Your veterinarian will provide a true diagnosis, but it’s helpful to understand common itch-instigators so you do not allow a condition to go untreated.


Signs of fleas are brownish-red spots of “dandruff” that come off your dogs as they are petted or brushed. If left untreated, fleas can cause anemia. Some preventive measures are natural herbal flea collars and wipes. Chemical flea collars have been used in the past, but their proximity to the eyes, nose, and mouth of the dog has dubious chemical effects. Some veterinarians suggest feeding a dog brewers yeast (or a tablet of brewer’s yeast with garlic daily during flea season).



A dog with mites shakes his head, digs at his ears with his feet, or scratches his ears. Clean your dog’s ears at least once a week with an herbal preventive solution. If your dog gets ear mites, use an over-the-counter remedy or get a treatment from your vet. You will need to kill the mites first, then apply a preventive solution.



A dog will let you know about a bee sting by yelping, or licking and scratching the area. Bees tend to sting a dog’s face. To treat, make a paste of baking soda and water, and apply to the site to soothe. Remove the stinger with tweezers – don’t use your fingers, or you may push it in deeper. If you dog as been stung in the mouth and you see his throat swelling, he may be allergic to bees- you need to call the emergency vet immediately. With approval from your vet, applying an antihistamine cream might help with the discomfort.



Signs include flaky skin, excessive itching, redness on the body, “dog acne” around the mouth, ear scratching, and redness inside the ears. Determine the cause of the allergy, and remove it from the skin, if possible. Cedar oil is an allergen for many dogs, and some dogs may develop food allergies (or even to materials in their food dishes). Common food allergies are beef, wheat, corn, and soy. Pet acne is usually caused by an allergy to plastic in a food dish. Treatment can include steroids, or a diet change if needed.