I have hyper sensitive skin due to my seasonal allergies that cause me to itch and scratch almost constantly. However, lately, Callie (my husky sister) has been scratching and apparently more itchy in the morning time. She never scratches or has issues during the rest of the day – just in the morning upon waking. I’m curious now. Let’s dive into why your dog is more itchy in the morning.
Your dog may be more itchy in the morning as a result of bedding and fabric allergies. Also common in dogs is sleeping so long and hard during the night that a part of their body falls asleep due to a lack of blood circulation. This then creates a tingly and itchy feeling that results in your dog scratching profusely upon waking. Let’s also not rule out habitual behaviors.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into the why’s, other reasons your dog may be itching, and what you can do to help them.
Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.
What Your Dog Sleeps on at Night May Be Causing Them to Itch in the Morning
What type of bedding does your dog sleep on at night?
Arguably, the quickest and easiest possibility to rule out regarding your dogs incessant scratching in the mornings is their night time bedding.
So, let’s start there.
Most dog beds, mats, and pads are made out of:
- Foam (synthetic or latex)
- Faux Leather
While the materials above aren’t necessarily known for their allergy inducing properties, it’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t have an allergy to their bedding, nonetheless.
The first step in stopping your dog from having to itch first thing in the morning is to ensure they’re not allergic to the bedding and fabric they’re currently sleeping on.
Be intentional when choosing a dog bed for your dog, or intentional with the bedding on your own bed if your dog sleeps with you at night. You can do this by opting for 100 percent cotton, organic hemp fabric, or microfiber materials. The more natural the materials used in your dog’s bedding, the less likely your dog will be allergic to the fabrics.
I’ll touch more on what to do for your dog suffering from morning itchies later on, but a quick tip in the meantime is to keep your dog’s beddings clean and washed frequently.
Sleeping So Hard Your Dog’s Leg Falls Asleep Causing Them to Itch Upon Waking
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but your dog sleeps… a lot.
Don’t worry, this is completely normal.
I bring this up to preface the fact that dogs are excellent sleepers. Too good, in fact, often suffering from the annoying tingling and itching feeling of a body part falling asleep during a deep slumber.
Could it be possible that your dog could be sleeping on their leg or paw straight through the night and the obvious lack of circulation causes discomfort when they wake up? Further warranting the morning itching ritual?
This is highly probable, given the fact that dogs have the ability to sleep so long and hard. This behavior would absolutely require a near obsessive “scratching” response from your dog as soon as they woke up every morning.
Dogs Are Creatures of Habit
I’ve mentioned this once or 900 times before. Dogs are creatures of habit. They like routine and consistency.
It is in this daily perpetuation that you find your dog the most well behaved version of themselves. Otherwise, chaos ensues.
What does habitual behavior have to do with my dog being more itchy in the morning versus any other time of day, you ask?
Once your dog decides on a morning routine, this is what they will inevitably stick to. Scratching, stretching, and yawning are no different.
Stay with me here. This isn’t that far “fetched”.
Scratching their ears, or legs, or sides could easily be attributed to your dog’s morning routine. Especially if you’ve ruled out all other possibilities (e.g. bedding allergies, fleas, or other medical conditions).
I for one yawn and immediately hit my downward dog stretch every single time my humans come in to wake me up in the morning. This is my routine. It’s like clockwork to me. Perhaps this morning itchy “thing” is Callie’s morning routine attributed to being asleep for 8 hours straight. Some things are bound to be itching after all of those REM cycles, right?
Other Reasons Your Dog Could Be Itching in the Morning
Perhaps this section would be best received if I just list all the other possible reasons your dog may be more itchy in the morning.
- Seasonal Allergies
- Food Allergies (You should be cooking for your dog)
- Bedding Allergies (Reference the first header in this post)
- Bacterial Infection
- Skin Infection
- Fleas and Ticks
This list should get you started down the terrifying path of PetMD and completely unwarranted Google searches.
Nevertheless, it is important that you rule out any underlying medical condition your dog may have in direct reference to any excessive scratching.
I’m a cocker spaniel, not a medical professional. Best to consult your actual vet if the problem worsens.
How to Help Your Dog With Their Itchy Skin
There are some things that you could (and should) do to help your dog with their itchy skin issues.
#1 Begin With Daily Brushing
Grooming or brushing your dog on a consistent basis helps to break up any patches of dry skin that may be causing flakes and itches.
#2 Weekly Dog Massages
Massages will also help. I know this sounds suspiciously self-serving coming from a dog, but hear me out. The rubbing motion on your dogs body will help release natural oils which in turn aid in moisturizing your dog’s skin in coat.
#3 Ensure Your Dog is Getting Adequate Vitamins and Minerals that Impact Overall Skin Heath
These include omega 3 fatty acids, hemp, sweet potatoes, daily skin chews, and coconut oil to list a few. Be careful with the coconut oil. It’s high fat content may cause more harm than good to your dog’s health and well being.
#4 Use Natural Sprays On Your Dog to Help Dry Up Itchy Dermatitis
The most common remedy is apple cider vinegar mixed in water as a topical spray. (Equal parts apple cider vinegar equal parts water).
#5 Oatmeal Baths
Start by blending natural oats in a blender into a fine powder. Sprinkle the oat flour in your dog’s bath water. Oatmeal works wonders on itchy skin.
#6 Wash Your Dog’s Bedding Regularly
Keeping your dog’s bed area clean goes well beyond just ensuring that it smells good. This cuts back on mites, mold, and other bacteria that could cause skin irritants for your dog.
Again, if all else fails, schedule an appointment with your vet!
Look, humans, dogs are weird.
Sometimes they show signs of behavior fit only for your local psychiatric hospital. And scratching only in the morning could make a person wonder…
Fear not though. There’s a reason for those itches – it’s just up to you to figure out if it’s habitual or medically induced.
Good luck, humans. You’re going to need it.
Oh, and per usual, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often!
Love you guys,
P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.
Why is My Dog So Itchy but Has No Fleas?
If you’ve properly insured that your dog does NOT have fleas and is on a consistent regimen of flea and tick ointment / medicine, then your dog is most likely suffering from seasonal allergies or household allergens.
One of the fastest ways to address your dog’s dry skin and allergy issues is through their nutrition.
The current foods you’re feeding them may be the fundamental issue. It’s important to consult your dog’s vet prior to any dietary alterations, but they will more than likely recommend something with some omega 3 fatty acids to help with the overall health of your dog’s skin.
Might I even suggest a vegan diet for your dog? Read all about it here: Can My Dog Eat a Vegan Diet?
What Can I Put On My Itchy Dog?
If your dog is constantly itching and they’re already eating a well balanced diet and are free of fleas, you may need to resort to one of my favorite dry skin remedies.
I briefly alluded to this little concoction up above but it warrants another mention.
Get a spray bottle and mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water (50/50). Shake to combine and then spray on your dog’s itchy areas.
Warning: Make sure you keep this mixture away from your dog’s eyes, ears, and any open cuts they may have.
Apple cider vinegar is a natural and safe way to treat your dog’s dry and itchy skin.
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