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Licking, scratching to the point of self-mutilation in dogs is more common than you think.

Often the hotspot that you find your dog excessively licking or the constant chewing or the over grooming of their private areas can be the stemming from emotional distress.

But before you hit panic mode, you need to get your dog cleared medically before dissecting where this constant itching is coming from.

If the vet is at a lost and your dog is still scratching, you may need to take a dive into your furry friend’s head.

Anxiety and stress can often disguise itself as an physical ailment. Meeting your dog’s emotional and physical needs may be the key to halt the excessive grooming all together.

Here are three areas you may need to revisit to help your dog get over the itch.

  1. Physical exercise. This will look different with each breed, but nether less all dogs need more than just a romp in their backyard. Play with your dog or take them on a walk.
  2. Mental stimulation. Nose work, teaching a new trick, structured play, having them search for treats or kibble in the grass, etc. are all great ways to get your dog’s wheels turning.
  3. Planned down time (rest). This can be in the form of crating your dog or maybe just tethering them to you as you work on the computer. Mandatory rest, allows the dog to reset and recoup from their activities as well as teaches them it’s okay to be bored.

Make an effort to meet your dog’s needs in the three above areas and watch some of that scratching fall to the wayside. Stress/anxiety does some crazy things, but being aware of your dog’s health will help he or she reach their full potential.