Why Does My Dog Keep Scratching His Mouth?

Why does my dog keep scratching his mouth? Is this a question you are asking right now? Well, you are in the right place and we will do our best to help answer this question and hopefully remedy it as well.

Your dog will scratch his mouth due to a number of reasons. They can range from a skin infection or condition, a  dog dental issue, irritation from contact with the causative agent, dog allergies, injury through trauma, or other infections. You need to inspect your dog and try to remedy the problem. In extreme cases, take them to your dentist.

Discomfort in your dog is something you never want to see especially when you get that sense of hopelessness because you are not sure of how to help them out.

In this article, we will provide you with some possible causes for why this may be and how you can help Fido out of his misery.

What Causes Dog Itching in the Mouth?

What Causes Dog Itching in the Mouth

Let’s take a closer look at this issue and break down the possible causes of an itchy mouth in your dog. If your dog spends a lot of time in the outdoors, it most likely does a lot of exploring. A lot of this is done with their mouth a nose.

You would be surprised at the number of things that get into your dog’s mouth or what they come into contact with during the course of a day. Some of these can lead to varying degrees of discomfort down the line. Let’s look at some of these.

Allergens or Contact Irritants

There are a number of environmental allergens or other substances that your dog encounters that can be a potential cause for discomfort. Some of these will settle in the nose and snout area as the dog does his exploring.

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If the dog is allergic to these, it can lead to them scratching quite frequently. If left untreated for too long, it may lead to them scratching themselves raw. This can potentially lead to worse infections that need to be dealt with. You need to get ahead of this problem before it gets out of hand.

How to Remedy This Problem?

If you suspect this to be the case, give your dog a bath and make sure to rinse them off thoroughly. If the scratching stops or is less frequent, you most likely are on the right path. If it doesn’t stop or they have scratched themselves raw, you need to visit the vet.
Check under their fur to ensure that they have not done any significant damage to their skin.

Food Allergy

Food Allergy

Another cause can be an allergic reaction to the food you are giving them. If, upon inspection, you are not able to establish any visible cause of their discomfort, you can try and change their diet.

How to Remedy This Problem?

The best way to do this is to switch to a single protein source kibble. Be careful to do it gradually though because there is a possibility that they could get diarrhea from the sudden change in their diet.

Maintain ¾ of their old kibble and ¼ of the new one for 1 week. Make it 50/50 the second week, then ¼ old and ¾ new the third week then finally switching over completely by the 4th week.Only take it to the 4th week if you see any marked changes in their condition within the first week.

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Dental Problem

Another cause of discomfort which may lead to your dog continuously scratching their mouth is dental problems. Your dog may have something lodged between their teeth or in their gums.

It can be anything from a twig to a bone fragment. They may have even scratched their gums while chewing on a tough bone. This may be the cause of great discomfort for them.

How to Remedy This?

Get someone to help you open your dog’s mouth wide while you use a flashlight to inspect the inside of the dog’s mouth for any signs of scratches, bleeding, infection, or lodged objects.

In the case of lodged objects, remove what you can. If you can’t, you’ll need to go to the dentist. If they have a scratch or infection in the mouth, you can use dog mouth wash to treat the affected area.
If the condition doesn’t improve, you need to take them to the Vet.

Traumatic Injuries

Food Allergy

Your dog may also suffer an injury to the mouth due to trauma. As they live and play, they will encounter situations that cause a traumatic injury. This may manifest in them scratching the affected area.

How to Remedy This Problem?

When it comes to these kinds of injuries, it’s best to take your dog to the Vet right away. It is difficult to physically assess the intensity of the injury through the naked eye. You need to visit a professional who can objectively look at the situation and give the right diagnosis.

What is the Best Itch Relief for Dogs?

It goes without saying that the most common reason for scratching is an itch. Chances are this is the case with your dog as well. When you inspect them and don’t see any physical possible causes, you want to eliminate the possibility of an itch being the cause of it all.
Bathing them with an oatmeal-based dog shampoo is a time tested way of giving them relief from an itch. There are a number of oatmeal-based dog wash products in pet stores as well as on Amazon that you can choose from.

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Can you Give a Dog Benadryl to Stop Itching?

Benadryl is another common remedy for itching in dogs. The great thing about it is that it not only stops itching but will also treat the swelling, hives, and inflammation that comes along with it.

Make sure to give your dog the right dosages based on their body weight. The proper dosage of Benadryl given orally is 1 mg for every pound of body weight. It should be given 2-3 times a day.


There are many possible reasons that your dog may be scratching its mouth as you can see from this article. The best course of action is to do a physical inspection to see whether the cause is something that can be remedied easily or needs a professional to look at it.

If there is any physical bruising or rawness due to excessive scratching from your dog, it is usually best to take them to a Vet where they can be properly assessed and treated.

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