The jingling tags on his collar serve as a constant reminder – your pup can’t kick the itch. Here’s a few reasons why he might be scratching, and some tips on what to do about it.

Your poor pup is at it again – scratching and biting, licking and shaking. If your pet is plagued with an itch he can’t kick, he’s not alone. Itching, medically known as pruritus, affects many dogs for a variety of reasons. And all that scratching can lead to other problems such as hair loss, hot spots, and infections. The key is to get to the root of his itchiness and combat it before it worsens.

Finding the cause

Effectively treating a persistent itch means finding its underlying cause, as itchiness is not a disease but a symptom.


Parasites, especially fleas or ticks, are a common suspect in canine itching. The bites irritate your dog, and he scratches them. Some dogs are hypersensitive to flea saliva. One bite can trigger all-over itching for these pooches.

Ridding your dog of fleas can solve the problem, so conscientious use of a flea treatment is your best bet. Many flea treatments are combined with a tick preventative, so your dog gets double protection. Treatments require consistency for best effect; miss a dose, and your dog becomes a target!

Editor’s note: Avoid spot-on flea and tick preventatives whenever possible. These chemical-laden solutions are harmful to your pet’s health, so turn to safer, non-toxic options instead.

Bacterial and fungal infections

Bacterial and fungal infection of the skin can also cause your dog to itch. Scabs, discharge, and odor are frequent companions to this cause of itchiness. Subsequent hot spots and infections add to your dog’s misery. If your pet is plagued by any of these issues, topical treatments are often the most effective solution. Banixx Pet Care, for instance, can help his irritated skin heal quickly. Odorless Banixx has a pH level that stops infections by stymying bacteria growth without the use of steroids and antibiotics. It’s also not sticky, oily or viscous, and doesn’t sting when applied!


If the itching continues, there’s a good chance your dog has an allergy. Allergies can range from sensitivity to certain foods to allergens in your dog’s environment such as pollens, molds, dust or grass. If your dog’s itching flares up during a particular season, his allergy struggle may be seasonal. A dog with year-round itching, on the other hand, may have an allergy to something in his indoor environment, or to his food. Allergy investigation requires time and patience as it involves identifying the potential irritant through process of elimination.

If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, try changing his diet. If the itching subsides, you’re one step closer to pinpointing the sensitivity. Food allergies are quite common in dogs since many recipes contain too much corn, soy or other “fillers” that pups tend to be sensitive to. Switching to a higher protein food might make a difference, but be patient while your dog’s system assimilates the new food. It can take as long as a month for his allergic symptoms to improve.

If you can’t find the source of your dog’s itch no matter how hard you try, ask your vet about allergy testing. The results will tell you which allergens are indicated so you can take steps to eliminate them or reduce them once and for all!

Uncovering the root cause of your dog’s itching can be complicated. But your furry family member will be ever grateful that you did.

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Suzanne Quigley is a freelance copywriter, former veterinary assistant, lifelong horsewoman, and dedicated pet owner. She enjoys writing for the equine and pet markets and says her horse, dog, and two cats give her all the writing inspiration that she needs. Visit her website at