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What To Do If Your Pet Is Scratching, Licking Or Biting Itself

Health and Wellbeing


Training and Behaviour


There are several reasons why dogs and cats will scratch, lick or bite. The bottom line is... don't let them suffer!

If you as the pet’s owner are being driven “nuts” by the pet’s scratching and licking, imagine how awful your poor pet must feel.

The most common types of skin and coat issues are:

Environmental Dermatitis

Pet’s in this category present with signs of itching and scratching, hair loss and skin irritation. Many pets are very sensitive to simple lawn grasses, by matching what is visible on the pet’s skin with a probable environmental irritant - the cause of the skin problem can be determined and treated.

An example is moist eczema, or more commonly called hot spot. These skin lesions often occur as a result of moisture on the skin surface from rain, pond or lake water or even continuous licking, and can appear anywhere on your pet's body.

Nutritional Dermatitis

Without proper nourishment skin problems in dogs and cats is just one of the possible reactions; the animal's entire body, not just its skin and coat, will be continuously in a state of stress. High quality meat-based pet foods seldom cause skin irritation in dogs and cats.

If you feed dry commercial pet food, be certain that the first ingredient’s listed are meat such as beef, poultry, lamb or fish.

Parasitic Dermatitis

The most common response when we see our pet scratching and biting is to think they have fleas, and sometimes this is correct. Fleas are big enough that they can be seen on the skin's surface hiding amongst the fur.

Don’t let your pet suffer from scratching, hair loss, infections, scabs and other skin problems as a result of a flea infestation.

If fleas are present treat both your pet and the environment immediately.

Allergic Dermatitis

A common but complex issue that is hard to diagnose, and once identified it can be resistant to treatment. Sadly there is no cure for allergies! Food ingredients, pharmaceutical products, fibers, plant material and even dust can all trigger allergic dermatitis and should be avoided if triggering a

reaction. If the problem persists or you are concerned at any stage take your pet to the vet for a check up and further investigation of the problem.

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Written by The


Written by The Team

A team of specialists with backgrounds in animal nursing, animal care, and all things pet related.