Dogs scratch their nipples when their skin is irritated. Knowing the different reasons for nipple scratching and symptoms to watch for can save your dog from discomfort and give you peace of mind.
Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Nipples?
Dogs scratch their nipples for a variety of reasons: pregnancy and nursing might cause itching, fleas and mites, yeast or other fungal infections, allergies, or even something as simple as an irritating fabric. If your dog is scratching their nipples, observe what could be causing the itch and give them a warm oatmeal bath to help sooth them. While itching alone is no cause for panic, watch for signs of infection – like puss, redness, and warm skin. Call your vet immediately if you notice these signs, or if you can’t get your dog to quit itching with home remedies.
- 1 Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Nipples?
- 2 Why Does My Spayed Female Dog Have Itchy Nipples?
- 3 Why Does The Pregnant Dog Have Itchy Nipples?
- 4 Why Does My Male Dog Have Itchy Nipples?
- 5 Why Are My Dogs Nipples Enlarged And Itchy?
- 6 Why Is My Dog So Itchy But Has No Fleas?
- 7 Home Remedies For Itchy Nipples?
- 8 How Does A Vet Treat Itchy Nipples?
- 9 Why Does My Dog Have Sore Nipples?
- 10 Why Does My Dog Have Scabs On Nipples?
- 11 Is It Normal For A Dog’s Nipples To Fall Off?
- 12 Why Did My Dog Scratched Off 2 Of Its Nipples?
- 13 What Is Mastitis In Dogs [How Common Is It]?
- 14 Why Are My Pregnant Dogs Nipples Crusty?
- 15 Can I Put Coconut Oil On Dog Nipples?
- 16 Dogs Nipples Swollen Not But She Is Not Pregnant?
- 17 Why Is My Dog Biting Her Own Nipples?
- 18 Why Is There Brown Stuff Around My Dogs Nipples?
- 19 How Do I Know If My Dog Has Mites?
- 20 How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Itching?
- 21 Can A Dog Take Benadryl For Itching?
- 22 Do Dogs Nipples Swell When In Heat?
- 23 Why Does My Dog Keep Scratching Its Belly?
- 24 Why Is My Dog Scratching Its Inverted Nipples?
- 25 References
Why Does My Spayed Female Dog Have Itchy Nipples?
Your spayed female dog could have itchy nipples for a number of reasons, including fleas, allergies, mites, or a yeast infection.
To rule out factors, think about what your dog has been around recently.
Have they been outside near wood or leaf piles?
If so, check for fleas. You can spot fleas best on a dog’s belly.
Have they eaten something or come in contact with something out of the ordinary lately?
Your dog could be showing an allergy to a new food, treat, soap, or fabric. Remove the new item from your dog’s life and see if the itching subsides.
Has your dog been in contact with other dogs at a doggy daycare or place of boarding?
If so, they might have encountered a mite that causes mange. If your dog shows a rash, especially with yellow crust around the scratches, call your vet to check for mites.
Yeast infections can happen for a number of reasons in dogs: allergies, overactive or underactive immune systems, and overheating are a few causes.
If your dog’s itching is combined with brownish discharge and a musty odor, call your vet to see if it’s a yeast infection and find treatment.
Why Does The Pregnant Dog Have Itchy Nipples?
Pregnant dogs often scratch their nipples because their mammary glands are starting to fill with milk. As nipples stretch and grow in preparation for new puppies, they often itch.
More blood flows to the nipples in this time, which can also cause the skin to feel itchy.
Why Does My Male Dog Have Itchy Nipples?
Male dogs can have itchy nipples, too. As with spayed female dogs, rule out common itchy causes such as fleas, allergies, mites, and yeast infections.
While fleas are easier to spot and treat from home, a trip to the vet can help you treat itching caused by mites and yeast infections.
Allergies could take longer to pinpoint as you might need to eliminate certain foods, treats, soaps, or fabrics to find out the true cause of the itchy reaction.
Why Are My Dogs Nipples Enlarged And Itchy?
Your dog’s nipples could be enlarged and itchy for different reasons depending if they are pregnant, nursing, or showing other signs of sickness :
- If your dog is an unspayed female, consider if she might be pregnant. Pregnant dogs tend to have swollen and sometimes itchy nipples.
- If your dog is nursing puppies, the itchy, enlarged nipples could be due to the puppies’ constant suckling. If this is the case, give your dog a 2-3 hour break between nursing sessions by draping a light cloth over her belly or distracting the puppies from nursing in another way.
- Swollen nipples that seem tender to the touch and might even be warm and bruised could mean mastitis. Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands, most likely to occur in female dogs who are pregnant or nursing, but can also affect male dogs who have had an injury to the nipple. Mastitis can be treated by your vet.
- In some cases, enlarged nipples could be a sign of a tumor. If your dog shows other signs of being sick, like lack of appetite or energy, contact your vet for a scan.
Why Is My Dog So Itchy But Has No Fleas?
Your dog may be showing an allergic reaction if they are itching with no signs of fleas.
Think of new places, food, or objects your dog has come in contact with. Or, if the seasons have changed, think of new foliage they may have encountered outside.
Eliminate possible allergy triggers one at a time for 2-3 weeks to see if you notice improvement. If you can isolate the allergen, you will know what is causing the itching and avoid it.
Home Remedies For Itchy Nipples?
Most itchy nipples can be soothed with over-the-counter cortisone cream.
But if your dog is nursing, skip the cortisone. Try a warm oatmeal bath or consult your vet’s office for dog-approved nursing ointments.
How Does A Vet Treat Itchy Nipples?
A vet will likely prescribe an oral antihistamine for most itchy nipples.
In the case of infection, which is likely with continuous scratching, the vet may also prescribe antibiotics.
If the dog simply won’t quit scratching their nipples, they might also get prescribed a cone to wear around their neck.
Why Does My Dog Have Sore Nipples?
Your dog may have sore nipples if they:
- Are pregnant or nursing
- Have scratched or injured their nipple
- Have a mammary gland infection
- Have a tumor or growth around their nipple
Why Does My Dog Have Scabs On Nipples?
Scabs are most likely a sign that your dog has been scratching their nipples.
If the scabs are yellow in color, your dog might have mites. Dogs can get mites from other dogs, shared bedding, or even from out in nature. Call your vet for treatment.
If the scabs are oozing, call the vet as this is a sign of infection.
Is It Normal For A Dog’s Nipples To Fall Off?
It is possible for your dog to scratch at their nipple to the point of ripping it off.
If you cannot get your dog to stop scratching their nipple with at-home treatments like oatmeal baths or cortisone creams, go to the vet for prescription medication or a plastic cone for their neck.
Why Did My Dog Scratched Off 2 Of Its Nipples?
A dog will scratch itself into a great deal of pain, even scratching off nipples.
The best way to prevent this is to address the cause of the itching as soon as possible.
If the dog will not stop scratching with a cleaning and anti-itch medicine like cortisone cream, then it is time to talk to the vet about other options.
What Is Mastitis In Dogs [How Common Is It]?
Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands that tends to happen most in nursing or pregnant dogs. It is not as common in dogs as it is in other animals, such as cows, but it could be a serious problem.
If you notice any sign of infection around the dog’s nipples, such as warmth, discoloration, or oozing, contact your vet right away. Mastitis is treatable in its early stages but can become more serious if allowed to linger.
Mastitis can also happen in male dogs, but is less likely.
Why Are My Pregnant Dogs Nipples Crusty?
A white or cream-colored crust around your dog’s nipples could just be dried milk. If your dog shows no signs of itching, wash off the crust and monitor for signs of infection, such as redness.
A yellow crust along with itching could mean mites. A brown crust along with itching could mean a yeast infection.
If in doubt, contact your vet for a check up.
Can I Put Coconut Oil On Dog Nipples?
Unless your dog has an allergy to coconuts, you could try using coconut oil to soothe itchy or sore nipples.
However, dogs might find the coconut oil to be a tasty treat, which could lead to more licking, itching, and scratching.
Dogs Nipples Swollen Not But She Is Not Pregnant?
Some dogs’ nipples will swell when they are in heat. If your dog is not spayed, this could be the cause of her swollen nipples.
Nipples could swell in excessive heat, as well. Make sure your pup is staying cool, especially in the summer, by giving plenty of water and a place to stay out of the sun.
Why Is My Dog Biting Her Own Nipples?
Dogs biting at their nipples is another way to scratch. Likely your dog is trying to get at an itchy spot.
Biting at the nipples is also a common response to fleas, so be sure to check for those small black, jumping bugs on your dog’s stomach.
Why Is There Brown Stuff Around My Dogs Nipples?
Brown discharge around your dog’s nipples could be a sign of a yeast infection.
Yeast infections usually prompt itching and may cause a musty smell on your dog.
Veterinarians can properly diagnose and treat a dog’s yeast infection.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Mites?
Although it might be difficult to see tiny mites on your dog’s skin or in their ears, look for these signs:
- Constant itching
- Redness or rash
- Dry skin or dandruff-like flaking
- Hair loss
How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Itching?
For quick relief of itching, try a warm oatmeal bath. You can find oatmeal soaking products specifically for dogs at a pet store or even some grocery stores.
Try to find the cause of the itching and address it. Common reasons for dog itching include: fleas, mites, allergies, and fungal infections.
Can A Dog Take Benadryl For Itching?
A dog can take Benadryl for itching, but consult with your veterinarian first.
Dogs of different sizes will need different dosages, and your vet would know if your dog should avoid Benadryl for reasons specific to your dog’s health history.
Do Dogs Nipples Swell When In Heat?
When a female dog is in heat, her nipples can swell. This is nothing to worry about and they will go back to their normal size once her heat cycle is over.
Why Does My Dog Keep Scratching Its Belly?
Your dog could be scratching its belly for many reasons.
The simplest reason may be that something is rubbing up against your dog’s underside and they don’t like it. A new rug, tall grass, even a new blanket could be causing your dog’s belly to itch.
Be sure to rule out pesky fleas by inspecting your dog’s belly for tiny jumping bugs.
Also think about potential allergens, like soaps, foods, or anything new in your dog’s environment, including pollen.
Why Is My Dog Scratching Its Inverted Nipples?
If your dog has inverted nipples and is scratching at them, make sure no dirt or debris is stuck inside the inverted skin.
Give your dog a warm bath and gently wash around the itchy spot. Inspect it for debris and put a little cortisone cream on it after the bath.
If your dog keeps scratching at the area, call your vet to talk about other solutions.