Why is my Dog Scratching?

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I often get asked the question why is my dog scratching? The things is that a little bit of scratching is quite normal for a dog. However, when it is repeated scratching, that can signify that there is a n underlying problem.

Top Reasons for Dog Scratching

Here are the most common reasons for dogs scratching….


Dogs can develop allergies just like humans do. Constant scratching could signify an allergy such as to food or environmental factors such as mould or pollen.


By far the most common reason why your dog is scratching is because he has fleas. It is important to use a flea treatment regularly to minimise the chances of your pooch getting fleas. Terriers such as Patterdale’s and Jack Russels have lovely dense fur that fleas just love! I use Frontline spot on every month particularly in the summer. 

Ticks or Mites

Scratching in dogs could also be a signal that there are other parasites on your dogs fur such as ticks or mites. Spaniels and other breeds with long ears are prone to ear mites, and all dog breeds are susceptible to ticks. Ticks must be professionally removed by a veterinarian. 


Dogs can also develop a skin irritation called contact dermatitis when they encounter substances like pesticides or soap. Dermatitis can also be caused by anxiety and mental stress. Certain breeds such as Patterdales and Weimeranas suffer badly from separation anxiety and they may bite at their own skin through stress or boredom. It’s important not to leave your dog alone for long periods of time. 

Hormonal Imbalances and Skin infections

Dogs with thyroid problems find it harder to fight infections. Persistent scratching and bald spots could indicate an infection in your dogs skin and so get this checked out by a veterinarian. 


histiocytoma in dogs
Why is my dog scratching? Histiocytoma

Young male dogs in particular are susceptible to a skin growth called a ‘histiocytoma’. Hystiocytomas are relatively harmful and non-cancerous growths. However, they can grow quite large and irritate your dog – if he is scratching and biting too much he made need a cone head! Histiocytomas will usually go down on their own, but it’s important to get it checked by a vet to make sure that it’s not harmful or cancerous. 

If you found this blog helpful you might also like to read about maintaining Patterdale terrier health and common Patterdale terrier health problems.

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