Reasons Your Dog May Be Itching

Dog scratching its ear

Every dog owner wants to do the best job they can when caring for their pet. This can involve a myriad of different things both large and small, but there is one way you can care for your dog that is often overlooked. It's perfectly natural for a dog to be a little itchy from time to time. But many pet owners overlook some simple care and grooming they can do to help relieve the itching when a dog is overly irritated. 

Narrow Down The Reasons Your Dog Is Itching

Make Sure to Keep an Eye Out For Recent Changes In Their Life 

There are several different reasons that your dog may be so itchy. It's a good idea to identify where they are itching and take a closer look so that you can determine what is causing the excessive itching, scratching, or biting. There are a wide variety of reasons your dog might be itching or scratching excessively. It's a good idea to take a look at the things on the list below to help narrow down the cause.

Boredom and Anxiety

  • The same way that people who are bored or anxious might twiddle their thumbs or play with their hair, a dog is the same way. So if you notice they are excessively itching and none of the other causes on the list are present, then there’s a good chance your dog is just bored. It’s a good idea to spend some time playing with them or getting them a new toy to chew on. If they are itching or biting out of boredom you can simply entertain and distract them.
dog chewing on tennis ball outdoors
Any time you notice your dog excessively itching at an area trying giving them a toy or ball to distract them. Dogs will oftentimes itch and bite at themselves when they are bored.

Dry Skin

  • Dry skin is something to look for when you notice your dog licking or itching a particular area. Dry skin becomes more of an issue during the dry season of the year, especially in the winter. The same way you need to apply lotion and chapstick when the air gets too dry, your dog is the same way. 
  • So if you notice your dog has a patch of dry skin it's a good idea to get some protection/conditioning spray to help alleviate their discomfort and itching. 


  • If you notice that your dog's itching has become excessive and it's not due to boredom or dry skin, it's possible it has been caused by allergies. This can be caused by a change in food or treats. But it is most likely to be caused by molds or pollen. The same way people get hay fever when the pollen changes, dogs can have an allergic reaction to it as well. This can cause their skin to become irritated and itchy which causes them to bite and scratch at it. 
  • Another area that might cause your dog’s skin to become itchy is if you have changed to a new soap or shampoo that you use to bath them. The same way people get allergic to different soaps and cleansers, the same is true for dogs as well. 
dog outdoors by the hay
The same way that humans can have allergic reactions to pollens and plants, dogs are the same way. Be sure to check for environmental factors when your dog is itching an unusual amount.


  • Another reason it may seem like your dog is excessively itching an area, is that they might have an injury. This could be something like a scrape or bruise that it is perfectly normal for a dog to lick and scratch at. Dog’s saliva has natural antibacterial properties so they have evolved to lick their wounds in order to prevent infection from spreading. However, in the modern world we have multiple options that are far more sanitary for cleaning and caring for the wound than dog saliva. So make sure you keep some first aid materials around the house so you can care for their wounds in a safe and sanitary way.
  •  However, if there is no apparent wound on the flesh that they are itching at, then it's a good idea to give the vet a call. Dogs naturally lick and care for an area that is causing them pain. So they may have an injury that isn’t visible to you right away, like a damaged bone or sprained ankle. In this scenario they may be biting or itching at an area that has an injury under the skin and you’ll want a trained veterinarian to take a look at it. 

Bugs or Parasites

  • If nothing else on this list applies to your dog, then it's a good idea to start taking a look for bugs and parasites. Fleas are the most famous culprit when it comes to dogs being itchy, but other parasites can cause them to become quite itchy too. Ticks, ants, and mosquitos can also be a culprit when you notice your dog has been itching more than normal.
  • So take a brush over your dog and perform an inspection to try and identify if any pests or parasites are causing your dog discomfort.  Particularly if they have been outdoors recently. 
Two happy puppies outside
Dogs oftentimes are affected by bugs, parasites, and insects. If you notice your dog is itching themselves too much be sure to take a look for any sort of creepy crawly that may be causing the problem.

If you have a dog that has been biting or itching excessively follow the steps in the list in this article and not only will you be able to identify the cause of the itching, you will be able to take steps to alleviate whatever issue is causing your dog discomfort. As a responsible pet owner you will want to alleviate any excessive biting or itching before it leads to injury. Dogs can really get quite excessive when they are in the right mood and this can cause them to bite and chew on an itchy area until it becomes raw and inflamed. By taking a few simple steps to alleviate your dog’s discomfort, you can prevent a lot of hassle and headache for yourself down the line.

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