Why is My Dog Itching and Scratching Like Crazy?

After diarrhea, itching or pruritus is the second most common medical condition vets encounter in the clinic setting.

What’s more alarming to see than your dog suddenly becoming listless,  scratching and biting random spots in his little furry bod? You could almost feel their discomfort, poor little guys. 
There are so many reasons which can lead an otherwise healthy dog to suddenly start scratching his neck, his chin, anything his little paws can reach. Below is a compilation of the most common reasons that leads to dog itching. 

Why do dogs scratch? Most common causes

Ticks, fleas, and mites

The most common reason why dogs scratch is the presence of ticks, fleas, and mites on their fur and skin. Ticks are the most irritating because not only do these itch; these will suck the blood from your pet. If your pet has many ticks in its fur, it can suffer from anemia and other blood problems. 

Ticks, fleas, and mites are hard to remove, especially when there is an infestation. But as a pet owner, you should be diligent and try to help your pet as much as you can. We will discuss how to help your dog relieve dog itching caused by ticks, fleas, and mites.

Skin allergies and conditions

Another common reason why dogs scratch is the presence of allergies and other skin conditions. Yes, as much as humans can have dog allergies, dogs may also be allergic to food, air, and changes in temperature. Some dogs are allergic to some soaps and dog shampoos while some are allergic to the medication.

It’s important to diagnose skin allergies as soon as possible so you can avoid this food, medication, or dog care product at all costs. And just like humans, dogs also suffer from skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, and this can be very irritating and itchy. To diagnose these skin conditions, take your pet to a vet or a dog skin expert. It’s important to diagnose this early on to get treatment right away.

Foreign object stuck under the skin

Any kind of foreign object that’s stuck on its fur or skin can be very irritating to dogs. Dogs with thick fur can accidentally get stuck with tapes, clips, and fasteners, and it is only trying to remove these by scratching. If you see your pet scratching the same spot, try to check for foreign objects and help your pet remove them.


Dogs also suffer from stress, and this can cause scratching and other uncommon behaviors. Dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong, but it feels anxiety building up. It tries to remove this anxiety by running around, wiggling, and scratching. Although these are natural behaviors, you still need to find the reason why your dog is very anxious or stressed and do something about it. 

How to relieve scratching

Check the reason why your pet is scratching

As a pet owner, you must know what’s keeping your pet up, why it’s stressed, and why it’s scratching like crazy. Check its fur foremost and look for foreign bodies. Remove them at once. Remember, dogs have very sharp claws, and this can injure his skin if it tries to scratch over and over again. 

For tapes and other sticky things that won’t budge, use ice to ice the sticky thing and remove it by hand or by using a paper towel. Use oil to remove the thing that’s stuck on your pet’s fur. If the thing can’t be removed by ordinary means, cut the fur out. 

Use the right dog shampoo or soap

Consult your vet for the right shampoo and soap for your pet. Some pets are very sensitive, and any irritating component in pet shampoo and soap can lead to itching and scratching. Your pet can recommend a mild shampoo or soap; just make sure to follow the instructions on how to use these. 

Take your pet to the vet at once when you notice severe itching after using a pet shampoo or soap. Your pet may be allergic or sensitive to the components of these products. 

Remove ticks and fleas

Once you spot any pest on your pet’s hair or skin, check again. There are probably more hiding under the paws, on his neck, ears, and armpits. Ticks and fleas love warm places and will move across your dog’s body in search of the best spots to hide. Usually, fleas settle in areas where dogs can’t reach too like the nape of the neck, inside its paws and ears.

Now, there are many ways to remove ticks and fleas. There are dog shampoos and flea shampoos to use while there are sprays, collars, and oral preparations your dog can use, but the best products are vet-recommended, so don’t neglect to take your pet to the vet.

Pest treatments for dogs can take weeks to months to completely remove all the insects, larvae, and eggs. It has to be consistent, so the ticks and fleas won’t have time to go back. It’s important to prevent ticks and fleas so you can preserve the health of your dog. We’ve compiled a list of top flea collars that do the job of ridding your furry pets of parasitic insects that cause their discomfort.

If you have one dog that has fleas and ticks, suspect that all of your pets have it. These can also settle on the pet’s bed, toys, and in areas where he loves to sit or lie down. You need to treat these as well. Also, you must quarantine a new pet. This is the most common way pet dogs and cats get fleas and ticks.

Visit the Vet

A new pet has to be taken to the vet to rule out all medical conditions and the presence of pests as well. Have your pet vaccinated and dewormed before introducing it to its new family

Use tick and flea collars, clean your surroundings, and be very diligent when your dog is at the park or playground. Don’t overlook these avenues where your pet can get fleas.

Scratching and itching are common for dogs, but too much scratching and itching is something to be wary of. Make sure to take your pet to the vet regularly and inspected for pests. Being careful and having a clean bill of health can do wonders when it comes to protecting your pet’s health.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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