Help! My Dog Has Itchy Skin!

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 9.32.20 PMItchy skin. We’ve all been there at one point or another. And we all know how unpleasant it can be. When you notice your furry loved one scratching incessantly, you feel their discomfort. The good news is there are things you can start doing today to help bring your pooch some relief. Learn more about your dog’s itchy skin and what you can do to help.

What Causes Your Dog’s Scratching?

The medical term for excessive scratching is pruritus, and it is one of the most common problems that veterinarians must treat. If you know the cause isn’t fleas feasting on your poor pooch, then the problem usually comes down to one of two things: allergies or skin health.


Allergies can be difficult to treat, and their cause is often left unknown, but it is possible to ease your four-legged family member’s discomfort. Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to calm allergic reactions, or recommend you give your dog over-the-counter antihistamines. According to UC Davis Veterinary Medicine, elimination diet trials are often used to figure out if it’s a food allergy.

Improving the quality of what your pooch is dining on is a good idea, even if he isn’t scratching, but research has shown that a protein-rich diet can diminish the allergic response. It’s best you discuss the ideal diet for your dog with your veterinarian, but it’s likely they’ll advise a moist-food based eating plan, whether it’s raw, cooked or canned. Just like their humans, dogs can also greatly benefit from adding fish oil, milled flaxseed and high-potency acidophilus cultures to their routine.

Skin Health

It’s also possible that the condition of your dog’s skin may be the cause of her itching. Overly dry skin, oily skin or an infection can make their back paws go into overdrive on an itch, with dry skin being the most common cause out of the three. Dry skin is typically brought on by diet or environmental factors.

While you may not be able to control the humidity levels where you live, you can certainly ask your veterinarian recommend a high quality diet plan for your dog. Just like treating allergies at home, your dog’s skin health can be improved from a regimin of fish oil, flaxseed and probiotics. Adding digestive enzymes during mealtimes can also help.

Be aware that it may take up to three months before you really start seeing an improvement in your dog’s scratching, but rest assured, relief is around the corner. If you have a grooming appointment coming up, be sure to tell the groomer about the itching so she knows not to use the dryer on your dog (as the heat can make the problem worse).

Do you have any questions or comments about your dog’s excessive itching? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.  


UC Davis Veterinary Medicine: Fact Sheets — What About Allergies?

American Veterinary Medicine Association 


  1. All fantastic information! Our Chaz has benefited greatly from his limited ingredient diet. Itching is ALMOST gone. Now we make sure he gets grain free diet and oatmeal wash when he gets groomed. Thank you for all the added tips.


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