Why Does My Dog Itch So Much?

No two dogs are alike when pertaining to their scratching and itching habits, but if you observe your dog scratching more than is typical, this is a clue that it is time to take a closer look. You need to discover what is stemming the issue, and determine a treatment.

Has Your Dog Been Itching More Than Normal?

While it is difficult to technically define “normal” itching, you know your dog and his behaviors better than anybody. If he has been scratching, itching, or licking his skin more that usual, even so much so that he is losing patches of fur, this may be cause for concern as it can lead to specific skin problems and exacerbate them.

Common Causes of Itching In Dogs

When assessing your dog and attempting to discern the root of his itchiness, you must first rule out the most common culprits. There are common forms of skin issues found in dogs that can cause extreme itching, and they are typically environmental, parasitic, or nutritional (allergies to food) in nature. Keeping that in mind, though, there are several various potential causes and nuisances.

Why Dogs Itch So Much

Itching can be cause due to issues of nutrition, environment, or parasites like fleas. The most frequently cited causes of itching in dogs are fleas, allergies (whether it be seasonal, environmental, or food related), ringworm, mange, hot spots, skin infections, sensitivity to grooming products, hormonal changes, stress, or contact dermatitis.

While fleas are something you might catch with your own eyes, the other conditions are not so easily detected. The majority of things that might cause itching are not conspicuous, and it is not a straightforward endeavor to attempt to pinpoint the exact cause on your own. If you are unsure of the cause(s) of your dog’s itching, it is recommended that you take him to see the veterinarian.

Get A Proper Diagnosis By Going To The Vet

While the cause of your dog’s itching may be relatively simple, such as a reaction to a new grooming product, it could be far worse.

With so many potential irritants in your house, food, or yard, it is best to begin with your veterinarian. This will eliminate any guesswork, as the veterinarian will thoroughly examine your dog’s skin. This may include skin scrapings, fungal cultures, allergy tests, skin biopsies, blood work, and bacterial cultures.

Other possible causes of itching are parasites (such as fleas or mites), ringworms, atopy, fungal or bacterial infections, or food allergies. These are a challenge – if not completely impossible – to properly diagnose at home on your own. Many skin problems on dogs look similar to each other which presents great difficulty in trying to discover the correct diagnosis.

The cause of your dog’s discomfort may be brought on by anything from worms to allergies, and again – your veterinarian is the most beneficial and efficient route to getting your dog closer to comfort and wellness.


I'm a professional dog trainer who is sharing my journey as I transition to positive reinforcement based dog training methods.

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