If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably got a dog who is doing a lot of scratching and licking. And we reckon you want to know the answer to the question “Why is my dog itching so much?” Here we look at reasons why this might be the case.

How much itching is ok?

If your dog is scratching a little bit here and there then that is quite normal and should be nothing to worry about. But if your dog is scratching, licking or chewing themselves more often than not, then something could be causing them to feel itchy and uncomfortable. You may notice they have hair loss or inflamed skin. If you see swollen lips, eyes or hives on your dog then contact your vet as this could be a severe allergic reaction. (Henry, our fox red lab, is allergic to chicken and comes out in hives as well as swollen itchy lips.)

What is causing my dog to be itching so much?

There are several common reason your dog may be overly itchy.

Food allergy: Like Henry, and some of us, there could be foods that your dog is allergic to. You might need to eliminate certain foods to work out what is the culprit otherwise your vet will be able to guide you.

Parasites: Things like ticks, fleas and mites are a common cause of itching in dogs. Mites are so tiny you won’t see them with the naked eye. Fleas are bigger but still hard to see unless there are a lot of them and your dog is infested. Ticks are much easier to spot. But thankfully all these parasites are easily treatable. Make sure you keep up to date with your treatments to avoid this cause of itching in your dog.

Infection: your dog may have a bacterial or viral infection that is causing the itchiness. These can be caused by a food allergy, a parasite bite or even an allergen from the environment like pollen. If you see a seasonal pattern to the itchiness this would be a clue. Speak to your vet if you need help. 

Injury: If your dog has managed to injury or hurt themselves, this may also cause them to lick themselves which may look like they are itchy. If there is no obvious injury site and this behaviour carries on, contact your vet for advice.

As you can see, if you have a dog who is itching a lot, there are many reasons why this could be the case. If you can’t figure out the reason yourself, always seek the advice of your vet.

Check out our other doggy health blogs here.