Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber

ASK THE EXPERT WITH
DR. JEFF WERBER

Renowned veterinarian and veterinary medical journalist, Dr. Jeff Werber is often seen on the top news and talk shows educating and enlightening pet owners on a variety of topics from basic pet care and nutrition to abnormal behavior and prevention of disease. With over 30 years of experience, he has not only established himself in the medical field, but also sits on the advisory board of Veterinary Economics Magazine, and has notable publications in Veterinary Forum and The Pet Press. Dr. Jeff works hard at his mission to strengthen the "Human-Companion Animal Bond” and dedicates his time to several animal welfare and rescue organizations.

Why is my dog always scratching itself?

An occasional itch may be quite normal, but it should never interrupt activities, cause hair loss or skin damage. It also should not be often enough that it is bothersome to the owner.

Could my dog’s itching be due to allergies?

Yes. Frequent or constant scratching, licking, biting, scooting and/or rubbing are most often signs of an allergic skin disease. Common allergic skin disease in dogs occur in response to fleas, food or environmental allergens such as pollens, molds or dust mites. In fact, many people may not realize that dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies and irritation just like we do.

How do I know if my dog’s itching is too much?

Although an occasional itch may be normal, it can often be difficult to distinguish between an occasional itch and one that occurs often enough to indicate something more serious, so it’s important to rely on your dog’s body language—or your own instinct. A good rule of thumb is if your dog’s itching is disruptive to your household or damages your dog’s skin, chances are, there may be an underlying medical problem and you should talk to your veterinarian.

What should I do if my dog’s itching seems to be more frequent than normal?

It’s important to get answers early – especially since continual scratching and itching can lead to additional problems, including infection. Talk to your veterinarian about safe and effective solutions.

Is there treatment that can help?

There is a safe and effective prescription medicine available that provides fast and safe allergic itch relief so your dog and you can return to normal. Click here to learn more about a treatment that can help lessen itch and inflammation caused by different allergies, like food, flea and environmental allergens, with minimal side effects.

What about topical steroids or antihistamines for my dog’s itch?

While it’s common for pet owners to try over-the-counter remedies first, these treatments rarely provide relief. This causes frustration and disappointment and sometimes side effects, like excessive drowsiness with antihistamines.

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Test your animal instinct

Should you talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s itching? Take this quiz to learn more.

By completing the “Itch Instinct” quiz*, you will trigger a donation by Zoetis to expand the number of recipients in its K-9 Courage™ Program, which provides financial and in-kind product donations to retired military and active police dogs as well as active service dogs that assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress.

*One entry per person.

If your dog has frequent itching, your veterinarian can help!

For many years, corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, or antihistamines were the only treatment for itch relief in dogs. However, steroids and immunosuppressive drugs can have serious long-term side effects such as increased panting, liver disease, and risk of infection, and antihistamines can cause severe drowsiness.

There is another treatment available that decreases dogs’ itches and desire to scratch, while also reducing inflammation, redness or swelling of the skin. Get information about a treatment option for allergic itching.


Your vet can help with frequent dog itching.