plus, what to do about it:
Anxiety or Boredom
Itching for dogs can be like nail biting for humans. When a dog is stressed, they may compulsively itch their entire body or one concentrated spot.
This is one of the most common causes of itching in dogs. Environmental triggers like pollen or mold may be the culprit, but it could also be an allergy to something in their dog food or a household product like soap or a human’s lotion.
Dry, Itchy Skin
Humans itch when they have dry, uncomfortable skin, and dogs do too. Dry skin is usually caused by cold winter weather or sometimes a nutritional deficiency. Less often, there is an underlying skin disorder present.
Dogs have limited mobility compared to us humans and our opposable thumbs. So, when a dog is in pain somewhere on their body, they don’t have many options for caressing or rubbing the area. Instead, they will often simply itch the painful spot or sometimes, lick or bite at it.
Skin infections (which cause itching) may be caused by too much cortisol (a hormone) in the body. Bald spots often coincide with a hormonal imbalance.
Finally, it’s important to rule out parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mites. If you suspect parasites, do a thorough investigation as these microscopic creatures are often hard to see (especially fleas), and ticks may be hiding, attached to your dog, beneath thick fur (ticks).
Steps to Take if Your Dog Is Itching Excessively
- Do a thorough check for parasites (on your dog, in their bed, and in your home).
- Assess the area your dog is itching, looking for bald spots, redness, a sore, or anything else.
- Try changing your dog’s dog food.
- Give your dog a bath with a soothing, sensitive skin soap for dogs.
- Play with your dog more, go for walks, try teaching them tricks, and do other activities to avoid boredom.
- Seek medical aid at the vet if you don’t find a reason or cure for your dog’s itching.
Concerned About Your Dog Itching Too Much?
Contact us at Sunset Veterinary Clinic. We’ll make an appointment for you with one of our highly-qualified vets who can help you find the cause of your dog’s itching and a remedy for whatever’s ailing them. Contact Sunset Veterinary Clinic today!