Every dog gets an itch from time to time, but it can start to be concerning when your dog itches constantly. An owner can start to wonder if their dog has fleas, ticks, or had gotten into some poison ivy. Even though the German Shepherd might scratch an itch a little more often than some other breeds, it is important to note if your German Shepherd is scratching more than usual.
Why Does My German Shepherd Itch So Much?
Your German Shepherd might be scratching more often than usual from outdoor allergies, food allergies, a soap allergy, or even a pest problem. Constant itching usually means that there is a cause for discomfort to the German Shepherd and it is important to figure out the cause quickly.
Keep reading for a full breakdown of all the main reasons your German Shepherd may be itchy and also what you can do to help bring them relief.
Itching From Outdoor Allergies
Just because dogs are normally found playing around in the outdoors it doesn’t mean that they are immune to all the mold, pollen, dust, and plants that come with it. Similar to how people get seasonal allergies in the changing seasons, dogs can have allergies too.
This can usually be found through an allergy pattern. If you notice your German Shepherd itching more during certain times of the year, then it is most likely a seasonal allergy problem.
Some dogs can even be allergic to grass which can make for a very itchy summer season.
Most of the time this itching can be soothed or stopped through allergy medicine such as Benadryl, which is safe for dogs to have.
There are also sprays, lotions, and treatments that you can buy to soothe the irritated skin and make the itching stop.
Itching From a Food Allergy
A German Shepherd might be feeling extra itchy if they are allergic to an ingredient in their dog food.
This mostly happens when owners give their dogs lower-quality dog food, but sometimes the high-quality stuff can have an ingredient that gives your dog a reaction.
To test for this allergy, note if your German Shepherd started to itch more after switching their food.
If they have been on the food for a while and are just starting to show itching symptoms, you can go to the vet and see if the food has had any correlations with allergic reactions in the past.
If you suspect that your German Shepherd is having an allergic reaction to their food, switch them to hypoallergenic food for at least a week and see if the itching subsides.
Itching From a Soap/Product Allergy
Sometimes the products that you are using to clean your German Shepherd can actually be causing irritation and itching.
Your German Shepherd might be allergic to an ingredient in their soap, or the soap might be very drying and damaging to your German Shepherd’s skin. Either way, the result of this reaction causes a lot of discomfort and itching.
If you notice that your German Shepherd’s skin is looking drier than normal, redder, or more irritated overall, switch them to a very gentle soap and see if that helps.
Look for soaps that are labeled hypoallergenic and sensitive to make sure that there aren’t any irritants that could cause further itching to your German Shepherd.
Itching From Fleas And/or Ticks
This is probably one of the worst and most uncomfortable causes of itching in dogs. German Shepherds are known for loving the outdoors and being super active.
It makes sense that they would want to spend a lot of time playing outside.
However, the outside world isn’t always the best for your German Shepherd as there might be bugs waiting in the tall grass.
A pest infestation is never fun to treat but it is a sure reason for itching in your German Shepherd. Take a look in their ears, under their coats, and on your German Shepherd’s stomach and check to see eggs, movement, or live bugs on your dog. If you see anything that was just listed, it is time to give your German Shepherd some treatment.
Treatments can include specifically formulated bath soaps that will kill the live pests and the eggs that they leave behind, specific sprays, flea and tick collars, and even medicine. No matter the method that you choose, you also have to take the time and clean your German Shepherd’s ears, stomach, and other regions that the bugs have gotten to.
Make sure that you give your German Shepherd plenty of treats throughout the process as an encouragement to get through the uncomfortable situation.
Itching from Improper Grooming
German Shepherds can get pretty itchy if they aren’t properly groomed. Proper grooming is regular brushing, bathing at the correct intervals of time, giving your German Shepherd any medicated treatments that it needs, and keeping the ears, face, and paws clean.
If you don’t brush your German Shepherd regularly, dead hair, dirt, dust, and dander can build up in the coat and irritate the skin. This then causes a lot of itching and even more of their coat shedding around the house.
If you bathe your German Shepherd too frequently it can dry out your German Shepherd’s skin which can cause itching.
Likewise, if you don’t your German Shepherd enough then dirt and anything from outside can build up in their coat and on their skin which leads to itching. You should bathe your German Shepherd around every 3 to 4 months.
German Shepherds, like many other dogs, are prone to ear infections if they aren’t properly cleaned. Make sure to give your German Shepherd’s ears a good wipe down to remove dust, bacteria, dirt, and even any pests that might have made their way on their ears.
Keeping the face, ears, and paws clean helps by removing any trapped dirt and grime that can irritate. Proper grooming makes sure that there is a good balance between removing the irritants from your German Shepherd’s skin while also not drying out their skin from too much cleaning.
How to Keep Your German Shepherd from Itching So Much
The occasional itch from your German Shepherd is fine, but when they start to itch constantly, that means that something is bothering them. German Shepherds itch when their skin is irritated by something whether it’s a physical object or from allergies.
Keeping your German Shepherd clean is super important in preventing skin irritants from sticking to their coat and getting to their skin. Cleanliness can also help during allergy season and make sure any allergens are removed from the German Shepherd’s coat.
Keeping them clean doesn’t always have to mean baths. It can also mean giving their coat a quick wipe down after being outside so that any grass and dirt doesn’t stick to them as they come inside.
You can use hypoallergenic wipes to wipe down their ears, stomach, and paws to remove anything on them. There are also wipes out there that are specifically made to fight against allergies or outside irritants.
Whether the itching is from dry skin or an allergic reaction, applying a moisturizing spray or cream can help soothe the irritated skin. Apply to the ears, stomach, face, or anywhere that is showing irritation and also isn’t being covered by a thick layer of fur.
Just be aware that your German Shepherd might lick if you use a cream moisturizer. A spray moisturizer might be better to start with so your German Shepherd can get used to it.
As mentioned earlier, a medicated soap can help with fighting against irritations that your German Shepherd is facing. They can also be a good preventative measure before and during allergy seasons.
There are many different kinds of soaps out there and while it’s always good to use a super gentle cleanser, sometimes your German Shepherd needs a bit more. Medicated soaps can fight against pests, allergens, and irritations from the outside world.
Give Them Supplements
Giving your German Shepherd anti-inflammatory supplements can help fight against dry skin and give a boost of help during allergy season. These supplements fight against skin irritations and work to soothe the skin.
You add these supplements to your German Shepherds diet so there’s an internal guard against irritants.
It might take several months to see positive results from supplements as it takes time to build up in their system.
It’s never a fun time to watch your dog be uncomfortable from constant itching. When your German Shepherd faces an irritant, it can seem like they never stop scratching and biting at their skin.
There are several reasons why this itching may occur, and there are also several solutions to ease their discomfort and make the itching stop. Take time to figure out the cause and the best solution to ease your companion’s itching.
Keeping your German Shepherd clean can help with both preventing itching and to help stop the itching as well.
Have a good grooming routine for your German Shepherd so that their coats and skin can be healthy. Having a healthy German Shepherd is also having a happy German Shepherd.