Allergies might be the reason your itchy dog scratches so much

Does your dog constantly lick, scratch, rub, and bite the same areas over and over again? These could be signs of atopic or allergic dermatitis, which are chronic skin conditions associated with allergies. These conditions are very similar to eczema and can cause your dog’s skin to become red and inflamed. It’s important to seek medical treatment to determine the underlying cause, so your furry friend can get relief that lasts.

Allergies and dogs

Just like people, dogs can be allergic to common substances in the environment, such as grass and tree pollen, mold, and dust mites. Dogs may also be allergic to fleas, carpets, insecticides, and even ingredients in shampoos. These allergens trigger itch, and depending on what is causing the allergy, your dog may suffer seasonally—or all year round.

To get relief from allergic itch, your dog may scratch, lick, chew, or bite, which unfortunately can make things worse and even lead to skin infection or a rash. If you notice your dog is itchy, it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian and get it checked out.

Allergic itch in dogs can be a short-term seasonal problem or can become a lifelong condition that requires lifelong management.

Dogs with persistent itch due to allergies are often diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition very similar to eczema. This skin condition is more common than you may think. In fact, it affects up to 10% of dogs worldwide.

Over time, atopic dermatitis can worsen and can affect your dog’s quality of life. With the itch, the skin can become red, scaly and irritated and a rash can form. If your dog is not treated, there is even a risk of skin and ear infections. Dogs with this type of allergic itch sometimes lose interest in playing, too. The constant scratching invades playtime and family time. It can also affect your sleep—listening to the sounds of licking, chewing, and scratching over and over again. Who wouldn’t stay awake?

While there is no cure for allergic itch due to atopic dermatitis, the treatment goal is to reduce symptoms and allow time for your dog's skin to heal.

The good news is, living a normal, happy life is possible for your dog with the help of your veterinarian and you!