Canine Itching Caused by Dog Skin Disorders
Canine itching can cause a lot of agony and discomfort in dogs. There are a lot of skin problems that cause itching, such as canine atopy, fleas, scabies, and more. Read on to find out some common dog skin disorders that cause itchy dog skin and skin irritation.

Canine itching is characterized by constant and excessive scratching, licking, chewing and biting at the skin, and face-rubbing against objects such as furniture in order to bring about relief.

As you can imagine, itchy dog skin causes a great deal of frustration and discomfort to a dog.

In serious cases, a dog with severe itchy skin can bite and scratch himself so badly that serious injuries can occur.

If your dog shows symptoms of constant itching, try to find out the root cause of his itchy skin.

There are, unfortunately, many possibilities that can cause itching in dogs. This page takes a look at some of the most common dog skin disorders that cause canine itching.

Dog Skin Disorders that Cause Canine Itching

Canine Atopy

Canine atopy, or canine allergic dermatitis, is similar to hay fever in humans. Dogs with this skin disorder are allergic to substances such as pollens, house dust and house dust mites, and so on.

It is rather common in dogs and affects about 10 percent of dogs. Atopic dogs usually start showing symptoms when they are young (between one and three years of age).

At first, dogs may show signs and symptoms only seasonally (e.g. in spring to fall) but they tend to get worse each year until they show signs all year round.

Please visit our page on Canine Atopy for more information.

Dog Flea Allergies

Dogs with flea allergies have intense itching and red bumps on their inner thighs and stomach, at the base of their tail, and along the lower back. Allergic reaction can be immediately after fleabites, or delayed – long after the fleas have been killed.

Please visit this page for more information.

Dog Food Allergies

Food allergies cause non-seasonal canine itching. Dogs suffering from food allergies also have red skin and bumps, usually on the ears, back of the legs, and the undersurface of the body.

Please visit our page on Dog Food Allergies for more information.

Contact Dermatitis

Another cause of canine itching is contact dermatitis which is an allergic reaction at the site of contact with an irritant such as flea collar, detergent, or some chemicals. The site of contact (usually the feet and hairless parts of the body) is red and inflamed with itchy bumps.

Sometimes the areas will also be painful and oozing (see our page on hot spots). The itching and skin problems usually discontinue upon removal of the irritant.

Lick Granuloma

Lick granuloma (acral lick dermatitis) is caused by excessive, continuous licking (usually the front part of the lower leg). The licking leads to skin irritation such as itching, ulceration, and infection. This skin disorder occurs most commonly in middle-aged, large breed dogs.


Fleas cause intense canine itching and scratching along the back, around the tail and the hindquarters.

To check for the presence of fleas, stand your dog over a sheet of white paper and brush him. Look for black and white grain-like materials dropping onto the paper. These are flea eggs and excrement.

Please visit this page for more information.


Scabies (aka sarcoptic mange or sarcoptic mites) are tiny spiderlike parasites that cause intense itching in dogs.

Dogs with scabies typically have crusty ear tips. Sarcoptic mites usually attack the skin of a dog’s ears, the elbows and the hocks, as well as the face and the underside of the chest, leaving small red spots on these parts of the skin.

Please visit our page on Scabies in Dogs for more information.

Walking Dandruff

“Walking dandruff” (Cheyletiellosis) is a highly contagious skin disease caused by the large reddish Cheyletiella mites. It usually affects young puppies, and the mites are found mostly over the neck and along the back, causing large amounts of dry flaky skin in such areas.

The mites cause intense itching in some dogs, but itching may be completely absent in others.

Please visit our page on Walking Dandruff in Dogs for more information.

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