My Dog Won’t Stop Scratching-How to Fix the Problem Quickly

My dog won’t stop scratchingRecently we overheard come coffee cart talk about, “my dog wont’ stop scratching” and decided that would be a great topic to help inform readers about. How to stop a dog from scratching can be quite a chore and very difficult to achieve, if you don’t know how.

But…there’s good news. You can stop dog scratching when you understand why they are scratching and know what to do about it. So, if your dog won’t stop scratching this might be the information that can help save your pet from lots of misery and sore skin and you from an enormous vet bill.

Stop Dog Scratching? Stop Allergies!

Yep, you heard that correctly. Allergies. Did you know that your pet can suffer with allergies just like you can? Actually Novartis Animal Health held a survey of pet owners and discovered that over 50% of pet owners had not idea that their pets could suffer seasonal and environmental allergies.

Guess what? They can. Actually pets can suffer with both food and environmental allergies. The easiest way to know the difference between the allergies is the type of reaction. If your dog won’t stop scratching year round, you’re probably either dealing with a food allergy or an environmental allergy that’s always present such as shampoo, cleaners, sprays, etc. If the scratching is more prevalent in particular seasons, it’s likely an environmental cause.

It is however possible that seasonal / environmental allergies can persist to become year round. This is more likely to occur in temperate environments where freezing cold winters do not occur. This allows allergens to accumulate which can lead to increased severity.

What are the Symptoms of Pet Seasonal Allergies?

This is one of those questions where many folks think human. You shouldn’t. Pets are not humans and their allergies don’t manifest as such. For instance, many humans have respiratory problems such as sneezing, running nose and watery eyes due to allergies. Though dogs can, they usually do not manifest in this way. Dogs and even cats are more likely to have skin problems because of allergic reactions. This can lead to an inflammatory response called allergic dermatitis.

So if your dog won’t stop scratching, there is a good chance this is why. Allergies cause extreme irritation and itchiness to your pet’s skin. They may scratch incessantly, bite, chew and even cry and whine because they are so uncomfortable. You may see them trying to rub their backs or faces on surfaces where they can achieve friction. If you see these behaviors, there’s a good chance they have allergies.

Eventually as the itching, scratching, biting and pulling continues onward, the animal’s skin will become irritated, inflamed and can become red, swollen and tender. It can further lead to sores and infection if not treated. Dogs can get something called a hot spot where the inflammation has gotten carried away and the natural bacteria of their skin (like staph) can become overactive. This can lead to high inflammation, bleeding and even a loss of hair.

Allergy Progression

If you have a pet who is suffering with allergies that go untreated, it can progress to become more chronic. Though the symptoms may be minimal at first with progressive worsening in subsequent years, if there is not an intervention, they can become year round.

The best way to deal with this is to be aware of allergy signs and find the culprit if symptoms begin occurring. By doing this you can hopefully prevent a year round chronic allergy from developing.

Pet Seasonal Allergy Relief and Dog Scratching Remedies

Okay…so, your best friend keeps complaining that “my dog won’t stop scratching.” What do you do?

There are some common sense solutions that may help. Use your knowledge and share. It may help save a pet from misery. Many of these are similar to what humans should do who suffer with allergy issues so don’t be surprised.

  • Clean home – Vacuum and clean home to keep dust under control. Use allergen free bedding for your pet if possible. Clean the bedding frequently. Always use non-toxic, natural cleaners will possible instead of chemicals.
  • Try to avoid vaccinations and drugs when possible. A holistic vet will understand and assist you in lessening this impact where possible.
  • Diet changes – Low grain anti-inflammatory diets are the best foods for your pets. Making sure their food has less carbohydrates will likely lessen the allergic reaction from this avenue. Or better still, switch your dog to a raw food diet for dogs which has been proven beyond any doubt to stop allergies, itching and scratching in weeks.
  • Bathing frequently – Just like in humans, if you wash your pet frequently you will help remove allergens. You should use a shampoo that does not have grains in it. Don’t use oatmeal or any other grain like soap.
  • Wash their feet – Though soaking or washing your pet’s paws may sound a little funny, it can do wonders. They are tracking in allergens when they go out and come back in. If you clean their feet, they will track less allergens to their beds and other places they reside.
  • Dysbiosis diagnosis – If your pet has suffered taking too many antibiotics, they may get this problem which can cause immune system problems. Also termed “leaky gut” this should be considered if your pet has had to take a lot of medications and seems to be suffering with a lot of allergies.

What Kind of Dog Scratching Remedies Are There?

Besides the allergy interventions discussed above related to cleaning, bedding, vaccinations, taking medications, etc. there are a few things you can do in supplemental form to help your pet. Luckily these are not medications and they are therefore safer and not toxic like so many medications are.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids – This is a well-known natural anti-inflammatory recommended for humans, but it’s also great for your dog as well. This is a wonderful choice to help you pet that is suffering with seasonal allergies. Found  in sources such as:
    • Tuna oil
    • Anchovy oil
    • Salmon oil
    • Krill oil
    • Coconut oil – This one is not from a fish, but it still works wonders. The lauric acid in coconut oil helps decrease yeast production. When inflammatory reactions are in full swing you can often stomp them out with a fish oil and coconut oil combination.
    • Quercetin – Known for its antioxidant properties as well as its anti-inflammatory ones this bioflavonoid suppresses histamine levels to a great degree. If you are not familiar with it, histamine is what potentiates the allergic and inflammatory response. By breaking this histamine cycle, quercetin is able to greatly help the allergy sufferer.
    • Papain and bromelain also help break the histamine cycle and can help improve the absorption of quercetin. Taking these powerful supplements together can greatly enhance your pet’s ability to cope with seasonal allergies.

Watch the video below where I discuss dog food allergies, the symptoms to look for and what to do to end this dog health problem.

How to Solve Dog Allergies
Watch this video on YouTube.

So if you have the “my dog won’t stop scratching” syndrome going on in your home or you are trying to save a friend’s pet, be sure to pass along some of this great advice. A dog will thank you for it.

About Dan

Dan is an experienced dog nutrition and home remedy specialist, helping pet parents heal chronic dog health problems with healthier kibble, home cooked and raw food diets and using effective, safer natural home remedies for a healthier, happier and longer lived dog.


  1. I heard that when a dog incessantly licks it’s wrist, it is because the dog Is feeling pain on the wrist joint and because dogs only know how to lick their wounds, the dog can lick its hot spot’ until the skin gets irritated and maybe even lacerated. Though the article is about scratching, I think both symptoms could have something to do with allergies. And we know this could be a result of packaged dog food.

  2. Hi Curtis, if the licking leads to exposed skin or bleeding the dog is clearly in discomfort. It’s like an itch you can never sratch and drives you mad, and until the diet is changed it will continue. It’s all allergy related and the vet will prescribe meds for the problem that only make it worse going forward. Fresh food fixes the problem in a few short weeks.

  3. Hi Dan, my lab, 6yrs old male, has body odor and his mouth smells too. he gets home made cooked vegetarian indian food generally involving lentils, vegetable curries etc. he now has developed demodactic mange.once in a week or two he has chicken cooked without salt. i am a doctor and i think i am not looking after him well enough. any suggestions please

  4. Hi Sunila, your lab’s not doing well on the diet he’s currently on because it’s not his natural diet. Get my free report, read it through and you will discover exactly what he needs to quickly get rid of his current health problems.

  5. Helen Smith says

    Hi Dan,
    You posted a recipe on your FB for homemade dog food.
    I can’t find it anymore. It was with eggs , hamburg meat ,rice and vitamin.
    Could u post it again please. ty Helen

  6. Hi Helen, have sent you a detailed email reply.

  7. Hi Dan
    I’m a bit frustrated with my dogs licking and scratching his paws. When I first got my dog he had a parasite that just wouldn’t go away. They gave him 4 rounds of antibiotics and I believe that this is why he has chronic itching. Also he suffered from staph infection and I think right now he currently has it again, I really don’t want to put my dog on antibiotics as I know that this is harming his health really bad. I’m really concerned I changed his diet to raw organic grass-fed. I give him probiotics now every morning and wild-caught omega-3 oil. I know you mentioned in your article to give quercetin for the immune and to help with the itching. I’m a little bit confused on the dosage if you can please reply with the dosage details. my dog is 8 months and weighs 20 pounds. Any advice is appreciated or any feedback you can give me on with this matter. I really hate to see him suffer like this and I refuse to put him back on antibiotics

  8. Hi Mireya, your absolutely right, continual antibiotic use destroys the gut flora and causes more health problems than it’s worth. There’s several things I could help you with but really, just get my new book Home Remedies for Dogs because not only does it have the natural antibiotic alternative and the quercetin dossages but many more home remedies that will make a positive health difference with your dog. There’s a great remedy for the itching that combines two ingredients and works very effectively.

    Hope this helps, Dan

  9. Jessica Lai says

    Hi Dan,
    My poodle is 5 yr old and he had skin allergy since young. We tried to bring him to few vets and most of them put him on antibiotics which we are not comfortable with to have him on drugs for long term. He incessantly licks and bites his body and paws. It can be as serious as he tends to bite until it bleeds. For this, we have no choice but to put him on ecollar. We had switched him from kibbles to raw food for about 1-2 yrs ago. His condition did not improve much. So we decided to prepare the food by ourselves instead, according to one of the recipe shared by Dr Becker on youtube. It did improve whereby less rashes on the bottom part of his body near the hind legs. Although less rashes on his body but he still continue to scratch and bite whenever he is off collar. Occasionally he will suffer from ear infections. We feel pity to see him on ecollar all the time. We know he feels discomfort with that thing on all the time. On the other hand, we never want to see him biting himself. Besides giving him raw, we also bathe him with organic soap which is quite costly. We would be grateful if you could advise us on how to help in improving his condition. Probably on his diet or a recipe that we can prepare for him? Thank you.

  10. Hi Jessica, without knowing your dogs diet it’s hard for me to direct you and if it’s a raw food diet but your dog is still having skin issues then the diet needs modifications and probably some supplements and a look at your veterinary regime with meds/vaccines etc. You can take up my one to one coaching service, very reasonable and well look at everything in turn and get your dog on the right track going forward, see the option here – One to One.

    For now, try this to help alleviate the problems you mention, should make a good difference quickly – CBD oil. Hope that helps, let me know how you get on or if you need further help.

Speak Your Mind