dog itching

Are your pet’s days punctuated by bouts of foot-flicking, ear-flapping scratching? If you’re uncomfortable listening to the constant chorus of claws making contact with skin, imagine how your cat or dog feels! At True Care Veterinary Hospital, we take pet itching seriously, and we’ll help you uncover the source of your pet’s problem so we can put a stop to all that itching.

Pets will scratch or sometimes bite at a spot on their body for a variety of reasons, including allergies, boredom, and bugs. Let’s take a look at a few of these.


Allergies are one of the most common reasons for pet itching. Your cat or dog could have a food allergy; an environmental allergy to things like pollen or mold; or contact dermatitis from encountering everyday chemicals like household cleaners or outdoor pesticides. 

Watch for other symptoms that point to allergies:

  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Clogged anal glands
  • Dry skin or bare spots


A pet that is bored, lonely, or anxious can develop something much like human obsessive compulsive disorder, and they will begin to do something repetitively, like scratching themselves. 


Pests present a very common cause of pet itching. Fleas, ticks, and mites can really drive pets buggy—and make them scratch themselves incessantly. 

Hormone Imbalances

Occasionally, hormone imbalances can lead to conditions like hypothyroidism, which can cause skin infections; dry, flaky skin; dandruff; and ear infections. And all of these things can make pets extremely itchy.  

Arthritis or Other Underlying Pain

Compulsive biting or scratching may seem to point to a problem that is only skin deep, when in fact, something may be going on far beneath the surface. Sometimes our pets lick, bite, or chew at an area because they’re in pain, and they’re simply trying the only way they know to find relief.

Put an End to the Itch

To accurately pinpoint the cause of your pet’s itching, the first thing to do is schedule a checkup. We can help you investigate and diagnose the trigger and present you with treatment options and, if necessary, allergy serums or medications for pain management.

It’s also important to have your pet seen by a veterinarian if your pet has open sores from scratching, as these can become infected. 

Other strategies for calming the itch include:

  • Stay up-to-date with year round parasite control
  • Wipe your pet’s paws after they’ve been outdoors
  • Rid your home of common pet toxins that could make your pet itch
  • Avoid any known allergens as much as possible
  • Combat boredom by keeping your pet active
  • Use doctor-recommended treatments as prescribed 

Your veterinarian will inspect your pet’s skin at every wellness visit, but please contact us between appointments if your pet’s itching is on the uptick. We’re here to help!