11 reasons why your dog could be itchy

12 comments by Heather Murphy

Sometimes we just can’t seem to pinpoint the actual reason 

we have an itchy dog!

They might be red, rashy, itchy or balding or some dogs can just be itchy all over without displaying any further symptoms.

The constant itching can drive you and your pets nuts, it’s stressful not being able to help your itchy pet. Having an itchy dog is no fun!Itchy paws

We often think of the common allergens that can affect our dogs – things like grasses, grass seeds, wandering dew and foods. But really the list is extensive and again the problem can be exasperated when allergen upon allergen is loaded into/onto your dog, the whole system can break down and rashes, itches and allergies can appear.

So here are some personal tips I have learnt on the way - what type of things to look for, what types of things can cause reactions, what types of things can make you have an itchy dog.


not all foods are equal

If you are feeding a dry biscuit then look at the ingredients listed – do you know what all the ingredients actually are?

Some kibbles contain high amounts of grains, fillers, additives, preservatives and colourings.

Beef allergies can be quite common due to naturally occurring histamines developing in the aging process of the meat. This is the reason there seems to be more allergies to beef.

Processed meats can cause reactions due to the high content of additives and sulphites – think things like hams, bacon, sausages etc.

Grains can be a common allergen and can affect some pets terribly – this can display as rashes or in my dog’s case daily vomiting before I realised. There are more and more grain free options available in the dog food market.

Look at what treats you are giving your dog – Do you know all the ingredients? Maybe it has a high content of grains or beef. (While usually a small amount is ok, with an allergy dog it can be just one allergen on top of another causing the system to breakdown).

Or maybe it’s a high concentration of unnatural ingredients.

Think of the ‘false treats’ out there that are coated or contain chemicals, preservatives, additives and colourings – all unnecessary for a dog’s diet.

There are many great NZ made natural treat brands available.


bath timeWhat kind of shampoo are you or your groomer using?

Human shampoos can change the PH of the skin (and some contain ingredients that are too harsh for a dog’s skin). Do not use human shampoos on dogs.

Dog shampoos or dog soap bars have the correct PH balance and natural ones are generally less harsh and less likely to cause reactions. But again look at the ingredients.

Household items and cleaners

What washing detergents do you use when washing your dog’s bedding or toys?wash dog toys also

If you use a powder type – granules can stay in the fibres causing further irritations. Liquid options can be washed out more easily during the rinse cycle.

Natural detergents can be less harmful to sensitive dogs.

Harsh chemical cleaners can often create reactions but not only that some natural brands can also cause reactions too. Not all brands are equal so it pays to do your research. Coco the #eezapetmascot has been so much better since changing natural brands. (This was an easy process of discovery for me though as I also flared up with any use of these products.)  So it was an easy elimination to just change brands.

Room Sprays

These can cause mild reactions or severe reactions. One of our customers had a room atomizer intermittently spraying above their dog’s bed. All of this was landing on the dog.  Easy fix – removal from dog’s area or better still complete removal from house (the spray not the dog lol).

Fly sprays

Again look at the ingredients. Never spray fly spray whilst any pet is in the house. Some contain pyrethrums (naturally occurring from the pyrethrum plant) and have a level of toxicity that may be harmful.

Essential Oils

I’ve read reports of dogs being affected by essential oils burning in an atomizer. Do your research - essential oils can be a healing force but are concentrated and therefore can have a strong effect.  Never use essential oils to treat your animals or yourself without doing a lot of research or getting advice from a qualified aromatherapist.

A few of our customers expressed that tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions to their dogs. Every dog is different.

Did you know that cats lack the ability to process essential oils? Essential oils are toxic to cats – due to the cat's physiology they lack the ability to eliminate some of the compounds and these toxins can build up in the organs, which can cause ongoing problems and can be fatal.


Can come from a variety of plants – pine pollens are one. But I’ve just learnt of a dog that is allergic to Frangipani flowers.  Pollen allergies can appear as hay-fever like symptoms – think eyes, nose and can also show up as skin rashes and balding patches. Learn tips on managing pollens.

Dust mites

Dust mites are one of the most common allergens to dogs. I’m not sure why that is but keeping your house dust-free is key. Wash your dog’s bedding often in hot water – drying in the sun or in a dryer to kill the little blighters. Have a vacuum with a hepa filter – and always empty the vacuum outside so that the dust mites can’t float around and land back in your carpets and bedding causing further irritations.


agapanthus causes reactions tooWell that’s the grasses, grass seeds, wandering dew which most of us know of. But did you know that agapanthus can cause reactions on dogs too? 


It is important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to see a flea to have a flea allergy dermatitis – dogs can be allergic to the faeces or eggs or even just one bite - learn more on fleas.  

Beaches, rivers, sea and sandssea and sands

We all think that salt water cleans and our river waters are fresh. But for me there was a definite pattern with allergies for the #eezapetmascot Coco upon regular visits to the dog beach, whether swimming or not. Polluted sands?  I’m not sure but the symptoms always presented regardless of the activity at the beach.

A recent visit to one of our rivers saw one of my girls present in her first ever ear rash – symptoms presented after 10 minutes of exiting the water and her ears became fiery, red, hot, spotty and itchy.  

Some of our Eezapet users’ dogs have had issues when their dog’s wound or rash became re-infected after sea swims.

Ways to help:

If your dog is having constant rashes then keeping a daily diary is invaluable – write down all experiences of that day – where they walked – what foods they were given – any extra treats – what brand, type – any human foods given – note any rashes developing – any itches – anything different about your dog.

All these things can help form a pattern when you look back at them a few weeks later.

With any allergies it is important to break the itch/scratch cycle which is one of the benefits of Eezapet.  Dogs will quickly spread a rash over their bodies by the continual itching, licking and biting. Nip any rash in the bud by applying Eezapet at first signs. Eezapet breaks the itch/scratch cycle – half the battle in containing rashes.


Eezapet relieves itching in 5-15 minutes, holding power 5-6 hours.

These are the result of Eezapet's case studies conducted by the Wellington SPCA vets. Having a fast-acting, effective product means your pet is relieved, their skin is soothed and you can have an itch-free household again.

Eezapet comes in 3 sizes for your convenience3 convenient sizes
  • 7 Day treatment
  • 30ml pottle
  • 120ml pottle (for our multi-dog households, heavy users, horse owners)

Remember it’s a little goes a long way with Eezapet so if you are wanting to try our itch reliever for the first time you can always start with our 7 Day treatment – a very small outlay to see if Eezapet is the answer to your itchy dog or itchy pet.

Buy our 7 Day treatment today and let your dog be a dog again.

happy dogs make happy owners

Already a converter? Buy Eezapet 30ml now


You can find my blogs here that address each allergen in more detail.

Take a read and learn how to help your pet naturally.


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Happy owners


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  • heather Murphy

    That is odd Janey – must have been something in there?. Also with beef – it has a longer ageing process so naturally occurring histamines grow as it is being aged – hence more allergies/intolerances to beef

  • Heather Murphy

    Thank you Andrea – always trying to help the pet owner

  • Heather Murphy

    Thank you Ali – always trying to help as so many are struggling with rashes and itches

  • heather Murphy

    Great to hear Amanda. Keeping a daily diary is key too as can form patterns on looking back – write down all things encountered like park, beaches, foods, treats, human foods and see if you can find a pattern

  • Heather Murphy

    Thank you Kate – and yes animals really aren’t much different suffering the same as us. But at least we can control the scratching without the thump, thump, thump (thats the sound of an itchy dog!)

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