Ways to Stop Excessive Scratching in Dogs

Excessive scratching in dogs is an indication that there is a problem that needs dealing with. Dogs, just like humans, enjoy the odd scratch here and there, but when scratching becomes excessive there is usually a good reason. Dogs that keep scratching may have one of a variety of ailments, from fleas to an allergy, or a nervous condition such as a compulsive disorder.


Fleas, ticks, lice and mites are just some of the tiny creatures that can invade your dog’s fur, biting and tickling his or her skin along the way. Even clean, healthy dogs are liable to catch fleas and other types of similar problems after coming into contact with animals with an infestation, or by playing in long grass when mites and ticks are abundant.

The way to stop excessive scratching in such a case is to get rid of the cause of an itch. Veterinarians can provide treatments to rid dogs of creatures that make them scratch. There are also over-the-counter treatments available from pet stores, such as anti-flea shampoo that may help get rid of biting pests.


Like people, dogs can have allergies. Often it is pollen or the food they eat that causes excessive itching. Switching from mass-produced dog food, which has dubious content, to natural food may solve the problem. Alternatively, medication from a vet may help.

Nervous conditions

Stress, excitement, habitual behavior or a compulsive disorder may be to blame for excessive scratching. Much as parrots pull out their feathers when highly strung, dogs may chew, bite and scratch themselves in an effort to obtain relief from stress. Providing a calming environment can help a nervous dog feel more relaxed. Also, keeping them away from people that constantly argue or shout, other loud noises, and other pets they don’t get on with, can help stop them from scratching and biting themselves.

A dog that scratches excessively may need help from a canine therapist, who can be recommended by a vet. Treating a compulsive disorder in a dog alone can be hard, especially for a pet owner who does not understand the complaint. Therefore, professional advice should be sought.

Dogs that will not stop scratching always have a reason for being itchy. They may find scratching a relief, but will find effective treatment more pleasurable.


http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Mental-Disorders/Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder/Symptoms.aspx (OCD in dogs)

http://www.fleafree.co.uk/diagnosis/en/index.shtml (How to check your pet for fleas)

http://www.dogallergies.org.uk/ (Dog allergies)