Why Do Dogs Bite Themselves? Problems And Prevention

Dogs bite themselves when your dog is itchy, he may scratch himself or rub against an item with his paws or teeth to relieve the itching, but if you see your dog biting and licking his skin more than usual, you should be concerned. Biting and scratching at the skin excessively may suggest a variety of health problems, including:

  • Fleas and other parasites
  • Allergies
  •  Infections of the skin
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Psychological motives

Is it normal that dogs bite themselves?

dog bite themselve

It’s entirely natural for dogs to bite on their legs, paws, ears, and tails occasionally. If your dog is continuously chewing herself, it may be a sign of a more serious issue, especially if the chewed region is painful, red, inflamed, or furless.  

So what is going on? It may be because of the following problems that why do dogs bite themselves?

Your dog may be attempting to remove a tick.

Ticks, like fleas, have been draining the blood of our canine companions for centuries. Fleas and ticks may have developed to target dogs, especially since humans like to carry our pets everywhere.

Ticks are a frequent issue for dogs, but they should never be overlooked. Ticks are filthy needles with fangs and legs. They may bring deadly illnesses and poisons with them as they move from one host to the next.

Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a variety of other illnesses are among them. Even if your dog does not acquire any diseases from ticks, the blood loss, not to mention the skin irritation, would be detrimental to their health.


Allergens are one of the reasons that dogs bite themselves Allergens in the environment may cause dermatitis in your dog, manifest as itchy, peeling skin. Allergies are a frequent cause of excessive skin biting and scratching in dogs, and they typically appear early in their lives. Terriers, Setters, Beagles, and Retrievers are considered more sensitive to allergies than other breeds. Pollen, dust, dust mites, trees, and specific foods may cause allergic reactions in dogs.

Allergies to foods 

Food allergies may affect dogs, and the symptoms are frequently visible on the skin. Food-allergic dogs often chew their paws or the base of their tails. Consider switching your dog’s diet if he chews his feet or tail. Corn, wheat, soy, chicken, and beef are the most frequent dietary allergies in dogs. Try a grain-free, limited-ingredient meal with a specific protein, such as duck or venison. A raw-food diet, often known as a physiologically suitable diet, is another option. Don’t forget to remove treats that have the same allergies. Before you can tell whether a food allergy causes your dog’s biting, you’ll need to maintain him on the new diet for at least four to six weeks.

Dry skin 

Your dog may be biting himself to alleviate the itching of dry skin, which may be caused by various factors, including dry, cold weather or a deficiency in fatty acids. You may see dandruff flakes and chapped, rough skin.


An injury, such as a minor cut, may induce a dog to bite the area where the damage occurred. If an injury is left untreated, it may get infected, causing even more pain and increasing biting and chewing. If your dog bites the same place on his body every time, look for any indications of damage or illness there. Make an appointment with your veterinarian for a complete evaluation and proper treatment if you detect any problems.

Infections of the Skin

If your dog’s persistent scratching and biting of the skin goes untreated, bacterial illnesses may develop. A flea infestation or allergic response that leads your dog to scratch at his skin may result in an open lesion that is vulnerable to bacterial infection due to the scratching activity. Your dog will bite and scratch himself for comfort if he has a bacterial infection, which must be treated to avoid additional problems.

Emotional Issues

Boredom, worry, tension, sadness, or other emotional or psychological distress cause dogs to bite themselves. It’s similar to someone who chews her nails, twirls her hair, picks at her skin, or engages in other obsessive habits. More physical and mental stimulation for your pet may help to address the issue. Spend extra time with her, particularly outside walking and playing, and get her some new toys. Also, talk to your veterinarian about how to deal with stress or emotional issues.

Dandruff problem

Dogs are occasionally affected with seborrhea, often known as dandruff. A yeast-like bacterium produces red, itchy, and irritated spots on the skin caused by this disease. Dry skin and a lot of flaking are common side effects.

When your dog shakes, you will most likely see flakes of dry skin flaking. My most giant male dog got dandruff at one point, and as I watched him shake, it looked like a bit of a dust storm!

Many people mistakenly think that dry skin causes dandruff. However, this is not the case. Although dry skin may exacerbate the issue, this disease is mainly caused by a particular type of bacteria.

Dogs with dandruff are typically given a medicated shampoo to kill the germs, much like people. Another issue where you may be considered to have gotten off lightly is dandruff, which is not especially difficult to deal with or cure.     


Excessive biting, scratching, and licking of the skin may be avoided with proper flea treatment. If you live in a humid environment and your dog spends time outdoors, you’ll want to use a preventive flea control product that kills fleas before they become a problem. To avoid infestations, a veterinarian can assist you in developing a flea control solution.

By identifying the source of your dog’s itchy skin and treating it right once, you may prevent complicated health problems like dermatitis and bacterial infections. Always examine the place your dog is biting to avoid aches and pains caused by foreign items. When trodden on or trapped in your dog’s coat, burrs and thorns may be highly irritating. Never try to remove things like glass or metal from your dog’s body, and get medical help right away if this happens. Attempting to remove the item on your own may result in shattered fragments and infection. If your dog suffers from arthritis or another kind of common illness, make sure their pain is adequately controlled with regular treatment.

Many problems that cause your dog to feel itchy may be avoided by providing a safe, clean environment for your dog. Remove any allergies you’ve discovered from your house and keep your dog away from allergens he responds to outdoors. Although you may not be able to eliminate all allergens from your dog’s system.  Wash him with hypoallergenic shampoo may help him feel better and avoid irritated skin.

Treatment cost 

The cost of treating your dog’s excessive skin biting, licking, and scratching will be determined by the underlying reason. The typical cost of treating fleas and flea-related diseases, for example, is about $350, while the average cost of treating allergy-related dermatitis in your dog is over $1,200.

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