If your husky won’t stop scratching itself you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what you can do to get it to stop.

So, why does my husky keep scratching itself? Possible reasons are that it has fleas, allergies, an injury or something stuck in its fur. It might also do it due to boredom, being anxious or it could be an obsessive-compulsive behavior.

There are multiple reasons why your husky might be doing it but there are some things you can consider that will help in figuring out the exact reason. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier to get it to stop.

Why your husky won’t stop scratching itself

Below are a number of possible reasons why your husky might keep doing it and what would make them more likely.

Fleas

The cause could be that it has fleas. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly, it has been scratching multiple areas of its body or if you have been finding fleas around the house.

If fleas are causing your husky to scratch itself, it would help to talk to your vet about what you should do to get rid of the flees.

It would also help to eradicate fleas from your home by doing things such as:

  • Washing the bedding with hot soapy water
  • Vacuuming the carpets and throwing the bad
  • Applying an environmental flee control
  • Applying a spray, pellet or non-toxic treatment for the yard
  • Treating your husky with a monthly preventative

Allergies

Allergies could also be what has been causing it to scratch itself. Allergies can be caused by things such as shampoo, other dogs, pollen or household chemicals (source).

It would help to consider what else changed when your husky first started scratching itself a lot. For example, if it started doing it when you started using a new shampoo on it then it would likely have something to do with it.

If it seems like it has been scratching itself due to a rash then it would be more likely that it would have been itching itself in one specific area. Another sign of this would be if it has been losing fur in one specific area due to scratching, biting and licking at it too much.

Boredom

Huskies require a lot of exercise to be fully stimulated. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be contributing to your husky scratching itself a lot.

It is normally recommended for healthy Siberian huskies to get at least an hour of exercise per day. If your husky is healthy and it has not been getting much exercise then it would help to make sure that it does.

Injury

It might also be the case that an injury has been causing your husky to itch itself. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly, it has been scratching the same area and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as a cut. If it does seem like an injury could be causing it then it would be important to take it to a vet.

Something stuck in its fur

It could be the case that there is something stuck in its fur that it is trying to get out of its fur. This would be more likely if your husky has not been doing it for long and if it has been scratching at the same spot. If it does seem to be scratching the same spot, then it would be worth taking a look to see if there is anything stuck there.

Anxiety

It might be the case that something has been causing it to be anxious. This would be more likely if it has been doing it more when it might be anxious such as when you are about to leave home.

In this case, it would help to take measures to try and reduce the anxiety. For example, if it seems to be due to separation anxiety it would help to get it to be more comfortable when you are leaving home.

Compulsive behavior

It might be the case that it has been doing it compulsively. This is where your husky feels an urge to scratch itself and it can’t help but to do it. This would be more likely if it has been doing it constantly and excessively. If it does seem like it might be compulsive behavior then it would help to take it to a vet.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Siberian husky is doing it.

When it started doing it

If it did not always do it but it started doing it suddenly it would help to consider what else changed when it started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.

If it did start doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as fleas, allergies, an injury, boredom or it might just have been feeling itchy if it only did it once.

How much it has been doing it

It would also help to consider how much your husky has been scratching itself.

If it rarely does it or it just did it once then less likely to be a problem and it was probably playing or it was just scratchy at the time.

Whereas, if it does it a lot then it would make it more likely to be due to things such as a rash, fleas, compulsive behavior or an injury.

When it tends to do it more

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to scratch itself more at.

For example, if it tends to scratch itself more when you are leaving home it would make it more likely to be due to separation anxiety.

What to do about your husky scratching itself

Below are some options you have when getting your husky to stop doing it.

Take it to a vet

If you can’t figure out why your husky has been doing it or it has been doing it over a long period, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored to your husky in particular and to rule out the possibility of it being due to an illness.

Consider the shampoo you use on your husky

It could be the case that the shampoo you use on your husky is causing it to be scratchy. This would be more likely if it only scratches itself when you have recently put shampoo on it. In this case, it would help to change the shampoo.

Get rid of its fleas and allergies

It would also help to eradicate fleas from your home by doing things such as:

  • Washing the bedding with hot soapy water
  • Vacuuming the carpets and throwing the bad
  • Applying an environmental flee control
  • Applying a spray, pellet or non-toxic treatment for the yard
  • Treating your husky with a monthly preventative

Avoid negative reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is where you reinforce bad behaviors by giving your husky things that it wants when it displays them. If you have been giving your husky things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it scratches itself you might have been encouraging it to do it more.

Instead, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved, to recognize when it is likely to start scratching itself and to redirect its behavior and to follow the other tips above.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.