What Can I Do To Stop Itching?

QMy name is Katie Bear. I am 1 1/2-year-old female chow, and I love to play. I live with my mom and dad in a one-bedroom apartment. I have lived here ever since I was 4 weeks old.

I run around the house, jump up and down on the couch and the bed. When my mom and dad go to work I sit outside on the balcony and watch cars and people go by. I get to go out twice a day for a walk, and sometimes I meet my friend, Huey. He is a huge collie whose big tail always gets in my way.

Anyway, I have one big problem. I itch my legs a lot, now my hands, and my inner thighs go bald. My both knees have bald spots, because I constantly itch and bite them. My dad gives me bath using flea shampoo and dip a couple times a month. It helps me a little, but only for a day or so. We went to see doctors a couple times, and they have given me shots and medicines. All those help only temporarily. My dad even got some spray and sprayed me whenever I itched. It only get my pretty red coat wet! Now my toes are getting bald, too. My dad screams when he sees me biting my toes. What can I do to stop this itching??
Please help!!!

AIt sounds like you have bad hot spots. If it’s hot spots then all you can do is sooth it and keep it clean and flea free. This is very normal for some Chow Chows. Start out with putting baby powder all around the sore areas. This will help soothe the itching. Have you bombed your house for fleas and mites? Dipping and flea washing is great, but if the home and outdoors are infested it does no good. You should bomb the house and dip her at the same time while the bomb is running. If you have a yard or larger property you can call pest control and let them know your problem and they can do a flea spray around the property outside.

Another possibility is that all of the soap from bathing is not being thoroughly rinsed. As soap dries on the skin under the fur it becomes extremely irritable, and you will see lots of itching. Make sure you are thoroughly rinsing when bathing your Chow Chow. Don’t confuse this with the dip, most dips should be left to dry off naturally with out a towel. Follow the dip directions. Have you switched shampoos? This might be a possibility, maybe she is allergic to some ingredients.

AI wish to reply to the problem of itching and scratching off of hair in chows. My daughter has an eight-year-old spayed female. For the past couple of years, she has scratched all the hair off around her tail and hindquarters. Our vet first suggested a flea allergy. We tried treating everything–dog, car, house, dog bed, etc. She smelled bad and her skin was red and scaly. Her fur felt rough. Nothing much seemed to help. She began to have trouble with her joints as well. The vet gave her a medication consisting of natural vitamins, etc. and put her on a diet of rice and lamb dry food. No beef products, not even chew bones. All of her hair has regrown and she runs around like a puppy now! Perhaps this would help some of the other chows. The medication I mentioned is named Glyco-flex manufactured by Vetri-Science. Sensible Choice manufactures the lamb and rice dog food.

For more information and help be sure to check the Health Discussion and Grooming Discussion forums where you can seek input from the community.


Was this Q&A helpful for you and your Chow Chow? If you have additional information or advice to stop itching, please feel free to share them in the comment below.


  1. Jeanette on October 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I too had so many issues with itching, hot spots and constant chewing on nails for 12 years. My pack dog leader died of cancer who was a chow chow, a very sad day but a time of discovery. This was my second Chow Chow dog lost to cancer so I decide to research cancer in dogs and how do they get it. I discovered that the very best food (not the cheap stuff at $100 a month) I was buying was killing my pet family. After much research I discovered making my pets food was the best way of getting all the corn, additives and chemicals that were making them sick out of their bodies which shows up as skin issues and cancer. I started 3 months ago cooking for them, which if your interested I will share the recipes I use, I no longer have any skin issues, no hot spots, no itching, no chewing or ear infections and I dont use any meds or chemicals. I was spend at least $2,000 a year in vet bills not to mention the cost of meds. Now I spend about $60 a month and I cook once a week for my two special family members. My Sky, black chow chow has a shiny coat, walks 3 miles a day, plays and smiles allot especially when its breakfast and dinner time and she is 12 years old, I have no issues with hot spots, itching, hair lose, ear infections or allergies. I would be more than happy to share my feeding schedule and diet with you if your interested which requires a little work but it will pay off in the end with a happy health pet and low vet bills.

    • Raye on November 25, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Will you please share your recipe. Our chow chow seems to have one hot spot after another even after feeding him the top “natural” bagged foods.. HELP

      • Jeanette Solis on November 25, 2012 at 10:29 am

        Sure, I cook twice a week for my two chow chows, its very easy. The equation is one sweet potato, two carrots, 1/2 cup of peas and one chicken breast a day. (one of my dogs has a protein issue and I restrict her amount of chicken. I boil slowly about 3 chicken breast with bones but remove them, because its cheaper I don’t know where you leave but in Texas we have HEB and they sell for $1 a pound. I also slowly boil with skins, three sweet potato’s large, 6 carrots till tender, I add after cooked 1 1/2 cup of peas frozen. I blend all the veggies in a food processor till all blended. I add half of the chopped cooked chicken breast to the veggies and serve cold or warm they like both. I also include a vitamin supplement and a Glucosamine tablet. Since I have followed this recipe after about three weeks I had no more issues with hot spots, infections, ear problems or itching. I have reduced my vet visit to twice a year and thats for regular exams. After awhile of following the recipe you can start introducing things like apples and blue berries. Let me know if you need anymore help. jeanettesolis@sbcglobal.net
        Kindest Regards,

        • don on October 31, 2013 at 7:40 am

          what do you mean only twice a week? you keep the cooked food refregerated? thanka

        • Salvatore Ciraolo on June 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

          Thank U 4 all of this information, my black chow Buddy needs help. He is just very much in need of his relief from his itching. We send too much money at the vet. This dog addopped us we also have ablack Dobbie she gets along great with buddy.

        • arlene hayes on March 17, 2015 at 12:00 am

          Thank you for sharing.. but wondering might there be substitutes for sweet potato, carrots and peas? I dont mean to sound like I wouldnt give my Chow the best there is because I love her so much but all these are quite expensive in my country, in Asia. And the Chlorella, too.
          Thank you!

        • Danielle on December 13, 2016 at 9:07 am

          Hi Jeanette, thanks for sharing your success. Our 4 month old puppy, Charlie, just can’t stop scratching! We had him tested for mites, the vet saw nothing, but put him on flea/tick medicine anyway. It’s only been a few days, but Charlie is still so itchy! I will try cooking for him like you.

          Just to be clear, when you said “one sweet potato, two carrots, 1/2 cup of peas and one chicken breast a day” was that split between your 2 dogs?


        • Alka shah on June 19, 2020 at 3:35 pm

          Hello from the UK – i tried to email you but it bounced
          I read your chow blog
          My chow is 5 years of age and has lots of allergies , ear (always same one gets yeast build up) , eyes ( gets discharge) and has eaten her tail completely.
          I bought Hypoallergic food for her
          I have been cooking chicken and rice but the vet said its likely she is allergic to chicken so put on salmon diet. What do you feed the chow who needs to be on protein diet
          I will try blending all the veggies
          Also i have noticed when shes been lying down for two or more hours she occasionally limps
          So i ordered the glucosamine tablets too
          Like you my vet bills are horrific
          I really hope i can make her better with a good diet
          I cant always cook for her so is there any foods you recommed? I bought james wellbeing hypoallergenic food

          Thank you for your help in advance

    • Maléne De Lange on January 29, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      We have a Black male chow 2 years old and he is lossing hair and itching and scrathing al the time. will you please be so kind to send me the dieet for chows.It is this time of year for him to lose hair but now his skin is irritating..

      Kind regards Maléne

    • Symba on March 14, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story, my chow is driving me crazy with the same issues. I love my chow to death, I’ve taken her to several vets same results high bills, temporary relief, so at this point your recipes are greatly appreciated!!!!

    • Izzy on January 24, 2016 at 5:24 am

      Would love to have your recipes for chow food. The itching is really hard on Izzy she is only 8 weeks. Thanks from Izzy.

    • Midnight on July 6, 2018 at 3:45 am

      Please send me your helpful information. I baby boy is 10 and he’s starting to itch himself on his back, hindquarters and feet. No hair loss, but his coat feels really dry. Help

    • Laird on August 30, 2018 at 9:43 am

      I would love to get your recipe.

    • Joseph on January 27, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      Can you please share ur recipe my 5 months chow chow always scratching her leg and tummy for no reason im thinking its her habbit but i do a research maybe because of food she eat or Bath shampoo

    • Bryan on November 22, 2020 at 5:37 am

      Can you share your revenues for your chows please?

  2. gaytha on October 25, 2012 at 12:47 am

    I had a couple of suggestions. The first is my groomers secret for getting the soap completely off those puppies. She mixes vinegar with dawn to use as a mild wash that is easily rinsed and good for the skin. I am sure you could mix it with your regular shampoo also. The next is I agree with diet and suggest adding chlorella algae to your dogs diet. It is a great detox. Good for alergins,skin coat teeth and digestion. There are many benefits to chlorella and there are a couple treats on the market. I use chlorellies and have noticed a marked improvement of the symptoms described.There is also glucosamin and chondroitin in chlorellies for hips and joints

    • SJ on April 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      what is the ratio of Dawn to Vinegar please?

    • Chow chow on July 8, 2020 at 3:16 am

      Where you can buy the chlorella? And is it safe for the dogs? Is it a tablet or a powder? How many times? what’s the amount if you give it to your dog?

  3. nslpmatematica3 on January 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    If you have the flea problem under control, and do not find any fleas on the dog or in the house then this kind of obsessive itching sounds more like a food allergy. A lot of dogs have an allergy to CORN and will often try to chew on their fur and skin to the point of causing bald spots. It is important to read the ingredients of the dog food you are using, especially if you don’t have the time to make your own dog food.

  4. Melissa on May 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Hi, I am seeking help with our lovely Maddy. She is a 5yr old cream color chow chow. She has had very bad skin issues. Her under skin is very pink, she had pustules on the bridge of her nose, and other spots. Most recently she has added to these symptoms with hot spots and loss of hair. We have taken her to the veterinarian and have been prescribed antibiotics and steroids. She is still on steroids every other day. Her nose has cleared but the hot spots are worse. We have also switched her food to one with no com or wheat. Has anyone had experience with these symptoms in their chow chow. Please help?

    • gaytha on May 7, 2014 at 7:03 am

      http://Www.chlorellies.com there is wheat in product if it is allergy don’t try but these have been good for some skin issues and hot spots. So sorry. It’s hard to see our loved ones suffer

  5. Keesh on November 25, 2014 at 1:31 am

    I need help with my chow chow. He’s 2 yrs old now. I dont know what to do anymore, he’s constantly scratching his skin, he’s itching terribly to the point of biting his flesh til it sore and bleed. He doesnt have any flea or ticks and i bathe him twice a week. I dont know if it’s his food or what. Somebody help me! I can no longer stand seeing him suffer like that.

  6. Don H on December 21, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    My 12 year old chow mix had a very serious irritation that went on for about two months. Started with one hot spot which I took her to the vet for. But after that resolved, she started chewing all over her back side and tail. I think I fixed it.

    1. got her a fresh hair cut.
    2. gave her a good bath with a quality shampoo for itchy skin.
    3. bought a ZenCone. She wore this for one week.
    4. Gave her lots of rubbing and scratching to help her
    5. MOST IMPORTANT: during that week and picked out all the scabbing I could find… much of it was dried out and embedded in the undercoat.
    6. middle of the week I gave her a skin conditioner (with no water) and then rinsed it out.
    7. kept working at all the dried scabbing (yea – it’s gross).
    8. toward the end of the week… another bath.
    9. After 1 week I removed the cone and she has been fine since.

    Keeping an eye on her and making sure no junk is embedded in her undercoat… this is very problematic for chows.

  7. Keahny on July 4, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I had problems with my Chow Chows skin for years. I washed him in every shampoo I could think of, changed his diets, bedding, and put him on medication, nothing ever worked, his dry, hot spot tail and back always came back. Recently it got so bad that I took him to a different vet and they diagnosed that he was allergic to flee bites. He never had flees on him but he all he needed was a bite and he would get hot spots and bald patches from it. SO, I put him on monthly flee tablets and he has never been better! It worked a treat and he hasn’t had any problems since. Anyway, I thought I would share incase someone else’s baby is going through the same thing!

    • Michelle on May 28, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Keahny, I also have the same problem. My chow bites her fur off her tail and back area.
      The vet said it was an allergy to flea saliva and that she didn’t have fleas. We treat her with flea treatments every month and I’ve never seen fleas on her and I check all the time. What tablets are you using? We use an liquid?
      Many thanks

  8. Mike Fishwick on February 10, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Please could you help me. I have a 20 weeks old Chow Chow Puppy Called Ted. he is a white one, and is the most gorgeous puppy you could ever see. However, Ted has an itching problem under his legs and tummy, and we have flea him with Spot on, and brush him regular and spray with pet deodorant occasionally, but not sprayed where he is itching though. It makes us sad to see him itching. and he is now getting bald patched forming where he scratches.

    • SJ T on February 23, 2020 at 4:11 am

      Get ur chow x-rayed

  9. Joyce Vlashi on June 27, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I also have problems with my one year old chow. He keeps biting his legs and the skin goes bald, wet and red. It’s more like a sore and then it goes away by itself but comes out in another spot. Now also on the top of his head the skin is irritated and near the ears. I have triet different shampoos, foods and medicines. The vets are useless but i don’t know how to help him!

  10. C redway on August 19, 2017 at 4:14 am

    Our 4 month old chow chow has similar problems to those described. First the sore parts were where his tail tickled his back. It started when we put some ,dog rocks, in the water bowl to stop brown patches in the lawn. Our old border collie also had it and had never had it before. The vet said it was wet excema and gave them antibiotics and hibiscrub to put on the sore bits and shaved the fur around the sore area. We removed the ,dog rocks, from the water after and the collie is now fine. The chow chow puppy’s back is now fine and the fur growing back, but he is now getting sores on his legs. We have changed his diet to exclude grain/wheat and added some oils. The preprepared foods are very good quality but I think I might try cooking the recommended recipe. The dog trainer at puppy class said it might be stress as the older dog can growl at the pup.

  11. William Spillman on December 17, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I have a 6yr old black chow chow, he’s miserable! Took him to the vet, he got allergy shot, antibiotics for two weeks he just finished. Have been feeding him lamb and rice wet and dry food. He has a cone on because when I bathed him in antifungal shampoo, by the time I cleaned up the bathroom, he had chewed his tail to the point of bleeding, also his front paws! I’m at a loss as to what to do! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Midnight on July 6, 2018 at 3:55 am

    Thanks everyone for your help. l also saw where you can add baking soda to his bath. I’m going to try this and change his diet to home cooked foods. Thanks again everyone!!!

  13. Carol Corney on July 7, 2018 at 12:54 am

    Hi my chow chow is 3years old called bumble and he has been to the vets and has had skin tissue test and I give him antihistamine when he starts to scratch even though this helps his fur is coming out in clumps he is black and some spots have now scabs he has a medicated shampoo from the vets which I bath him in but nothing seems to help this year has been the worst he has been.Can someone help please I’m desperate for help for my little man he’s a happy chow and has fresh chicken which is roasted and deboned mixed with dog gravey granules and some dry food any suggestions would be appreciated thank you.

  14. Jacqueline on December 25, 2018 at 7:47 am

    I have a one year old chow chow and he’s scratching like mad and there’s lumps of hair coming out
    Can you help please

  15. Jordana on February 24, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    I have two chow chows, both rescues. The girl is 7yrs old and use to get hot spots BAD, but now only every couple of years. Now I am sure there are caused by the occasional flea bite that she is likely allergic to. But she did het them more frequently, the hot spots greatly diminished when I started buying Whole Earth dog food. The one with pork, lamb & beef. I had her in the vets office for hot spots and another dog owner said she only used that dog brand, and flavor for her numerous chows she’d had over the years. It was $20 cheaper than what I had been buying. It’s on amazon and pet co. My 2.5 yr old chow chow has only eaten that brand of food and has never gotten a hot spot. I also make them scrambled eggs every day now. They don’t like vegetables, not sweet potatoes or even peanut butter. They’re picky eaters but they eat that dog food no problem.

  16. shendel on April 25, 2020 at 10:33 am

    hello i have problems with my 3 months old chow chow she always bites the fur of her front legs and she couldn’t stop and her front leg has no more hair how can i make her stop itching

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