Why is my Dog Itching?

If your dog is constantly scratching or itching and it is not fleas, you're not alone. Itching is a known skin problem among both small and large animals. But before we delve into solutions, let's understand why your dog might be feeling so uncomfortable.

What is causing my dog to scratch?

When your dog feels itchy there's a whole system of signals going on, telling them to scratch. These signals are carried through special pathways in their nerves, which can be activated by things like histamines, enzymes, and other substances. Unlike humans, dogs will not know when to stop itching, so they can itch until they damage their skin barrier, which they then lick to soothe the pain, the open skin, moisture from licking create the perfect breeding ground for bacterial and fungal infections further compounding what just started the itch. In addition to treating the CAUSE of the itch and not just the SYMPTOM of the itch, we now have to manage secondary infections (bacterial or fungal - different medication) and offer PAIN relief.

What Causes Itching?

Itching is more than just a sensation; it's the body's way of responding to something irritating the skin. In dogs, itching can be triggered by various factors, like pesky bugs, (parasites) infections, allergies, or pain. 

Pain in dogs manifests differently to humans.


Itching is more than just a sensation; it's a complex physiological response triggered by various factors. In animals, including dogs, itching may manifest as a sharp or diffuse burning sensation, transmitted through specialised afferent fibres. Mediators like histamines, proteolytic enzymes, and leukotrienes contribute to this sensation, often arising from parasites, infections, allergies, or other miscellaneous causes.


Identifying the root cause of itching is crucial for effective treatment. Parasites, infections, allergic skin diseases, and even cutaneous neoplasia (cancer) can lead to pruritus. Secondary bacterial or yeast infections commonly exacerbate nonpruritic conditions, making diagnosis challenging yet essential.

Initial examination

Diagnosing the cause of your dog's itching is like being a detective. We need to gather clues by examining their skin, asking questions about their health, and sometimes even doing special tests. By ruling out different possibilities one by one, we can get closer to finding the culprit behind all that scratching.

First parasitic causes, such as fleas, ticks, and mites, must be ruled out, followed by excluding infectious causes like bacterial or yeast infections. Only then can allergic triggers be explored through diet trials or provocative allergen tests.

Addressing Your Dog's Itching

Can I Use Over-the-Counter Topical Treatments?

Assessing Treatment Options

When it comes to treating your dog's itching at home, FurBabies Botanicals offers highly effective solutions with their topical veterinary dermatology skin repair formulations, enriched with essential omega fatty acids and ceramides. Specifically, their lavender and rose-infused products are designed to restore the skin barrier, promoting healing and providing relief from itching.

Exploring Veterinary Exclusive Treatment

To diagnose itching in animals, veterinarians conduct a thorough examination, ruling out common causes like parasites and infections. Skin scrapings or hair trichograms help identify mite infestations, with treatments like ivermectin or isoxazoline for large and small animals, respectively. Bacterial infections, especially staphylococcal infections, and Malassezia overgrowth, are common culprits, treated with topical antimicrobial shampoos or oral antibiotics when necessary. Allergies, including insect bite hypersensitivity and atopic dermatitis, may also cause itching. Treatment depends on the underlying cause, with options ranging from topical essential fatty acids (such as the FurBabies Botanicals Pet Skin Repair Range) to prescription only glucocorticoids and other systemic antipruritic agents like cyclosporine modified or oclacitinib for dogs. 

Considering Dietary Interventions

In addition to topical essential fatty acid treatments (FurBabies Botanicals skin repair range), dietary interventions can complement your dog's itching management plan. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in certain food additive oil formulations, possess anti-inflammatory properties beneficial for dogs with skin conditions. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable dietary interventions for your furbaby..

By understanding the underlying causes of your dog's itching and exploring appropriate treatment options, you can provide relief and improve their overall quality of life. Remember, always consult with your veterinarian when symptoms persist.


Zurück zum Blog