Dog Training

Dog is constantly scratching? (4 reasons and what helps against it)

If your dog scratches, nibbles or rubs his fur frequently, he may be suffering from severe itching. This can be a pain and must be treated early. Today I'm going to explain to you exactly the possible causes of itching and what solutions there are. In addition, for this article we have Advice from veterinarian Emin Jasarevic obtained. Note: This article is written for the german country. So be curious!

Scratching and dog fleas
Article Overview

Basically, scratching is a completely normal reaction against itching.

Dog itching

Depending on where the stimulus is located, your protégé scratches himself with his claws. He may also nibble with his teeth or rub against a solid object. 

Clear signs of itching with a questionable cause are:

  • Flapping or twitching movements with the hind legs during petting
  • Persistent scratching
  • Reddened skin
  • Rash, pimples, scaling
  • Incrustations and wounds
  • Hair loss

The causes of itching


The causes are many and range from parasites, allergies, skin problems, psychological causes to foreign bodies and collars.

1. infestation of parasites

Parasites are among the most common causes of itching. Especially in the warmer seasons they infest dogs.


If you want to track them down, go through the fur with a flea comb. If there are black dirt crumbs in the comb, they are flea droppings.

If the infestation was discovered early, it helps to take a bath with Anti Flea Shampoo and frequent brushing of the coat. It is important to eliminate all flea eggs and larvae. Also, you need to clean the favorite places of your four-legged friend and his harness. thoroughly clean and with a Anti-flea agent treat.


Most often come Grass mites, autumn grass mites and grave mites occur. Quadrupeds are usually infested in the warm season in nature. Mites prefer to sit on the tender areas of skin between the toes, in the ears, on the legs and on the lower abdomen.

If your furry nose scratches its ear without exception, the Ear mange be the reason. In case of an infestation you will see dark dirt in the ears. In the beginning, cleaning agents from pet stores can help, which you use exactly according to instructions. All eggs and larvae of the pests must disappear. If your pet shows pain during the application, further possible complications must be clarified by your veterinarian.

Besides the intense scratching attacks, red pustules on the skin and crusty elbows are an indication of a mite infestation. In this case, you should consult a veterinarian so that the condition does not become chronic.


They usually sit on plants and jump from there onto their victims. When they bite into the skin, they secrete a secretion that numbs the pain and prevents blood clotting. The skin reacts to this with itching. If the tick bite becomes inflamed, the area swells and becomes increasingly red. Then the doctor is called in.

A tick should be removed as early as possible without damaging the skin. The best way to do this is to grasp the tick directly above the skin with tick forceps and pull it out vertically upwards. It is important that the head does not get stuck and that the animal cannot release any additional secretion into the skin.

This is because it can contain viruses that can cause serious diseases such as Lyme disease cause. If you are unsure about the removal, you should leave the procedure to the doctor as a precaution. 

2. itching due to allergies

Another big factor for itching is allergies. Unfortunately, they are also steadily increasing among our four-legged friends.

Flea saliva

As a rule, the reaction is triggered by a single flea infestation and occurs predominantly in the groin, loin region and on the tail. If flea saliva gets on the skin, an allergic dog reacts to it with itching.

Affected are mainly animals from the second to sixth year of life.

You can recognize the disease by Swellings and Crusting the skin and on Hair lossThe veterinarian can confirm the allergy by means of a blood test. Therapy is carried out by eliminating the fleas and soothing treatment of the skin.

Food allergy

It occurs very frequently and can afflict dogs of any age. Responsible are chemical additives, Flavor enhancer and Dyes in the feed. But the most common reason are mostly certain protein sources and cereals. In addition, intolerance to lactose can cause allergies. 

The clear symptoms of a food allergy are, in addition to itching:
  • Stomach and intestinal problems
  • Bad breath
  • Mucus in feces and vomit
  • increased hair loss
In order to dietary allergy and the resulting itching, the trigger for it must be found. This can only be achieved via the exclusion diet for several weeks. In this case, the affected person is first given a food with which he has never been fed before. If he reacts with skin itching, he receives another food and so on.
If a food does not cause a reaction, it is allergen-free and edible for your pet. Often, tests are then started with the usual food components to find out exactly which components your four-legged friend reacts to. These may then no longer be fed.

Environmental allergy

This is a grass or pollen allergy. Likewise, certain minerals in the water, water plants or water parasites can cause an allergy.
The main symptoms are:
  • Dry skin
  • excessive dandruff
  • Incrustations and wounds
  • Redness
  • bald spots on the coat
 For treatment, your veterinarian will administer tablets and soothing skin cream to contain the irritation.

Contact allergy

It occurs when your faithful companion is exposed via the nose or body to pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals, toxic plants or metals comes into contact.

There is an increasing disturbance of the skin due to Synthetic fibers and Nickel on the harness. Be careful with collars with metal decorations, they may contain nickel. 

The stressed skin gets red pustules and spots. The allergy disappears when the trigger is avoided. A soothing skin cream helps against itching until the skin recovers.  

3. physical causes

Scratching the buttocks

If your four-legged friend rubs his rear end on the floor or licks it conspicuously hard, it may be Dirt residues or full anal glands be the reasons.

With very young, older or sick fur noses it happens that the dropping of the excrement or keeping clean no longer works properly. Sometimes he also eats a lot of grass and the stalks do not get all the way out and hang out of the anus. Such residues are easily removed with a damp cloth.

If the anal glands are clogged, he slides with his butt on the floor. If the glands are clogged, it is best to have them expressed by a veterinarian.

Other causes of an itchy anus are Worms. They include the tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms.

Dry or flaky skin

Responsible for this may be the Nutrition, at frequent bathing or the Genetics be. If the skin suffers a Deficiency or a surplus of the vital nutrients such as Zinc, minerals and vitamins, their metabolism becomes imbalanced. The skin dries out, forms scales and this itches.

On the packaging of the dog food you can see and check the information of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. If there is a deficiency of vitamins, sometimes a small dose already helps Fish oil, a nutritional supplement or a change of feed. 

Other causes of skin reaction is an infestation of pests and substances in the Dog shampoo. It is important that the shampoo is thoroughly washed from the coat and the rinse water is crystal clear. The trade offers means containing mink oil, tea tree oil and aloe vera. These support the establishment of the balance of the skin flora.

Body care

Often a dog scratches itself due to a thick coat of hair, Matings or Dirt. You can do this through regular brushing or by Shearing the coat prevent in the summer. The hair should not be cut too short so that the skin is protected from the sun's rays. If you do not dare to do it yourself, a professional pet groomer is recommended.

Itching on the teats or sebaceous glands

Besides parasites and allergies can be a Ulcer on the udder and a Impairment be the cause of scratching.
In this case, the teats are red, bruised and swollen. Wiping with a damp and cool cloth can help spontaneously. The admonition when scratching sometimes helps, otherwise you should go with your quadruped to the vet.
Another problem is the Inflammation of the sebaceous glands. They are located on the dog's lips, among other places. If they are clogged, this can cause itching.

Psychological scratching

These are predominantly Separation anxiety and Boredomthat cause scratching even without itching. If your pet scratches only when touched, when meeting conspecifics, when alone or when resting, the trigger can be Stress and Nervousness be
The triggers are usually excessive Being alone, fear of conspecifics and people, thunderstorms, darkness or noise. 
Does your furry nose suffer from Separation anxietyit must be treated at an early stage. It can only be controlled by long and patient exercises. The these training tips consists in gradually increasing the periods of being alone. 
Ideally, your pet will gently learn that he does not have to be afraid when being alone and that you will always come back to him. Professional dog trainers have a lot of experience with this difficult problem. Training is worthwhile! 
If your four-legged friend is bored, he can be soft music and a Employment toy entertain like a chew toy during your absence. Ideally, you let your protégé only very briefly and rarely alone, because he is a pack animal.

4. other causes

Some causes of itching are easily remedied:

Foreign body

Sometimes the ear itches because a Ant or a Beetle has gotten lost in it and irritates the skin. Your faithful companion tries to get rid of the intruder by scratching, rubbing or shaking. In doing so, he holds his head at an angle and makes himself known to you by looking, nudging, or rubbing. Be careful, because the eardrum could be affected.

If the foreign body is deep and your darling expresses pain, you must be very careful.

Collar, chest harness and muzzle

As a rule, your darling gets used to wearing these things after a while. But at the beginning he often tries to get rid of the load by scratching or shaking.

First, you should determine if the attached part fits properly and if there are any dirt, parasites or stings underneath. If you put the harness down for a while and the reaction stops, you will know if it is the cause of the scratching. After a slow period of acclimatization, your pet will accept the harness.

How can I prevent?

Go to Prevention against parasites of various kinds you get from the vet a certain remedy (Spot on). This is what you spread on the neck of your furry nose.

  • Against Grass mites it helps, when the grass around the house is short. The mites then find little space to settle. If the quadruped is very susceptible, it should wear shoes over the paws.
  • Against Worm infestation a regular worming treatment is appropriate.
  • Medicine suspects the origin of allergies in the intestine. Through a high-quality fodder the intestinal flora is protected. To avoid food allergies in the first place, you should pay attention to high-quality food without sugar and artificial additives. Barfing has also proven its worth.
  • Regular grooming of the ears, teeth, toenails and, in needy dogs, buttocks will help prevent itching.
  • Itching can also be a side effect of a healing process and ends with healing.
  • Frequent stroking makes the skin produce fat. Your hands distribute it on the body and keep the skin supple.
  • Since your dog is a pack animal, he should be left alone as little as possible and preferably not at all.

Even if the cause of the itching is defeated, the skin needs time to regenerate. A proven way of accompanying treatment are Bach Flowers for animals.

Recommendation from the vet

Itching can have many causes. Some of them are harmless and can be easily fixed by you. Others, however, definitely need the help of a veterinarian. Here is another infographic with the most important points to pin or print out.


If you are not sure about the cause and solution of your pet's itching, I recommend you not to waste time. Even if there is no serious disease behind it, itching itself is a nuisance enough. You know it from your own experience.

My article gives you clarification and assistance, but is not a substitute for a veterinarian. The exact search for causes is tedious, but it will be worth it for you and your dog.

Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic
Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion and it is my personal concern to create medically accurate articles and videos to inform pet owners as much as possible.

Learn more

Share now: