Long term or excessive pet itching can be a serious medical condition or allergic reaction and should be addressed by your vets office or a professional groomer as soon as possible. If your pet suddenly begins itching an excessive amount or you notice bumps or hives call your vets office immediately. This page is strictly for reference to give you an idea as to why your pet may be itching or scratching based on some of the most common causes we see. This in no way should be a substitute to a professional examination of your pet’s skin.
Dogs and cats itching and scratching can be caused by anything from being dirty, having dry skin, fleas, a skin issue that has developed or even the pet food you are feeding among other things. It is important to keep your pet on a regular grooming routine so your groomer can inspect your pets skin regularly for signs of developing conditions.
First, take a look at your itchy pet’s skin. Move the hair so you can see all the way to the skin. It should be smooth and healthy looking, also examine the hair surrounding the skin to see if it is excessively greasy, oily or has a strange odor. Also be sure to check thoroughly for fleas. Fleas are very evasive and very commonly go unnoticed even on short haired dogs! Fleas do not live outdoors during the winter months but can live inside year round. If you notice your pet itching and digging in certain areas that change, fleas are the likely culprit.
Some dogs itch seasonally. In the spring, summer and winter this is usually caused by an allergy to grass, pollen etc. Talk to your veterinarian about solutions specific to your pet, this could be as simple as a small dose of benadryl. In the winter your pet’s skin can become dry and itchy, especially with the furnace on. You may or may not notice a small amount of dandruff associated with dry skin. Oatmeal or yogurt baths with a high quality shampoo will normally alleviate this.
If your pet is dirty you should get them groomed as soon as possible. Itching may be a sign that problems are developing. If your pet is matted and itching it is imperative they be groomed. Matt sores, rashes or fungus may be the cause. These conditions worsen quickly and may become very expensive to cure if not taken care of immediately.
If you notice inflamed skin, a rash, blotching, oiliness, flakiness or an odd odor a skin condition may be developing! Contact your vet or groomer immediately, as these conditions worsen quickly and may become very expensive to cure. Active Paws carries special all natural products to help cure most skin problems, but you may need to increase your grooming frequency until they are cured.
If your dog is rubbing his back end on the ground or paying especially close attention to it he may have an impacted anal gland. Glands should naturally express but occasionally some dogs may need this to be done for them by your vet or groomer. Ask your vet or groomer if you have any concerns. We do not recommend having this done on a regular basis, only as needed.
These are the most common symptoms and causes we see for itching and scratching pets.
It is always best to contact your vet or groomer with specific concerns.
If you have any questions regarding your itchy pet feel free to contact us.