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There are thousands of itchy dogs in the summer around the country.

That's because sometimes, summer heat does more harm than good for our fur babies.

Apart from the common conditions associated with heat, dogs also get itchy skin which leads to non-stop scratching during summer.

And while this may not be a life-or-death condition, there are still consequences if a summer itch is left untreated.

But fur parents, don’t panic just yet! This just means that there are available home remedies and summer itch treatments you can do to help soothe your fur baby’s discomfort.

Let us explain why this summer scratching happens and why it might be caused by the heat.

Below, you will find some helpful tips and information on what is summer itch in dogs and how to take care of those itchy paws and itchy skins.

Itchy Dogs in Summer: What Is It?

You are probably noticing your dogs' constant scratching, especially during warm and humid weather.

Summer itch is the seasonal itch your dog experiences caused by several factors that are most common during summertime. 

Make sure to check on your dog every day or so because this could be something mild (I hope!), or it could turn into a real problem.

However, it’s also important to know if it’s just your typical summer itchin’ or a far more concerning condition.

Dog scratching summer itch in the ear

Why Is My Dog More Itchy in Summer

Summertime triggers skin conditions for dogs because of different causes.

Could be the mold that’s developing in your kitchen because of the humidity; could be the pesky mosquitoes or the fleas and ticks that just won’t leave you and your pets alone. 

During warm and humid weather, our dogs are also more vulnerable to different infections caused by yeast or bacteria. 

Just remember that their itchiness is not the actual problem; it is only a symptom of the underlying reason behind it–and it is important to find it out.

Common Causes of Summer Itch in Dogs

How we hope our dogs can talk and tell us how they feel! 

It may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what brings itchy dogs in summer but the following list may help you narrow down the possible cause of their seasonal scratching.

Fleas and Ticks

Large flea causing itch in the dog

We fur parents know that fleas and ticks like to party on our dogs’ skin, especially during the hot season. 

Always check your dogs’ fur after playtime outside to make sure no unwanted pests hitched a ride on your pets. 

Read our Ultimate Dog Fleas and Ticks Survival Guide to know how to prevent and eliminate these pesky little suckers from further harming our dogs.

Mosquito

No fleas but your dog keeps on scratching? Why not check if there are mosquitoes around?

If you think these tiny suckers only prefer human blood, think again. Turns out they also love bugging our furry friends. 

Mosquitoes and mosquito bites can also be equally annoying for you and your dogs so keep a lookout for them too! 

They are also known carriers of several diseases so make sure to protect your dogs by using safe and natural mosquito repellant to hopefully stop that seasonal itch and other ailments from happening.

Excessive Heat, Low Humidity

If you get heat rash after staying too long under the sun, your dogs can get them too. 

If your dogs are constantly scratching or licking certain parts of their bodies, check for any red, angry marks or sores. 

All dogs are prone to having heat rash when exposed to intense heat but be extra careful with pugs, bulldogs, and other breeds that have skin folds as heat rash usually lurks under there.

Also, if your area has low humidity, there’s a high chance that your dog’s skin is very dry. This may also be the cause of their excessive scratching.

Allergies

Seasons change and so do allergens! While allergies are most common in spring for both humans and dogs (hey hay fever!), summer also has its fair share of itch-fest. 

Plants and grass that only grow in summer are common allergens that our dogs may encounter during their walks outside, while mites, dust, and molds inside our homes can also cause allergies. 

But beyond the environmental and seasonal factors, it’s also worth checking the food, medications, and other things that your dogs are taking and/or using.

It's also best to bring your dog to the vet for allergy testing–that way, the treatment will be immediate.

Here are more common allergies in dogs you should check out!

Bacteria and Yeast Infection

itchy dogs with yeast infection

As you may know, bacteria and fungus love moist places and our dog’s skin is no exception! 

As their skin retains moisture and sweat because of the heat or other activities like swimming, bacteria or fungus (such as yeast) build up and cause red and itchy skin. 

And because yeast infections mostly occur in their paws and ears, it may be the culprit of their constant scratching. 

Nutritional Deficiency

There are certain nutrients that our dogs need to maintain healthy skin and coat such as protein, fatty acids, and many more. But lack of it may cause some conditions including having unhealthy, itchy skin. 

Make sure that your dogs are getting enough nutrients by letting them eat the right food and take the right vitamins.

We have an array of healthy recipes for your fur babies to try. Also, make sure that they are properly hydrated all the time!

Summer Itch Vs. Chronic Skin Disease

If it seems your dog’s itch doesn't go away despite all the efforts you put to treat or somehow ease it, then you may want to check in with a veterinary professional. We hope not, but it could be a symptom of a Chronic Skin Disease.

Dog scratching because of Chronic Dermatitis

What is a Chronic Skin Disease

By definition, chronic is an illness or a problem that occurs repeatedly or persists for a long time.

According to Hudson Veterinary Hospital, there are about 150 skin disorders in dogs that can be either curable or incurable. 

Summer itch can be considered curable because it can go away with the proper treatment.

But if your dog’s scratching persists and you observe other bothering indicators like skin odor, scaling, or fur loss, then it might be a case of Chronic Skin Disease aka Chronic Dermatitis.

Excessive heat can make Chronic Dermatitis worse, and it might be the reason you are only noticing your dogs scratching in summer.

For you to better understand, here’s a cheat sheet of the difference between a seasonal itch and a chronic skin disease.

SUMMER ITCH CHRONIC SKIN DISEASE
Curable with the proper treatment Incurable; can only be managed
Happens every once in a while; seasonal Happens repeatedly regardless of the season
Red marks, bite marks, rashes Red marks, scaling, foul odor, excessive skin oil, etc.

How to Treat Summer Itch in Dogs

Hopefully, your dog only has that seasonal itch because thankfully, most reasons for it go away once the summer passes if dealt with accordingly.

While it’s always recommended to go visit your trusted vet, there are available treatments and home remedies to best relieve the itch of your fur babies.

Itchy Dogs Treatment

1. Anti-Itch Medications

Skin itch treatment being applied to a dog

Depending on your dog’s condition, there are many summer itch treatments to help relieve their itchiness. 

Researchers found out that a combination of topical ointments and antibiotics treat itchiness in dogs effectively.

Good thing that there are many over-the-counter itch sprays and ointments that you can buy for their temporary relief.

Read this list of our recommended brands to soothe the itchy skin of your dogs.

2. Allergy Shots

If you found out that your dog is allergic to something, consult with your vet. He or she knows better!

Your dog may be given allergy shots to help manage the symptoms and to prevent their allergy (and seasonal!) scratching from happening again.

There are also antihistamine pills your dog can take at home.

Just remember that you are not a vet (are you?) and you shouldn't give your dogs medicines without consulting with an expert.

To know when to give your dogs allergy meds, click here.

3. Flea medicationsFlea medication being given to an itchy dog

Giving your dog flea medications will also help prevent them from seasonal scratching.

But if your dog is already on it and yet you still see those occasional pests hanging around your pet's skin, you may want to try other effective and expert-recommended brands.

We reviewed the 7 best flea pills you can have your dogs try to get rid of those pesky ticks and fleas.

4. Sunscreen

That’s right! Your dogs need protection too from the harsh rays of the sun. 

However, not all dogs require sunscreens because some breeds are more prone to sun damage.

Hairless dogs like the American Hairless Terrier and the Chinese Crested definitely will need it more than others.

Dogs with light-colored coats should also be careful about staying too long under the sun.

But that's not to say hairy dogs with dark coats can't be affected especially if they're fully shaved and they love the outdoors.

Apply sunscreen throughout your dog's whole body if you want, but take extra attention to their vulnerable areas that don’t have much furs like their nose, ears, and underbelly. This will protect our fur babies from heat rash, sunburn, or even skin cancer.

Our dogs tend to lick off things from their bodies so make sure to use dog-safe sunscreen instead of human sunscreen which can be quite toxic for dogs.

Itchy Dogs Home Remedies

1. Bathe RegularlyDog bathing to relieve summer itch

I mean, this is a no-brainer because even for us humans, if we have itchy skin, sometimes the best remedy would be to take a shower!

But for your dog, make sure that you're using dog-appropriate products like shampoo or soap that are meant for itchy or sensitive skin. There are also anti-itch wipes for dogs available in the market that you could try.

And don't ever forget to dry them off completely. 

Use towels and air dry them if possible to make sure that no unwanted moisture lingers especially in their ears. 

Make sure that it’s all dry and clean by wiping the outer part with some cotton balls or pads (only use a swab if necessary!)

2. DIY Skin Treatment

You'd be surprised to know that there are several products in the house that you can use to soothe your dog's itchy skin.

Some of the tried-and-tested home remedies you can use are colloidal oatmeal, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, chamomile or green tea, baking soda paste, and vitamin E oil.

Check out these 6 Recommended Home Remedies for the comprehensive step by step of DIY Skin Treatment for your dogs.

3. Feed Nutritious and Appropriate FoodHealthy food for dog's itchy skin

Healthy food means healthy bodies and healthy skin for our dogs.

Make sure that you are giving them food with the proper nutrition that they need (protein, Omega fatty acids, probiotics, antioxidants, etc.) as this will not only keep them overall healthy, it will also take care of that non-stop scratching.

Of course, you can always go the extra mile by making homemade dog food for itchy skin!

What Happens If Summer Itch in Dogs is Left Untreated

Like us humans, dogs sometimes get these unexplained itches in their bodies that they scratch occasionally. Scratching may seem harmless at first but if it becomes more apparent, more frequent, and more excessive, you may want to inspect it immediately.

Scratching, if left untreated, will do more harm than good.

As dogs scratch, they leave tiny, tiny tears on their skin. And because they are almost always surrounded by bacteria, they can spread like wildfire throughout your fur babies' bodies which will make them itchier.

This may also result in hot spots in dogs. As they scratch and chew off their skins to relieve the itch, their saliva festers which makes the skin itchier. 

It could later become an oozing nightmare of a wound that needs a more aggressive treatment procedure.

Hot spot on dog's neck because of summer heat

FAQs on Itchy Dogs in Summer

Why Is My Dog Itchy But No Fleas?

If you are 100% sure that no ticks or fleas are hiding under your dog's fur, its itch may be caused by environmental allergens around like pollens and molds.

Make sure to check with your vet about what could be the best treatment to relieve your dog's summer itch.

What Dog Food Is Best For Itchy Skin?

Food or kibbles that contain fish would be the best option to give to your itch dogs in summer.

Fish contains high levels of protein and natural fish oil like Omega-3 that could help them have healthy skin and coat.

Fatty fishes like salmons, sardines, and cod are a favorite among dogs, maybe your dog will love them too!

How Often Should You Bathe a Dog with Itchy Skin?

For itchy dogs, bathing every 2 to 10 days will help to remove dirt, dead skin, or any debris that may be causing them to scratch. 

But it's important to not overdo it because it can dry up their skin which could make them itchy still.

Ideally, dogs should only be bathed at least once a month but it all depends on their state.

Itchy Dogs in Summer – Summary

If you hate having an itchy dog in the summer like me, use this article to guide you on how to treat it.

Summer itch in dogs may be brought about by factors that are just around you, so keep a lookout at what might be its cause.

Remember that having itchy skin in dogs does happen and we can’t stress enough how important it is to know first the reason behind it before trying to find the proper summer itch treatment and home remedy.

Also, don’t forget to consult with the experts to make sure that it is indeed just a seasonal itch instead of a more serious dog skin problem. 

Better safe than sorry!

READ NEXT: How to Prepare Your Dog for Summer