Why Is My Dog Scratching Itself?

Pruritus is the clinical way to refer to itching or itchy skin. When a dog is itching, scratching, licking, or biting at itself excessively, this itchiness can be an indication of an underlying issue.

5 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Be Scratching

1. Fleas

Many dogs are allergic to flea saliva. In these dogs, the bites of fleas and subsequent exposure to their saliva results in a skin condition called flea allergy dermatitis which is marked by excessive itchiness (in addition to a rash). Parasite preventatives are the best way to protect your dog from fleas. If they have already been exposed to these parasites, however, a medicated bath can do the trick.

2. Ticks

If your dog has one or more ticks on them, this can result in itching and allergic reactions – not to mention exposure to a variety of serious contagious diseases. We strongly encourage our clients to keep their pets on a solid routine of tick and flea preventatives.

3. Mange

The mite known as sarcoptic mange is a type of skin parasite that burrows into the layers of a pet’s skin. As they bite their way through the skin, they cause lots of inflammation and discomfort which can result in excessive scratching.

4. Environmental Allergies

Many pets have environmental allergies. Like in humans, these allergies can cause respiratory issues in pets. However, they more commonly result in skin issues, such as excessive itchiness. Pets might be allergic to allergens that are only around seasonally such as pollen and mold. They can also be allergic to things that are around all year like dust mites, perfumes, smoke, and household chemicals.

5. Food Allergies

In addition to environmental allergies, some pets also experience food allergies. Typically, pets with food allergies are allergic to a specific type of protein that might be present in their diets. Food allergies can cause gastrointestinal upset in pets, but they also result in dermatological issues like itchiness, rashes, hot spots, and hair loss.

Relief for Your Itchy Pet at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach

No matter the cause of your pet’s excessive itchiness, our veterinarians at Pacific Pet Hospital of Redondo Beach can help you get to the bottom of their symptoms and provide your pet with treatments designed to relieve their itching while addressing the underlying cause. To learn more about excessive itching in pets or to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat, we welcome you to contact our office today.