Why Does Your Pet Dog Constantly Scratch, Bite And Lick Its Fur?

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By Guest Author Valerie Banks


Scratching (Photo credit: ☺ Lee J Haywood)

The nonstop scratching, biting and licking of your pet dog can drive you insane. If it is making you uncomfortable, your pet is experiencing discomfort more than you. The constant scratching, biting and licking are a common behavior in dogs and there are various contributing factors to it. When this behavior persists your pet can develop hot spots that are red, damp and irritated. These hot spots can be found on the chest, hips and even on the head. The more scratching, biting and licking your pet does the more irritated these hot spots can become. As such, determining the cause of your pet’s behavior is necessary to prevent your dog from constantly scratching, biting and licking.

Why Does Your Pet Dog Scratch, Bite And Lick Excessively?

There is a variety of reasons for your pet dog to scratch, bite and lick. They might be bored, but the common causes are allergies and pest infestations. Once you determine the cause of your pet’s behavior, do not hesitate to have your dog treated and take steps to prevent it from occurring again.


Just like humans, dogs can also experience anxiety and they express this through chewing, scratching and licking. These physical responses in your dog can lead to a disorder condition that can result in severe hot spots on their body.

Dog scratching itself.

Dog scratching itself. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dry Skin

Fatty acid deficiencies and changing weather can cause dry skin on dogs. Dry skin is itchy and your pet will not be able to resist scratching and licking.


Dogs can also incur allergies and these are often due to food, pollen, mold and insect allergens. Other causes of their allergies are harsh soaps and over the counter pest sprays.



IMG_0694 (Photo credit: kmac989)

Fleas, ticks, bed bugs and mites can drive your dog crazy and make it scratch, bite and lick all over. Sadly, it is quite difficult to determine if pests are the reason for your pet’s behavior because they are so tiny and go unseen to the naked eye. Nevertheless, these pests and bites from other insects are usually the cause of excessive scratching, biting and licking on dogs.

The Symptoms of Insect Bites on Dogs

More often, pests are the cause of your dog’s erratic behavior. If you are uncertain, you can always look out for these symptoms:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Large swollen bumps
  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling on ears and eyelids
  • Swelling of lips or the entire face
  • Difficulty breathing when the nose or mouth has been bitten
  • Wheezing
  • Weak pulse
  • Weakness
  • Hives
  • Unconsciousness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Trembling
  • Cold extremities

Treating Insect Bites on Your Pet

Insect bites are very uncomfortable to dogs and dangerous too. This is why treating them immediately at home is essential then brought to a vet for medical assistance. Here are a few home remedies -

Aloe Vera - Soothes the pain and burning sensation of the bites

Aloe vera.

Aloe vera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cold Compress - Reduces swelling and pain

Calamine Lotion, Oatmeal or Hydrocortisone Cream - Eases the irritation on the skin

Baking Soda and Water Paste - Helps heal bumps caused by the bite

Baking Soda and Water solution - Reduces swelling and pain

Epsom Salt and Warm Water Mixture - Treats irritated and itchy skin and paws

Witch Hazel – Treats hot spots

After your pet has been treated, you must have your home cleaned properly to remove dust, mites and pests. Have professional pest control treatments applied in your home to prevent pest infestations as well. Ensure that your home maintains a cool temperature and that your pet is bathed and groomed regularly.


Click here for some skin remedies for your dog

Attached Images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://mrg.bz/ApC1Ws

This information is provided by Valerie Banks, who is a freelance writer specializing in pet care and natural pest control methods. She also writes about skin allergies on pets and different home remedies for pets, including pest prevention.

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20 thoughts on “Why Does Your Pet Dog Constantly Scratch, Bite And Lick Its Fur?

  1. Pingback: Why Does My Dog . . . Lick and Chew His Feet? By: Dr. Patty Khuly | Scoop The Poop!

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  3. When people say “skin allergy,” they’re normally referring to allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis happens when you touch something that your body deems dangerous, even though it’s actually harmless. You react with symptoms like rashes, pain, redness, swelling and blisters. Common types of allergic contact dermatitis are allergies to poison ivy, latex and nickel. Meanwhile, pet allergies are most commonly reactions to dander and little bits of protein from dog saliva that you inhale. Your body’s reaction is normally some type of cold-like symptom: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes or congestion..;*.*

    Cheers http://caramoan.phdd Laurence Fredeen

  4. The house dust mite (sometimes referred to by allergists as HDM) is a cosmopolitan guest in human habitation. Dust mites feed on organic detritus such as flakes of shed human skin and flourish in the stable environment of dwellings. House dust mites are a common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide. …….

    Our personal blog site http://www.caramoan.code Rickey Beresnyak

  5. Identifying and treating the underlying cause of itchy skin is important for long-term relief. Itchy skin treatments include medications, wet dressings and light therapy. Self-care measures, including anti-itch products and cool baths, can also help. “*`”


  6. The accurate diagnosis of any skin lesions can be made by histologic examination of a skin biopsy. However, clinicians must gain the clinical acumen to correctly identify common benign skin lesions and to distinguish those skin conditions that do need a biopsy and possible further treatment. …`;


  7. Good tips on why a dog scratches. Sometimes, it can go under the rug during playtime and would catch mites from there and of course, the skin would get allergic to this (in susceptible dogs).

    • Thank you for reading and commenting! Good point about dust mites… When I first got Dakota the Corgi, she scratched a lot. (she was 13 months old at the time)…I switched her food to Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice Small Dog formula and she stopped scratching almost immediately.

  8. Pingback: Natural Remedies For Your Pet’s Allergies | The Pet Blog

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