Visit Our Locations:

Here’s Why Your Dog Keeps Itching

Mild scratching is totally normal for your dog. The problem starts when the itching and scratching becomes incessant. When a dog constantly itches and scratches and bites at one spot, it can cause the skin to develop an infection or an open sore called a hot spot. There are many reasons why your dog is itching like crazy, but the two most common reasons that vets see are parasites and allergies. There are also cases of infections that can cause serious discomfort and itching.

dog keeps itching

The technical term for incessant itching is pruritus. If you notice that your dog is constantly itching one spot, it’s best to call your vet and schedule a visit. They can assist in diagnosing the cause for the scratching and the best course of treatment. Make sure you don’t give your dog any medications before the appointment as they can cause adverse reactions depending on what you give.

Parasites Like Fleas, Ticks and Mites

Often, the first thing to check for is fleas, ticks, or mites. These parasites need blood to survive and often find that dogs are an excellent host. Ticks carry dangerous diseases like Lyme disease and they’re hard to spot until they become huge from filling up with blood. It’s important to know that ticks are more active in the summer months and after a rainfall. They also most prevalent in wooded areas, although your dog could get them from just being in your perfectly manicured lawn. So, if you’ve taken your dog for a hike, make sure to preform a thorough check on him when you get home.

Ticks

If you find a tick, you need to remove it safely. This means taking careful measures to get the head as well as the body. Sometimes, the body will pull off while the mouth remains latched and this can still cause disease and infections. While using a pair of fine-point tweezers, spread your dog’s fur and grip as close to the skin as possible. Then pull straight up and be slow and steady. This will remove the entire tick from your dog. Finish by wiping the spot with a bit of rubbing alcohol and you’re good to go!

Fleas and Mites

Fleas and mites are also blood-sucking parasites that can cause discomfort. Flea bites are especially painful, and the critters can get everywhere. If you suspect fleas, check your dog’s bed and use a flea comb to brush her. If you still can’t see them, try giving her a bath. If the water is a reddish brown color, she’s probably got fleas. Mites are similar and cause skin infections as well, one of the worst being mange. Mites are typically diagnosed by your vet taking a skin sample and studying it under a microscope. Make sure to wash any fabric surfaces your dog has laid on after confirming a flea or mite infestation.

Treatments for Dog Parasites

There are several treatments for parasites, but it is more ideal to start a preventive regimen early on. Talk to your vet about the best options for you and your pup. Some include flea and tick collars, shampoos, and sprays. Each one is effective in keeping parasites away so that your dog can play outside to his heart’s content.

Allergies in Dogs

The second most common reason for itching is allergies. These can be either food or environmental. Like us, dogs can be allergic to pretty much anything out there. Food allergies are less common than environmental. When diagnosing a food allergy, the vet will usually use a diet trial. This is similar to your doctor asking you to isolate out certain foods to see if you’re allergic, like gluten. You need to make sure your dog follows the exact diet so that nothing messes with the results. No unapproved treats! Once the culprit has been isolated, your vet can recommend a new food and diet.

Pollen, Mold, Dust and Dander Related Allergies

Examples of environmental allergies are pollen, mold, dust, and dander. The severity of these allergies is varied as well as the treatment for them. Some dogs can get away with taking oral medication just during a few months while the allergy season is bad. Others need desensitization shots or steroid injections. There are also some preventative measures you can take. Try wiping your dog’s feet and belly after he’s been out for a walk. If he’s been outside all day, a better option could be a bath with products that remove pollen and minimize the irritation. It’s easy to overdo it on the baths, though, so be cognizant. Overbathing can also cause dry, itchy skin.

Anxiety and Boredom Causing Incessant Itching

There are some other reasons your pooch can’t stop scratching. One could be anxiety or boredom. If your dog is upset, it can trigger a sort of obsessive need to scratch and bite at her skin. Some dogs can even do this when they’re bored. Make sure he’s getting adequate exercise, has plenty of toys, and is given attention and love. Work on training him to chew on toys instead of his skin as well.

Other Reasons for Why Your Dog Keeps Itching

Your dog may also be reacting to pain, hormonal imbalances, or dry skin. Dogs have been known to scratch at their belly or hips when they have arthritis or hip dysplasia. Dry skin can result from hormonal imbalances, winter weather, or fatty acid deficiencies. These can cause additional scratching and licking to the point of creating a hot spot. Other infections could include yeast or staph bacterial infections. These can leave skin inflamed, irritated, and itchy. Staph infections are usually an additional health issue caused by allergies.

See a Vet for Treatment

The most important thing to remember when your furry friend won’t stop itching is to call your vet. This is especially true if he hasn’t experienced this behavior before. By utilizing your veterinarian, you’re cutting out a lot of the guess work and getting straight to the source. Each reason for itching has its own treatment plan, so be sure to follow your vet’s recommendations. Keeping your pup’s coat and skin clean play a major role in reducing the need to scratch, so brush and bathe regularly. And, bonus, it’s a great way to bond!

Recent Posts

new puppy vet visit
New Puppy Vet Visit in Atlanta, GA: What You Can Expect
Jackie-1
Love Never Grows Old
deb
A Technician’s Experience with Project Samana

About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of three animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

Share This Post

Recent Posts

new puppy vet visit

New Puppy Vet Visit in Atlanta, GA: What You Can Expect

Jackie-1

Love Never Grows Old

deb

A Technician’s Experience with Project Samana

About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of three animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.