Health Topics  >  Skin and Coat  > Itching and Scratching

A veterinarian’s advice on dealing with itching, scratching, chewing and licking in dogs

Skin issues are a common cause of discomfort in dogs, and there are many possible reasons why your dog may be scratching more than usual. Sometimes the itching is mild and subtle, whereas others can cause serious itchiness and painful lesions.

Since there are so many causes, with some (e.g. allergies) that are complicated to diagnose and treat, it is important to be patient and talk to your vet about expected treatment outcomes.

It’s always best to address itching in a dog early on to avoid secondary effects from licking or scratching excessively. If you’ve noticed a change in your dog’s behavior and he or she is licking or scratching more frequently, this is a sign your dog is uncomfortable – and a good time to book an appointment with your veterinarian.

Itching can be a difficult problem to treat - be sure to have an open discussion with your vet about expected outcomes from treatment.