Dog Itches and Bites Itself: Reasons and Ways of Treatment


It happens that the owner of the dog has noticed that the pet begins to bite himself, but does not attach much importance to this, considering that the problem is infecting the animal with fleas. He/ she buys drugs to get rid of fleas (collar, various drops that are applied to the withers). But there are other reasons, such as skin diseases (various dermatitis, dermatoses), allergic skin reactions.

Usually, itching does not bring serious consequences, except for constant discomfort to the animal, however, in rare cases, it indicates health problems and requires treatment by the veterinarian.

If dogs are scratching and biting themselves for a long time even after the anti-fleas treatment, you should pay attention and show it to the vet. Even if the discomfort is not caused by a very serious cause, the pet gets injured by constantly biting itself. This leads to pain, hair loss, as well as infection of wounds when dirt gets into them.

What Are the Reasons for the Dog’s Restless Behavior?

Typically, there are several reasons for a dog scratching and biting itself:

  1. dog itches and scratches itselfAllergy that occurs on the background of flea bites. Waste products of insects get into wounds from bites and irritate the skin, causing constant itching. Dogs that are infected with these parasites always try to bite their back, belly, and paws. Even one insect can cause discomfort to the animal.
  2. Food allergy is a disease accompanied by severe itching. To get rid of it, you need to determine what product or prepared food causes an allergic reaction and completely eliminate it from the diet of the dog. In this condition the dog is scratching the face, there can be swelling of the lips and cheeks.
  3. Allergic reaction to mosquito bites, flies, midges. In this case, the animal is biting itself in the bite area, and, as a rule, sores and blisters appear.
  4. Contact allergy is manifested by itching and redness in the skin area which was in contact with the allergen, for example, on the neck or stomach of the pet, where there is a collar or harness.
  5. Various dermatitis, dermatoses (including atopy). Itching, which is common for the disease, can be caused by an immune response to the presence in the air of pollen of plants, trees, street dust. Animals suffering from dermatitis, comb the muzzle and ears, trying to chew their paws. This disease manifests itself more strongly in the summer, when many herbs bloom.
  6. Pyoderma is an infectious disease that occurs as a result of infection of the surface layer of the epidermis.
  7. Otitis media (infection of the inflammatory process in the ear). Animals suffering from this disease scratch their ears severely.

Why the Dog Bites its Paws?

Dogs bite their paws quite often. The following reasons can lead to such behavior:

  • dog itching and scratching itselfImproper processing of claws. Often the owners forget about the need to maintain pet’s nails and keep them trimmed or do it improperly. This leads to significant discomfort. It becomes uncomfortable to move, and the dog starts to gnaw the paws, trying to remove pain.
  • Subcutaneous mite or fungal diseases provoke severe itching in the pads of the paws, and the animal begins to bite itchy places.
  • Insufficient hygiene. A careful owner usually washes the pet’s paws after a walk. If this is not done clumps of dirt and hair (tangles) are formed  between the fingers. This makes it difficult to move, and so the animal begins to gnaw the dirt.
  • Damage to the pads on the legs. The skin may be injured due to reagents, used to clean roads from ice. They are often chemically aggressive to the skin, corrode it, thereby leading to itching and pain.
  • Inflammation of the claw bed (panaritium), numbness of the paws (usually due to circulatory disorders), as well as joint pain.
  • Violations and errors in nutrition. Often the cause of obsessive behavior is an excess or lack of nutrients and vitamins.
  • A neurotic state. It is necessary to identify the causes of stress and try to eliminate them.

How to Help Your Pet?

Allergy is the most common cause of combs on the skin of pets. It is necessary to change the food habits of the animal. dog itching and biting itselfTry to remember what he ate before the manifestations of the disease, include in the menu only useful products or ready-made food. If you notice that the allergic symptoms have disappeared, then the reason was really some ingredient or feed (take note and do not buy such feed  in the future).

If the allergy is excluded, it is possible that your pet is infected with parasites that cause diseases such as sarcoptosis (red or pink spots on hairless areas of the body) and demodicosis (itching in the mouth). It is impossible to identify these diseases without the qualified help, because you have to take a scraping from the skin of the dogs and to carry out the analysis. This can be done only in a clinic by an experienced veterinarian. He will prescribe appropriate treatment.

If you found fleas when washing your pet they are the reason why the dog is scratching and biting itself. Today there are a lot of medications in pet stores helping to get rid of these blood-sucking bugs.

It should be noted that if the dog itches and bites itself, you cannot ignore this fact, but improper self-treatment can lead to deterioration of your pet. Therefore it is best to show the animal to the vet.

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