Dog Itching but No Fleas? 7 Possible Causes

A dog itching and scratching will automatically make you think of fleas. However, there are several other factors that can cause skin itchiness, ranging from allergies to hormonal problems or stress.

1. Allergies

Allergies are the second most common cause of itchiness in dogs. Inhalant allergens such as chemicals, dust or pollen can all cause itchiness. Food and parasite bites are frequent causes of allergic reactions. If the dog is allergic to plastic, wool or other fabrics, he will have itchy skin after having contact with them.

Allergies can be relieved with shampoos, topical ointments, antihistamines, steroids or allergy shots. Make sure your dog has less contact with the suspected allergens, to prevent allergic reactions.

2. Sun or Wind

Excessive exposure to sunlight can cause itchiness, especially on dogs with light-colored coats.

Wind can cause dry skin and this can be itchy. Use some moisturizing shampoos or creams to prevent dry skin.

3. Other Parasites

Fleas are not the only parasites that cause itchiness. Ear mites can also cause excessive itchiness. The dog will scratch mostly in the head and ear area.

Worms and intestinal parasites can cause itching in the rectal area. You may notice worms in the feces, and the dog may also have a decreased appetite, diarrhea and vomiting. Parasites can be treated with shampoos, insecticides or dewormers. For temporary relief of itchiness, use a cream containing cortisone.

4. Nutrition

Poor nutrition can lead to dry skin and dull coat aspect. Itchiness is also common.

Talk to your vet about an optimal dog food formula and introduce a few supplements such as fatty acids, omega 3, 6 and 9, B vitamins (Biotin or niacin) or vitamin E.

5. Fungi

Infections with fungi can cause itchiness. The most frequent fungi in dogs are ringworm and Candida albicans, which causes yeast infection.

Ringworm causes round-shaped bald patches and extreme itchiness.

The yeast infection can be located in the ears, mouth, paws, rectum or vagina of the dog.

Ringworms can be treated with medication, while yeast infections necessitate a lengthy treatment, including frequent baths with solutions to bring back the pH balance on the dog’s skin.

6. Hormonal Problems

A thyroid tumor or disease can cause hormonal problems, as can thyroid hormones in deficit or excess. Hormonal problems can lead to itchiness and dry or oily skin. Consult your vet if your dog loses weight, lacks appetite or is extremely irritable. These are typical symptoms of hormonal problems.

7. Stress

Psychological factors such as anxiety and stress can cause the dog to believe he has itchy skin. He may need some anxiety drugs, pheromone diffusers or homeopathic remedies to relieve stress.

Excessive itching, licking and scratching can lead to hair loss, bald patches and even infections, as dog saliva contains a lot of bacteria. By scratching, dogs can provoke deep wounds and even bleeding. It is essential to detect the cause of itchiness and apply proper treatment to ensure your dog is healthy.