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Tips for Relieving Itching in Pets
March 1, 2024

Has your beloved pet been acting a little itchy as of late? If your furry companion only occasionally scratches themselves, there’s likely no need to be concerned. All of us experience an occasional itch! However, if your pet is dealing with persistent or frantic itching, there may be an underlying issue. In this article, a Frederick, MD veterinarian addresses itching in pets, and provides some helpful suggestions to help your furry companion feel better.

Visit Your Frederick, MD Animal Hospital

First and foremost, schedule an appointment with your Frederick, MD veterinarian as soon as possible. It’s important to determine the cause of your pet’s itching. There are many possibilities, including allergies; bacterial infections dry skin; parasites, such as fleas, and mites; fungal infections; shampoos; and skin issues.

Some problems, like using the wrong shampoo, can be easily fixed, while others, such as bacterial infections, require medical treatment. However, you’ll need to identify the problem before it can be treated correctly.

Revisit Your Pet’s Products

Some of our beloved pets have very sensitive skin. Just using a shampoo that is too harsh can be enough to cause itchiness in some pets. Consider trying a milder option, like an oatmeal shampoo. Also, make sure that you rinse thoroughly.

If you’ve made any recent changes to your pet’s food, litter, shampoo, or even their bed, let your veterinarian know.  You might consider returning to your previous brand or switching to a hypoallergenic option.

Make Sure To Vacuum Regularly

Vacuuming alone is not a complete solution, and it cannot replace medication. That being said, it can be quite beneficial. This is also really important if you’re dealing with a flea infestation, as it can help with getting rid of fleas and eggs in your carpet.

Regular vacuuming can also be beneficial for pets with allergies as it helps remove dust, pollen, and dander from your carpets.

Stay On Top Of Your Pet’s Parasite Control

If your furry friend is experiencing discomfort due to fleas or mites, then you certainly have a challenge ahead of you. Reach out to your vet and ensure that your pet is up to date on their preventative care. 

If you’re facing an infestation, it’s important to disrupt the life cycle as well. Using a vacuum can be quite helpful in this situation. vacuum every day for a little while. Once you’ve finished,  transfer the canister contents into a plastic bag, securely seal it, and take it outside for disposal.

Keep Your Furry Friend Well Groomed

Is your furry friend experiencing any allergies? Fido can easily pick up dust and pollen outside, especially on his paws and belly. Have pet wipes readily available by the door, so you can easily give your furry friend a gentle wipe down before letting them inside. Another option is to utilize clean rags and a spray bottle filled with water. You can get Fido on board by rewarding him with a delicious treat for allowing you to assist him. Ask your Frederick, MD veterinarian for recommendations. 

Download A Pollen Tracker App

This one is particularly beneficial for pets with allergies. You might want to consider downloading a pollen tracker app, so you can monitor levels, especially during periods when pollen is at its highest, like spring and fall. Reduce your dog’s outdoor time when the counts are high.

Consider Getting A Humidifier For Your Space

Pets’ skin can get pretty dry, especially in winter. If your veterinarian has examined your furry friend and determined that dry skin is the culprit, you might want to consider investing in a humidifier.

It’s also important to make sure your pet stays properly hydrated. (Note: this is essential for all pets, regardless of whether or not they are experiencing itchiness.) consider setting up additional water stations or even investing in a smart waterer. 

Don’t Let Your Cat Roam

This one would probably be more focused on prevention, but it’s still important. Outdoor cats are more susceptible to fleas, ticks, or mites. They are also more prone to getting insect bites, and are at risk of chemical exposure.  Plus, Fluffy will just be safer indoors!

Pay Attention To How Your Pet Scratches

Observing Fido and Fluffy, and paying attention to how they scratch themselves, can provide valuable insights. For example, if your furry pal is scratching their head or rubbing it against objects, it could be a sign of an ear infection. Be sure to share this information with your vet right away!

Maintain A Regular Grooming Routine

Our furry friends all have their own unique grooming requirements. Removing dead fur and dander is crucial for maintaining your pet’s coat. Otherwise, your furry friend might end up feeling itchy. They will also have less protection from extreme temperatures.

Provide A Nutritious Diet

Your pet’s overall well-being, including their skin and fur care, is greatly influenced by their nutrition. Every pet has their own specific dietary requirements. Dogs and cats often benefit from foods that contain fatty acids, such as Omegas 3 and 6 oils. These nutrients work wonders in keeping Fido and Fluffy’s coats and skin nourished and healthy. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Maintain a Clean Home

regularly wash your pet’s bedding with a non-scented detergent. Make sure to refer to the bedding label for detailed care instructions. If possible, wash it with hot water. Regularly keeping up with dusting, vacuuming, and changing your air filters, can also be beneficial.

Know What Not To Do When Your Pet Is Itching

There are also some don’ts to consider. 

Never give your pet any medication unless your veterinarian specifically prescribes or recommends it. Many medications are very dangerous for our beloved pets, so it’s important to be cautious. This is incredibly important.

Another don’t? Never double up on preventative care products, such as flea and tick control. That could expose your pet to dangerous levels of pesticides.

Property Maintenance

Even with regular preventative care, pets can still get fleas, ticks, and mites, especially as the time for their next dose approaches.  It’s important to consider your property as well, especially if you have fleas or ticks outdoors.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Make sure to regularly maintain your lawn. There are quite a few insects that can be found in tall grasses.
  • Clear away any debris, like fallen branches and leaf piles.
  • Make sure to promptly remove any standing water. Be aware that standing water can easily turn into breeding grounds for mosquitoes!
  • It’s important to keep your hedges neatly trimmed to prevent them from coming into contact with your house.
  • Prune those overhead branches to let in some sunlight!
  • You might want to think about including helpful insects, like ladybugs

Make Sure Your Pet Feels Happy, Comfy, Loved, And Safe

Last but not least, just keep those purrs and tail wags coming. Make sure to have a variety of toys and cozy beds for your furry friend, and dedicate some quality time to them each day. If you do notice anything, address the issue right away. 

Is your furry friend experiencing any itching? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your friendly neighborhood Frederick, MD veterinary clinic, whenever you need assistance!