Itchy skin in dogs: 6 Alarming Symptoms

Watching your dog scratch all the time may be alarming. Itchy skin in dogs raises concern about fleas, but is it seasonal or chronic? Severe itching in dogs is unpleasant, but you can help your best friend by addressing the issue. 

The symptoms of itchy skin in dogs 

Besides your typical-constant itch, your canine friend might show other indications of discomfort:

  • Licking
  • Biting 
  • Rubbing
  • Hair loss
  • Inflamed Skin
  • A stench

Itchy skin in dogs

Pruritus is another term to describe it. Typical causes of pruritus are 

  • Parasites
  • Infections
  • Allergies. 

Itching is not a diagnosis or specific disease but could enclose a threatening illness. Many skin diseases don’t cause itching at first contact. It may develop because of bacterial or fungal infections, and in some cases, itching occurs after the initial cause is past. 

Read 6 Most Common Skin Allergies in Dogs to learn about allergens.  

Seasonal Itch in Dogs

Itchy skin in dogs: 6 Alarming Symptoms

Dogs can get sniffles just like humans do during seasonal changes. Still, these allergies present as itch and red skin rather than constant sneezing and irritable runny nose and eyes. 

Ragweed or fleas may spring allergies in your canine during high peaks. Your pet might experience an itch for weeks to a few months each year. 

Seasonal itching, also known as allergic dermatitis, is an acute condition caused by seasonal allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and mold spores that affect the skin and cause a dog to become itchy. 

Symptoms include scratching, biting, or licking the affected area, redness and swelling, hair loss, and even bald spots. 

Treatment for seasonal itching typically involves reducing the dog’s exposure to allergens through bathing, applying topical medications or corticosteroids, and feeding a hypoallergenic diet.

Chronic Itch in Dogs 

Unlike the temporary breaks seasonal itch may have, chronic itching in dogs is continuous. Common causes include food allergies or an environmental allergen - mold or dust mites.

Chronic itch in dogs is unremitting scratching, biting, or licking of the skin; and can be caused by different factors such as allergies, parasites, skin infections, hormonal imbalances, or other underlying medical conditions. 

Treatment of chronic itch involves identifying and treating the cause while providing relief from the itching through medications and lifestyle changes such as bathing with a specially formulated shampoo or applying an anti-itch cream. 

A good coat conditioner may also reinforce to help your dog from skin issues. Click to discover The Best Skin and Coat Conditioner for Dogs

In some cases, the chronic itch manifests by a food allergy or intolerance, and switching to a hypoallergenic diet may provide relief.

A diet trial will help confirm or exclude a food allergy. Your trusted veterinarian will specify a diet that doesn’t include the usually consumed foods. During the testing, you must do your best to avoid interrupting the diet - not rewarding it with treats or compromising foods. 

Treating and preventing itchy skin in dogs

Itchy skin in dogs: 6 Alarming Symptoms

Medicated topicals and shampoos are available. Dietary supplements may also help treat itchy skin in dogs. Each serves the purpose of helping reduce inflammation or discomfort, while others tackle the underlying cause of itching. 

Don’t self-diagnose your friend! Consult a professional for safety and better results. 

Lifestyle changes should need to come underway. Reduce the stress levels your pet might experience, spend some quality time with them, go for a walk, or play. Help them be their best selves with regular exercise and a balanced diet. It will strengthen their skin’s natural defenses.

Common treatments prescribed by a vet: 

  1. Antibiotics: a prescription that usually takes a month to clear skin infections. 
  2. Insect control: Eliminating or reducing exposure to insects may help reduce insect bites.
  3. Diets: If a food allergy is determined, following a strict meal plan should prevent further damage.
  4. Steroid medications: Highly effective but with some weary side-effects, such as appetite and thirst increase; recommended for a brief time. 
  5. Anti-itch medication: For symptom management, cyclosporine, oclacitinib, and essential fatty acids are the most common solutions.
  6. Dog shampoos: An over-the-counter shampoo to help the itch in the short term.


Different factors may cause itchy skin in dogs. For that reason, it is vital to monitor your dog’s skin routinely to identify any underlying medical conditions early. 

Learn more about The Importance of Pet Grooming - 5 Crucial recommendations to practice hygiene and keeping your pet safe! 

Seasonal itching may require reducing the pet's exposure to allergens, while chronic itch needs more comprehensive treatment such as medications, lifestyle changes, or dietary modifications. 

If your canine companion is scratching excessively, it is best to consult your veterinarian to determine the cause and discuss appropriate treatment options. With timely diagnosis and effective management, you should be able to keep your furry friend comfortable and free from itchiness throughout their life. 

AniViva® is a conditioner for your pet! 

After the scare, treat your pet with AniViva®. It is easy to spray on and offers nutrients. Boost their skin health and improve the shine and softness of their fur. AniViva® delivers all-natural and environmentally friendly solutions. It contains zinc-copper-magnesium to help ease heat rash, dull coats, or skin health issues. 

Experience AniViva® to enhance your dog’s wellness! 

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