Did you know, one of the most common reasons a dog is brought to the vet is because they have been scratching? Dogs typically scratch because they are itchy. You may also find that they rub, lick and chew at their skin.
It is normal for a dog to lick and scratch a little. This is how they keep clean and everyone gets itchy now and then! However, it shouldn’t be interfering with their day to day life.
If you’re concerned that your dog is spending more time licking, chewing or scratching then this is something we need to look at further.
Dog skin allergies: reasons dogs scratch
- Food Allergies – Those with food allergies can itch all over, but their face, paws and belly are most often involved. Common allergens include grains, dairy, eggs, beef and chicken. However, dogs can actually be allergic to any ingredient.
- Atopic Dermatitis – An allergy to something in your dog’s environment (like pollen, grass, mould or dust mites) or food can cause their skin to become pink and itchy. Allergies like this tend to present between six months and three years of age. Pedigrees including the Pug, Frenchie, Westie, Labrador and Jack Russell are most often affected. Genetics play a role so if a pup’s parents had allergies, they are at higher risk. The most frequently affected areas including the face, paws and belly. Some owners notice a pattern and may find that their dog itches more in e.g. the Spring or Winter. This makes an environmental allergy more likely. Those who are itchy when the weather is warmer may be allergic to grasses and pollens. Conversely, winter time itching is more often associated with allergies to house dust mites and to parasites.