Why Does My Dog Itch So Much?
Every dog is different when it comes to their itching & scratching habits, but when you notice your dog itching more than usual you know it’s time for a closer look. It’s time to figure out what the root of the problem is, and it’s time to figure out a way to treat it.
Has Your Dog Been Itching More Than Normal?
It’s hard to define what “normal” itching is, but you know your dog best. Is he itching, scratching, or licking his skin more than normal? Does he scoot his butt across the floor all the time, or has he started to lick one area excessively? Is it so bad that he’s losing patches of fur?
If you’ve ever had poison ivy or one really bad mosquito bite you know how annoying it is — and how hard it is to leave alone. But unfortunately all that itching can make certain skin issues worse, and the same is true for our dogs.
Common Causes of Itching in Dogs
When trying to determine the cause of a dog’s itchiness the common conditions are ruled out first. The common types of skin issues in dogs are generally parasitic, environmental, or nutritional (food allergies) in nature. But with that in mind the cause of itchiness is not necessarily an easy diagnosis to make, there are so many potential irritants & causes.
Allergies are one of the more common problems I see in pets, and according to data from pet health insurance companies, it’s the No. 1 medical condition that dog owners seek treatment for. – Dr. Marty Becker
Why Do Dogs Itch So Much
Itching in dogs is generally caused by nutritional issues, environmental factors or from parasites such as fleas. The most common causes of itching in dogs include:
- Allergies (food, seasonal, environmental)
- Fleas (can cause severe allergies in some dogs)
- Skin Infections
- Sensitivity to grooming products
- Stress or Hormonal changes
- Contact Dermatitis
- Hot Spots
While fleas can be spotted at home the other conditions cannot. Most causes of itching are not obvious, and it’s not a simple process to try to narrow down yourself. If you’re wondering why does my dog itch so much it’s time for a trip to the vet.
Get a Proper Diagnosis By Going to the Vet
It’s best to take a trip to the vet to help determine the cause of your dogs itching. While it might be something simple like a sensitivity to a new grooming product it could be something much more serious.
With so many possible irritants in your home, yard and food the best place to start is your vet. You can take out all that guess work by having your dogs skin examined by a professional. They can do fungal cultures, skin scrapings, intradermal skin tests (allergy tests), bloodwork, bacterial cultures, and skin biopsies.
Parasites (fleas,mites), ringworms, atopy, food allergies, and bacterial or fungal infections are all possible causes of itching — and they’re difficult, if not impossible, to diagnose at home. Many of our pets skin issues look alike which makes finding the right diagnosis a challenge.
Considering your dog’s discomfort could be caused from anything from allergies to worms your veterinarian is your best bet for helping you narrow down the cause. And once you have the cause figured out it’s just a matter of developing the correct treatment — then you and your dog can finally get some relief.
Resources & Recommended Reading
- Dermatology in Dogs & Cats – Comprehensive Guide on Skin Disorders
- Cat & Dog Skin Problems – Overview of the 6 Common Skin Conditions