German Shepherd Itching Constantly? (9 Crazy Quick Solutions)

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None of us want to see our German Shepherd itching like crazy and constantly in discomfort.

Or, worse—in pain from their own skin!

But there are solutions for German Shepherd allergies and dry skin that you can use right now to help your dog from itching like crazy.

I’ll show you the exact things I do to help keep my German Shepherd from scratching and itching her dry skin that gives her quick relief. And you can do them right now, too!

1. Feed a Hypoallergenic, Sensitive Diet

feed sensitive dog food

An itchy German Shepherd is a sight for sore eyes. If you think your dog’s scratching might be from their diet, then switching to hypoallergenic, sensitive dog food is your best and least expensive option to test out first.

Although food is rarely a cause of dry skin or allergies, in many dogs a change in diet dramatically decreases itchy skin.

There is such a wide variety of allergies to foods it’s best to begin with a sensitive diet formula and to watch for improvements.

While there are plenty of sensitive diets on the market you should try Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Formula which has no soy, wheat, peas, or corn. It’s the best dog food for German Shepherds with allergies.

German Shepherd itchy skin might also happen if your current feeding routine lacks proper nutrition. Deficiency of vitamins and an imbalance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can cause disturbances in the skin’s protective layers.

Choosing a sensitive or hypoallergic dog food is a quick way to help your German Shepherd from itching like crazy. If your dog has special medical conditions, check with your vet first to make sure a change in diet will help with their scratchy and itchy skin issues.

2. Bathe with a Medicated Shampoo

use a medicated shampoo

A medicated shampoo will help relieve your dog’s itching and soothe their skin almost immediately after application. Medicated shampoos are routinely recommended for German Shepherd’s with allergies, especially because they’re so inexpensive and easy to apply.

Look for a shampoo that contains coal tar which moisturizes and calms the red, irritated skin.

Regularly wash your GSD with Sulfodene Medicated shampoo and conditioner as this helps your GSD so they don’t itch or scratch themselves constantly.

It’s not a 100% German Shepherd itchy skin cure, but in combination with the other tips listed this shampoo can help relieve German Shepherd allergies and won’t break your bank.


Over bathing can cause more irritation by stripping the skin of natural oils and removing the protective layer. This can increase itching and scratching. Only bathe your dog with the medicated shampoo as needed to control their symptoms.

Don’t use a people shampoo since these lack the proper pH for your dog’s skin and may increase dryness and skin flakiness. And always rinse twice to ensure there’s no shampoo residue left behind, which will cause your dog to itch constantly.

3. Apply a Moisturizing Skin Spray or Ointment

apply moisturizing skin spray or ointment

Moisturizing sprays keep your pet’s skin hydrated and bring more immediate relief to their irritation.

They are also convenient and easy to use throughout the day. Look for a spray that contains aloe vera and vitamin e, both of which moisturize the skin.

I use this spray for my itching German Shepherd and her skin felt moisturized and looked healthier after only a few applications. Spray on your dog’s hot spots to reduce constant itchiness and provide soothing moisture. This spray was formulated for dogs with allergies by veterinarians, so it’s a clinical formula for home use.

For areas you think are infected or extremely irritated, try a thicker cream that also offers pain relief, like this Sulfodene ointment.

I wouldn’t get caught without this spray and ointment, not only for itchiness and dry skin but for cuts and sores. My GSD immediately shows signs of relief upon application!

4. Develop a Regular Brushing Routine

keep regular brushing

Regular brushing distributes the oils on your dog’s skin and helps to remove dead hairs that may cause itching.

Use soft strokes and a brush with rounded tips.

Specifically, try a rake brush that removes the dead undercoat. My GSD loves the rake brush, and this helps her to have the excess dead hair removed so that her skin can breathe more.

The rake brush I use has rounded tips so they don’t irritate her sensitive skin or aggravate her itching. Plus, you want a double row brush to ensure you’re getting the most hair off with the least amount of time and effort.

See the best brush to remove dander and itchy hair here: The Double Row Undercoat Rake

If you aren’t brushing your GSD, they can develop a thick blanket of hair that forms over their skin which prevents air from reaching the skin. This reduces the efficiency of the oil glands and causes your GSD to itch constantly and like crazy.

Learn a complete brushing routine that keeps your dog healthy and happy using this guide here: “How to Brush a German Shepherd Like a Boss.”

5. Add Anti-Inflammatory Supplements to their Diet

skin soothing supplements

Research shows that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help reduce skin inflammation and increase skin moisture in some dogs.

You want o use a blended oil like this salmon oil with hemp oil blend because it produces outstanding coat and skin results that help your dog to itch less while giving them a shiny, healthy coat.

It may take 4 to 6 weeks or even several months for your dog to feel the benefits of an omega supplement and for you to see the benefits. Begin before the cold seasons to avoid having a German Shepherd itching in winter or because of allergies.

Oil supplements add moisture to your dog’s skin and coat from the inside out. Most dogs enjoy the oil as a treat on top of their usual kibble.

6. Keep Them Clean, Especially During Allergy Season and Winter

keep them clean during allergy season

You can keep some allergies to grasses or other plants at bay by wiping your dog’s paws when they return home.

You may also find wiping their bellies and legs with hypoallergenic wipes to help ease itching and scratching if they’re allergic to grass or pollen.

My German Shepherd itches and licks her paws a lot in spring because of grass and pollen allergies. So, I’ve begun wiping her paws and stomach to help soothe her discomfort.

Use a brand that has ingredients to help with scratching and itching. You need a wipe with soothing ingredients found in them, such as Tropiclean Oxy Med Allergy Relief Wipes that give your dog clean skin to lessen irritations.

Wiping and washing help reduce allergens on your dog’s body. You don’t need a full bath to get rid of allergy-causing deposits, but you need to pay attention to their paws, belly, legs, and muzzle.

Is Your German Shepherd Itching in Winter? Use these dry skin tips!

It’s not uncommon for a German Shepherd to begin itching in winter, especially with the wind, ice, cold, and snow conditions. Deicing solutions and salt on the walkways increase skin dryness.

Remember, in the winter your German Shepherd needs special attention to their skin:

  • Be sure to keep paw cleaning and wiping products by your door.
  • Upon returning from every walk use them to remove any debris.
  • Brush them thoroughly to help distribute their natural oils after walking outdoors in winter and apply an anti-itch spray and ointments if necessary.
  • Bathe them with a medicated shampoo regularly, but don’t wash too frequently or you’ll dry their skin more.

Although this takes time, it’s also a healthier option than watching your dog scratch like crazy and constantly during the winter!

7. Run a Humidifier

use a humidifier

Adding moisture back to the air helps some dogs decrease their scratching, especially during the winter months and in dry climates.

If you run an electric heater or enjoy a log fireplace chances are your dog’s skin may become dry.

Especially if they enjoy lying close to the heat!

Humidifiers come in a variety of models and sizes and both in a cool mist and warm mist options. They help maintain more moisture in the air, which may decrease your dog’s dry, scratchy skin.

Place your humidifier in the room/s where your dog spends most of its time, so they get the most benefits from the humidified air. But don’t point it directly at your dog.

8. Avoid Using Room or Fragrance Sprays

avoid fragrances

Some German Shepherd allergies are brought on or worsened by unnatural, chemical-laden room and fragrance or perfume sprays.

Avoid using these items, including the plug-in room fragrance models, if you suspect your German Shepherd has allergies or is itching constantly.

Remove any fragrance plug-ins and don’t burn any candles or incense.

Your dog’s nose is much more sensitive than your own and they can smell even the lightest of fragrance which can trigger allergies. Try forgoing your perfume and fragranced body sprays and deodorants to see if this makes a difference in your GSD’s allergies and scratching.

9. Switch to Natural Cleaning and Hypoallergenic Products

use natural cleaning products

Some store-bought cleaning products can cause itchiness in your GSD, especially if you’re cleaning their bedding and blankets with these products. The chemicals can even cause allergies to become worse in German Shepherds or they can develop breathing problems when you use too many chemicals products around them.

There’s plenty of natural cleaning products on the market now that will lessen the chance of allergies in your GSD.

Switch to hypoallergenic and fragrance-free laundry detergent to clean your dog’s bedding and towels. Don’t use chemically laden cleaning products around them and wait for surfaces to fully dry before letting your dog walk or lie on the surface.

Switch to a more natural cleaning option when possible. Just because you don’t experience any allergies or itching from using these products doesn’t mean your dog won’t. You’d be surprised all the allergens in common household and cleaning ingredients that can trigger your dog’s scratching!

Use the following helpful information to understand why your GSD may have allergies and what contributes to allergies and scratching.

Why Does My German Shepherd Itch So Much?

German Shepherds are prone to a variety of skin problems because of flea or insect allergies, food allergies, inhalant allergies, and skin contact allergies.

Some GSDs are also itchy because of medicine allergies (either over the counter or prescribed and even genetic allergies).

These allergies may not go away over time, so it’s vital for you to make sure that your dog receives the right treatment.

Allergy symptoms can become severe depending on the exposure level and your dog’s reaction. This leads to a lower quality of life and possible serious medical and health complications. If you’ve ever wondered why your German Shepherd itch so much, consider the multiple causes of allergies in GSDs.

Itchy German Shepherd? Here are the Most Common Causes of Constant Itching

common itching causes

Do you know what the most likely causes of a German Shepherd’s constant itching are?

Use this list to see if your dog might have an allergy to one or multiple items that causes them to itch like crazy:

  • Food Allergy (wheat, unusual proteins like bison, kangaroo, etc.)
  • Parasite Allergy (fleas, ticks, etc.)
  • Environmental Factors (cold weather, dry air, fragrance sprays, commercial cleansers, carpet powders, mold, etc.)
  • Seasonal Allergies (grass, pollen)
  • Medicine Allergy (over-the-counter medication or prescription allergy)

You can’t usually tell why you now have an itchy German Shepherd just skin problem just by looking. So, it’s good to rule out what you can at home to help your vet make a better diagnosis. Always seek vet advice when in doubt.

You can also provide temporary and sometimes long-term relief using the process of elimination and the home treatments for skin problems previously listed.

How to help my German Shepherd from itching and scratching?

Treating a German Shepherd with itchy skin at home can help decrease their itching and scratching so they are more comfortable and regain healthy skin.

To help your German Shepherd from itching try to:

  • make sure they are free from fleas and ticks; ask your vet for parasite treatments
  • use medicated shampoos made for dry skin
  • apply moisturizing sprays and creams
  • stick to a regular grooming and brushing routine
  • and add in supplements to increase skin moisture

Sometimes, you just can’t figure out why they’re having allergies or itching like crazy, so go through the tips above and seek your vet’s advice if needed.

Treating Your German Shepherd’s Itchy Skin… for Good

It’s heartbreaking to watch your German Shepherd itching constantly, uncomfortable, and even in pain. Your GSD might just need a change of diet or a quick spray of anti-itch solution.

There are simple ways to help your German Shepherd from itching and scratching like crazy. Most of the treatments you can order from home and apply right away.

A solid skincare routine can help alleviate your German Shepherd’s itchy skin for good and doesn’t cost a fortune.

Don’t let your itchy dog lie around uncomfortable when there’re steps you can take right now to help them!

Want more help with your German Shepherd’s skin and fur?

Read this essential article with plenty of actionable tips: “21 German Shepherd Shedding Solutions (That Make a Difference)

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