August is Itchy Pet Awareness Month. It’s always cute seeing Fido and Fluffy close their eyes in bliss when we help them out by scratching that pesky itch for them. However, while it’s normal for pets to get the occasional itch, ongoing and persistent itching is a different story. A Springville, UT veterinarian offers some advice on preventing itching in this article.
Fleas and mites can make Fluffy and Fido scratch obsessively. An infestation doesn’t have to be bad: even a single bite can cause itching. A single flea can also lead to a severe infestation. Keep up with preventative care!
For cats, this would generally just entail brushing Fluffy. Fido needs more help in this department. Good grooming can keep your pup’s skin and fur clean, and remove dust, dander, and dead fur. Special shampoos may help soothe your canine pal’s itching. Oatmeal shampoos, for instance, are often recommended for sensitive skin. Just don’t over-bathe your dog. That can strip oils from his skin and fur, leaving him looking dry and frizzy, and contributing to the itchies.
Vacuuming removes dust, dander, and other irritants. (It’s also your best weapon against dog fur.) Make a habit of vacuuming daily, even if it’s just a quick once-over. Changing your air filters will also help.
Is your pooch reacting to dust, grass, or pollen? Simply wiping his paws and belly down before you bring him in may help, as this can remove those irritants from his fur.
There are medications that can help soothe Fido. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and antihistamines can often help. However, many human medications are toxic to pets, so be extremely careful here. Never administer any medicine unless your vet advises you to.
Is your canine companion allergic to pollen? Keep an eye on pollen counts. You can download an app for tracking levels. When they’re high, limit your furry friend’s outdoor time.
Food allergies can also be a source of itching. If you’ve recently changed Fido’s food, and he suddenly seems super itchy, the new brand may be the culprit. You’ll need to pinpoint exactly what ingredient is triggering your pup’s reaction. This may require some testing. Contact your vet right away.
Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Springville, UT animal clinic!