It’s not unusual for dogs to itch or scratch. Even we have the occasional itch here and there that demands a satisfying scratch. It is only uncommon when your doggo is scratching and licking at itself all night long or if it happens too frequently for it to be normal. More concerning is when this frequent itching is accompanied by excessive chewing, scooting, biting, and reddening of the skin.
When this happens, your pup may need veterinary assistance because itching in dogs can be very painful and can lead to many other problems if left untreated for an extended period of time.
Common reasons for itching and scratching
Ticks and fleas Ticks and fleas are some of the main culprits for intense itching in dogs. Not only are they the source of the itchiness, but some dogs are actually allergic to flea bites such that their skin becomes severely inflamed! Poor doggo may itch for up to 2 weeks once they’ve been bitten and the itching and scratching can be so severe that scabs form and hair loss occurs. If you’ve recently noticed such symptoms, along with small red/pink raised bumps on your pet’s skin, it may be a sign of a tick or flea infestation.
Food allergy is not just a human problem; dogs can also suffer from that. When a dog becomes allergic to food, it shows various symptoms, including itching of the ears, face, belly, paws, and armpits. A food allergy is oftentimes an allergy to a specific protein or grain present in your dog's diet such as beef, lamb, chicken, soy or gluten. It is better to consult your vet in such a situation to identify the exact cause of the allergy and treat it as soon as possible.
Dogs can also get itchy if they are allergic to dust, pollen, grass, and mould spores that are present in the environment. Some symptoms of such an allergy include rubbing their faces, licking their paws, shaking their heads, rubbing and scratching different parts of the body excessively. Along with that, hair loss can also be spotted on the abdomen and the inner part of the legs. Continuous licking of the paws will lead to redness and brown spots on the top and bottom of the paws. Likewise, it is best to consult your veterinarian for environmental allergies because your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment according to the severity of the itch condition.
Yeast infection is another major cause of itching in dogs. When a dog suffers from yeast infections, its skin may become red, greasy and crusty. You may even notice a thickening of its skin and catch a whiff of foul odour emitted from your dog. The most commonly affected areas are folded areas of the face, ears, neck, groin, armpits, and under the tail, because these regions are often warm and damp.
What can you do if your dog is itchy?
If your dog is itchy and shows symptoms of the above conditions, it is best to make an appointment with your vet. Once the proper diagnosis has been made, effective treatment can be administered to soothe your dog’s itch and tackle the root cause of its itching.
Be sure to always keep your dog clean through regular grooming and limit its exposure to irritants and allergens. When in doubt, always seek professional advice from your trusted vet.