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An itch here and there is no big deal. But when you start to notice your schnauzer itching many times over the course of a day it becomes concerning.
Is it normal for schnauzers to itch so much or is something wrong?
Why Is My Schnauzer Itching So Much:
The most common reason for your schnauzer to be itching more than usual is allergies or dry skin. If your schnauzer is allergic to one of the ingredients in their food or something in their environment, they will itch very often. It could also be caused by anxiety or an infection.
In this post you’ll discover:
- 8 real reasons why your schnauzer is itching more than usual
- When their itching is something to be worried about
- 4 tips to help reduce how much your schnauzer itches (Tip #1 can bring the fastest relief!)
- And much more
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
8 Reason Why Schnauzers Itch So Much
Just like you and I can have an allergic reaction that creates an unbearable itch, so can your schnauzer.
All the airborne allergens that irritate people can also irritate your pup.
Things like grass, dander, dust, pollen, etc.
It can also be one of the ingredients in their food that’s giving them an allergic reaction.
And unfortunately if your pup is allergic to one of their food’s ingredients it can take 2-3 months for their skin irritation to show up.
Making it very difficult to determine what’s causing their itch.
But one thing’s for sure.
If your schnauzer is allergic to something in their environment it’s likely you’ll find them itching often.
When a schnauzer itches, they release endorphins that make them feel good.
So sometimes they scratch simply because it feels good.
This is especially true for pups that have anxiety.
They may start to itch when they get nervous and continue even after the initial trigger is gone because of how good it feels.
The problem is this can quickly become a bad habit that they continue to do long after it stops being a way for them to cope with their negative feelings.
Which can lead to them scratching or licking themselves raw and creating sores where they’ve been itching.
It’s important to find what’s triggering your schnauzers itching if you think they’re only doing it as a way to self-soothe.
3) Entertaining Themselves
Another reason your schnauzer may be itching is because they’re bored.
And just like people will bite their nails, twiddle their thumbs or play with their hair, your pup may do weird things just to curb their boredom.
Itching themselves being one of them.
It’s also a way for them to release some of their pent up energy if they haven’t been on a walk or played with in a while.
Similar to itching for self-soothing reasons though, you don’t want to let them continue to scratch unnecessarily.
You don’t want it to turn into a bad habit that’s challenging to break.
Which might mean getting them a puzzle toy or two to keep them occupied during times they’re visibly bored.
Related Reading: 10 Best Toys To Entertain Your Dog | Boredom Buster Toys
4) Pests & Parasites
Pests & parasites can also be the culprit behind what’s making your schnauzer itch so much.
This is especially true if you live in an area with a lot of tall grass where fleas and ticks live.
But even if you don’t, your pup could still have mites, which are tiny spider-like creatures that burrow into your dog’s skin and lay eggs.
This can cause your schnauzer to itch and scratch a lot, as well as get bald patches on their skin where they’ve been scratching.
If you think your schnauzer may have mites, it’s important to take them to the vet so they can get the proper treatment.
As for fleas and ticks, with a good inspection of their coat you should be able to see them on your pup.
They’re big enough to be seen which means you’ll know if they have an infestation.
If they do, they should be taken to the vet for proper treatment to get rid of them.
5) Possible Infection
A yeast infection is the most common infection that your pup can get to become very itchy.
They could also have a bacterial or fungal infection but these aren’t as common.
Yeast infections show up as red, inflamed skin and can cause your pup to lick and scratch themselves a lot.
More often than not they’re located on their paws, in-between their toes, in their armpits, their ears or on their belly.
You’ll also notice a rather off-putting smell coming from your schnauzer in addition to their itching if they have an infection.
6) Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalances can also lead to your schnauzer itching excessively.
Most commonly this is caused by a condition called hypothyroidism, which is when the dog’s thyroid gland isn’t producing enough hormones.
This can also cause your pup to become lethargic and gain weight, as well as have dry skin that’s more prone to infections.
Other hormone imbalances that can cause your schnauzer to itch include Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.
Both of which need to be diagnosed by a vet and treated accordingly.
If you think your schnauzer may have a hormone imbalance, it’s important to take them in for a check-up with their vet.
Lice are tiny insects that live on your dog’s skin and hair.
They’re most commonly found around the base of the tail and can cause your schnauzer to itch a lot.
You’ll also notice them moving around on your pup’s skin if you part their fur and look closely.
Lice are most commonly found in areas where there’s a lot of contact with other dogs, such as at dog parks or training classes.
But they can also be brought home by your pup from any place they’ve been.
If you think your schnauzer may have lice, it’s important to take them to the vet so they can get the proper treatment.
Also, don’t worry about getting lice from your pup if this is the case.
Lice are only interested in specific animals.
Meaning dog lice are only interested in dogs.
8) Their Skin Is Dry
Dry skin is another common reason for your schnauzer to be itching more than normal.
This can be caused by a number of things, such as the weather, their diet, and even environmental allergies.
Just like with people, if they’re exposed to dry air for too long their skin will dry out and become flakey as well as itchy.
Drinking plenty of water, moisturizing their skin and supplementing with Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids are the best ways to prevent your pup from getting dry skin.
Related Reading: Top 12 Shampoos For Schnauzers | Fresh Scent, Soft & Safe!
Top 4 Tips To Help With Your Schnauzers Itching
1) Special Shampoo
If your pup is constantly itching and you can’t seem to find the source, it may be a good idea to try using a special shampoo.
There are a number of shampoos available that are designed to help relieve your schnauzer from their incessant itching.
If your pup has any sort of infection the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo is one of the better options.
It can help heal yeast, bacterial or fungal infections while also soothing their itch.
If they just have dry skin then Vet’s Best Hot Spot Itch Relief Shampoo will likely do the trick.
We wrote an entire post on the best shampoos for schnauzers that you can check out here: Top 12 Shampoos For Schnauzers | Fresh Scent, Soft & Safe!
2) More Frequent Grooming
Grooming your schnauzer more often can help make sure their skin stays in tip top condition to avoid any irritating itches in the future.
Things like brushing them several times a week, bathing them every 2-3 months (regardless of if they smell bad or not), and wiping their paws when they come back inside.
Doing this helps make sure no lingering allergens stay caught in between their paw pads or in their coat.
It also helps get rid of any loose hair or dirt that may be aggravating their skin.
If you’re finding that your pup is still itching a lot, even after grooming them regularly, it might be a good idea to take them in for a professional groomer.
They’ll be able to give them a more thorough cleaning and check for any other potential problems.
Related Reading: 10 Best Brushes for Schnauzers: Your Definitive Guide
3) Food Test
While it’s recommended to keep your pups main source of food fairly consistent, if your schnauzer is itching from a food allergy you’ll have to find what ingredient is causing the problem.
Which can be found super quickly with a lucky guess or take a few tries of different foods.
This usually isn’t a fun process but is really the only way to figure out what sits well with their stomach and what doesn’t.
If your pup is still having trouble after a food change, there are special hypoallergenic dog foods available that can help.
But be careful with these as they’re often not as nutritionally complete as regular dog food.
4) Take Them To See a Vet
Tips 1 & 2 can be done right away, but it’s best to speak with a vet before changing up your schnauzers food.
It will be very difficult for you to determine if they have a food allergy without having a vet tell you if that’s the case or not.
Which is why it’s a good idea to take your schnauzer to see a vet if their itching isn’t getting any better.
It could be something as simple as dry skin but it could also be a more serious issue like mites, allergies or an infection.
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