Why Is My Dog Always So Itchy In The Summer?


As the weather heats up in the summer, it’s normal to see your dog scratching themselves more than usual. You might catch them gnawing at their legs or doing the “butt scoot” across the floor and think — what’s going on with my dog? Why are they so itchy all of a sudden?

If your dog seems to be endlessly scratching and biting themselves, don’t worry - you aren’t alone. This article breaks down the common reasons dogs get so itchy in summer and shares some tips to relieve their irritation. We’ll also cover when you may need to take your pup to the vet if scratching gets excessive.

Cavapoo in a Rainbow Dog Dress

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Cavapoo in a Rainbow Dog Dress

What Causes Excessive Itching in Dogs During Summer?

Can Normal Grooming Turn into an Itch Problem?

It’s perfectly normal for dogs to groom themselves and occasionally scratch a little here and there. In fact, it’s part of their self-maintenance routine to stay clean and comfortable. However, when the occasional scratch turns into frequent and frantic itching, it’s likely a sign that something’s amiss.

What Triggers Abnormal Itching Patterns in Warmer Weather?

As the summer season sets in, several factors can lead to an increase in your dog’s itchiness. The most common culprits include:

  • Parasites: Fleas and ticks thrive in warm weather and are notorious for causing discomfort. A single flea bite can trigger an intense allergic reaction known as flea allergy dermatitis, leading to severe itching and scratching.
  • Allergies: Just like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies. Pollen, mold, and dust mites are prevalent in summer and can cause atopic dermatitis, which results in itchy skin.
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    Poodle in a Ruffle Sunflower Dog Dress

  • Hot Spots: Also known as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots are areas of skin inflammation and bacterial infection that can be intensely itchy and painful. They often result from dogs licking or chewing irritated areas excessively, usually prompted by an allergy or insect bite.
  • Dry Skin: Increased bathing frequency, swimming, and the sun’s rays can strip away natural oils from your dog’s skin, leading to dryness and irritation.
  • Heat Rash: Dogs with thick coats or those living in particularly hot and humid environments may develop prickly heat or heat rash, which induces itching.
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Teddy in a Waterlemon Dog Dress

Understanding these triggers is essential to addressing your dog’s discomfort. By recognizing the signs early, you can take swift action to alleviate the itch and keep your four-legged friend happy throughout the summer months.In addition, implementing essential tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy will ensure your pet enjoys this season to the fullest.

How Can You Help Your Dog Stop Itching All The Time?

If your dog is stuck in an endless cycle of scratching and biting at their skin, it’s miserable for both of you. Seeing your pup constantly bothered is no fun at all. The good news is there are many things you can try to help your dog find relief from chronic itchiness before it drives you both crazy.

First things first - chat with your vet to pinpoint what’s causing the itching in the first place. Things like bug bites, dry skin, allergies, and even anxiety can leave your doggo desperately trying to scratch an itch that just won’t quit. Once you know the culprit, there are loads of treatment options to try.

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Morkie in a Lemon Dog Dress

During summer months, parasites like fleas and ticks are usually to blame for making dogs miserably itchy. Work with your vet to get your pup on a solid parasite prevention plan. Monthly topical treatments, oral meds, and even flea & tick collars can help give these pests the boot.

If your dog is just generally bothered by dry, sensitive skin that tends to flake in summer, try oatmeal or anti-itch shampoo baths combined with beta carotene oils or fatty acid supplements in their diet. These nourish the skin and coat to reduce itching. It’s also essential to know how often you should wash your dog to maintain skin health without stripping away natural oils that protect their coat and skin.

For super itchy pups with seasonal or environmental allergies, medications and even allergy shots can provide much longer relief by decreasing allergic reactions over future months and years.

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Cavopoo in a Floral Dog Dress

Finally, look at their environment too. Wash bedding regularly, vacuum floors, and consider air filters to capture allergens and dust at home. The less contact with irritants, the better for itchy dogs!

With some trial-and-error finding the right treatment plan, you and your dog can get back to living an itch-free life together soon enough. No more scratch fests for your pup!

How Do You Recognize Summer Allergies in Your Dog?

What Symptoms Should You Look Out For?

Summer allergies in dogs can manifest in several ways, but there are some common signs that you can watch for. These symptoms often indicate that your dog is reacting to an environmental trigger:

  • Excessive scratching or licking of the skin.
  • Red, inflamed, or scabbed skin.
  • Recurrent ear infections or head shaking.
  • Runny eyes and nose, sneezing fits.
  • Changes in the skin, such as rashes or hives.
  • Hair loss or bald patches due to over-grooming.
  • Foot chewing and swollen paws.
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Shih Tzu in a Flamingo Dog Dress

When Is It Just a Seasonal Itch or an Allergic Reaction?

Differentiating between a simple itch and an allergic reaction boils down to the intensity and frequency of the symptoms. If your dog’s itching is accompanied by any of the above symptoms and persists over days or seems to worsen with exposure to potential allergens, it may be indicative of an allergic reaction.

Furthermore, if the itching is localized (such as constant licking of the paws) or if it coincides with seasonal changes (like blooms in spring or fall), this could also point to seasonal allergies. In contrast, a dog that occasionally scratches without further symptoms might just be dealing with typical skin irritation.

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Dog in a Rainbow Dog Shirt

For a definitive diagnosis, a veterinary visit is essential. Your vet may suggest specific allergy tests to pinpoint the cause and recommend appropriate treatments or lifestyle changes to manage your dog’s symptoms. Understanding and recognizing these signs early on enables you to seek professional help, ensuring your furry friend enjoys the summer just as much as you do, free from the discomfort of allergies.

Can Baths Help an Itchy Pup or Just Make It Worse?

When your dog is stuck in an endless itch cycle, you’ll try just about anything for relief - and baths are often near the top of the list. But before reaching for that bottle of dog shampoo, it helps knowing when baths help or hurt.

The truth is bathing an already itchy dog can go either way. Used properly, baths wash away pesky allergens and soothe inflammation. But done too much, bathing strips natural oils and further dries out skin. It’s a tricky balance!

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Yorkie in a Unicorn Dog Dress

A good rule of thumb is to bathe flaky, itchy pups every 4-6 weeks UNLESS they have a condition needing medicated baths more often. Choose gentle, soothing formulas like oatmeal shampoos or hypoallergenic kinds that reduce risk of reactions. Steer clear of stuff with perfumes or dyes - they’ll just irritate skin.

Always scrub and rinse super well after sudsing up your dog, getting all traces of shampoo residue off skin and fur. Left behind gunk actually makes post-bath itching worse!

After their bath be sure to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner or rinse if your pup tends to dry skin. And if itchiness rages on despite your best bath efforts, that’s your cue to check with your vet in case an underlying problem needs different treatment.

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Shih Tzu in a Green Polka Dot Dog Dress

Working bath time into your dog’s routine CAN provide some relief when done smart. But

when in doubt, ask your vet for personalized tips so baths are a soothing, skin-saving experience…not more misery for your irritated itchy dog!

Can Something as Simple as Baking Soda Soothe an Itchy Pup?

With its mild anti-inflammatory abilities, baking soda is often suggested as a home remedy for temporarily relieving doggy skin irritations. Used properly, it can safely take the edge off mild itchiness. But baking soda should complement - not replace - a vet’s care plan when itching gets out of hand.

To use baking soda for some quick relief, mix it with water into a paste and apply to your dog’s irritated spots for 15-20 minutes before rinsing. Be extra careful they don’t lick it off and swallow any! You can also stir 1/2 cup baking soda into a warm bath and let them soak for 10 minutes. No matter how you apply, always monitor your pup the whole time and stop if they seem distressed.

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Maltipoo in a Fancy Tulle Pink Dress

While a baking soda treatment might briefly calm inflammation, it won’t cure more complicated skin issues. If itching persists despite your DIY attempts, that’s a definite sign it’s vet visit time! Getting to the root cause of what’s antagonizing your dog’s skin is key for their quality of life. An underlying allergy, infection or parasite problem needs proper treatment beyond basic home remedies.

In short - baking soda can temporarily take the “ouch” out of mild itchiness. But it’s not a solution for ongoing skin misery. Working with your veterinarian ensures your dog gets the right care plan for long-term relief!

Can a Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar Ease Itchy, Irritated Skin?

Apple cider vinegar has made its way into many home remedies thanks to its antibacterial superpowers. And while the claims aren’t scientifically proven, some dog owners swear a diluted ACV solution can soothe their pup’s itchy, inflamed skin when used carefully.

The main benefit comes from its acetic acid content. This gives ACV the ability to potentially kill yeast and bacteria when applied topically, making it helpful for some infections causing skin irritations. But this acidity can also sting if used incorrectly!

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Dog in a Polka Dot Dog Dress

To try it safely: Mix a 50/50 solution of ACV and water before spraying or dabbing onto irritated spots. Do an allergy test on a small patch of skin first and watch for 24 hrs before treating larger areas. Steer clear of open wounds, eyes, ears and other super sensitive zones. For full coverage, add to bath water after diluting.

While ACV may offer temporary relief for minor itches when used smartly, it’s not an alternative for veterinary care if scratching is chronic or severe. Persisting skin issues need an expert diagnosis rather than home remedies alone. So talk to your vet before introducing new treatments, especially if your pup takes medications that could interact. ACV baths are fine for an occasional itch splash, but they shouldn’t replace a vet-guided care plan!

When Does All That Scratching Signal It’s Time to Call the Vet ASAP?

It’s normal for dogs to occasionally bite and itch, but some signs tell you it’s gone from casual to crisis. Intense scratching leading to wounds, skin changes, bald patches, stinky coat, and constant foot chewing all demand a vet visit.

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Letting those issues go risks infection setting in or skin deteriorating fast. What started as seasonal allergies can morph into a raging hot spot or full coat crisis before you know it.

By getting veterinary help right away, you avoid complications and get your pup relief quickly. Your vet can run tests to pinpoint the root of what’s antagonizing skin from allergies to parasites and beyond. Bloodwork, skin scrapings and more help devise a tailored treatment plan.

Medications, baths, dietary adds and environmental changes may be prescribed to heal and protect skin long-term. The sooner this care plan starts, the better your dog feels and less chance misery escalates.

If your dog’s scratching shifts from occasional to obsessive, trust those instincts telling you “get the vet on the phone!" Timely intervention prevents small issues turning into major woes so your pup stays happy and comfy in their own fur.

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Italian Greyhound in Big Floral Dog Dress


With some knowledge and simple practices, you can help your pup dodge those dreadful summer itches and enjoy the sunny months in comfort.

Sticking to tick and flea control keeps bites and potential skin infections away. Don’t slack, even if you haven’t seen bugs! A healthy diet full of skin-nourishing omega fatty acids supports your dog’s coat from the inside out too. Around the house, wash all bedding regularly in hot water and vacuum floors to cleanse away anything that could antagonize your dog’s skin. Monitor them outdoors for signs of allergy symptoms too.

Most importantly, if scratching gets severe or persists despite your best efforts, it’s vet time. Getting to the root cause and tailored medical care is vital to help dogs heal up and stay comfortable long-term.