Why do dogs get itchy skin?

Itchy skin is one of our most frequently asked questions and it is something that is helped with a raw diet. 

Sensitivities starts with a poor diet and compromised immune system whether its sensitivity to flea bites or gunky itchy ears. Dogs are far less likely to even get fleas or ear mites when on a good raw unprocessed diet.

A true allergy is one you'll see when people go into something called anaphylactic shock and have trouble breathing. Think on the peanut allergy stories. Its inbuilt.

It is important to realise that itchy skin can be caused by a multitude of factors acting either independently or as a combination. It it therefore much easier to review all of the potential causes and methodically to rule out each one.  Below is a simple list of the main ones for you to think about



  1. Diet Related and Internal Stress 

Diet is a huge factor in itchy skin, especially inflammatory foods such as grains, dairy, legumes.

Some dogs have become sensitive to certain proteins as a result of a leaky gut / intestinal permeability (see the below link for further detail)


Our first suggestion for helping itchy

Begin with lamb bone  to heal the gut and the 80:10:10 range ( no added oils or veg) and work through the proteins in the trial pack one by one to work out if the issue is a protein sensitivity. ( un-select the proteins as you order that you know to be causing problems right now)

In many cases taking this simple yet important step is enough to reduce or remove the itchy skin symptoms.

If your dog is on any tablets continue them and reduce under advice from a vet.

More detail for you by Rowan Sanderson, our Functional Nutritionist 


 Rotating proteins is important

Mark and Rowan discuss how rotating the proteins your dog eats, helps to avoid leaky gut and food intolerance in dogs.

We have one of the largest ranges of proteins out there to make rotating as easy as possible.


What if your dog is a picky eater?

If your dog is being picky with his food and is favoring just a couple of proteins then please do look at the link below on how to encourage your dog to eat a better range of proteins.


2. Breed

Skin allergies are most prevalent in white and pale coated dogs. West Highland terriers are renowned for them, as are breeds with very short hair. 

Those dogs with skin folds like Shar-Peis and bulldogs  are predisposed to skin irritations in the folds, the hair rubs against the skin and it has a tendency to become moist and warm, which is a great breeding ground for bacteria. Do ensure you dry these folds and keep them clean using a natural product.

Also see our bathing and washing your dog article -


3. Pathogenic 

Ear mites 

Thornit is a great natural product to rid the ear canals of mites

Fleas and worms do cause irritation too

You can find natural products for prevention here, simply add to your order. https://www.bellaandduke.com/products/

Think about doing worm counts before you treat. So reducing the chemicals you put in and on your dog.


4. Environmental Stress

Grass, dust mites, pesticides, pollen, household cleaners, air sprays, polish, scented candles, washing powder, salted roads, sand pits. The list goes on. and on. and on. 

So is it seasonal itching? If so it may be fresh cut grass that's the biggest problem for your dog.

Also look at our bathing and washing your dog article for additional tips:


5. Emotional

In stressful situations, dogs will scratch. This is called a displacing behaviour. You should take note of when and where your dog scratches.

Help them to cope better in our confusing human world:


6. Physical

Grass seeds in paws. Check between your pets paws after walks in the spring and summer months.

Mud and dirt.

Wash your dogs paws after muddy walks. Dirt collects and causes sores between the pads and toes.

Neck injury

Causes pins and needle sensation in paws:


Blocked anal glands

Scooting bottom and biting base of tail


Ear itching

Warm and moist ear canals are a great environment for growing bugs and mites. The problem arises mainly in floppy eared dogs. The ear flaps prevent air flow into the canal. Dry your pooch's ears by tilting their heads to the side and dabbing after returning from a walk, especially when they have been swimming.

7. Medication



Chemical flea and worm treatments

Ear cleaners which warm and moisten ears can create more issues than you’re trying to solve. Your dog may respond negatively to these when given, short term for some and long term for others. 

With questions on medical issues we are not medically qualified to answer such questions. However above are some links to blogs and articles that we hope you find useful.

Please do visit your vet for 1-2-1 help and advice.

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