Hi everyone, Dr. Zaidel here! Summer is in full swing here in Chicagoland and we have loved hearing about everyone’s summer vacations and stay-cations. We have heard about lake trips, amusement park visits, and lazy summer days at home. The other thing we have been hearing a lot about lately is itchy pets. Lots of dogs have been licking, chewing, and rubbing their summer days away. The itchiness is not only irritating and painful to the pets but can impact the family’s life and wellbeing as well. Today, we are going to talk about what causes itching in dogs and what you can do to help your pup get some relief.

Itching in dogs can be caused by many different things. The best thing to do is to contact your vet for an appointment so they can determine the cause of your pet’s itching. The first thing that we check for is parasites like fleas, ticks, or mites. At Finan Animal Hospital, we recommend that you use monthly flea and tick prevention for your pet. For dogs we recommend Simparica, a monthly chewable tablet that prevents both fleas and ticks. For cats, Revolution Plus is a great topical product that prevents not only fleas and ticks, but also heartworm and intestinal parasites as well! While there are over the counter products out there for fleas and ticks, they tend to be less reliable at preventing these annoying pests than the prescriptions products.

Another cause of itching in pets is allergies. Pet allergies are caused by either flea bites, food, or environmental allergies. When a pet is exposed to an allergen, their body reacts and sends a signal to the brain that tells them to scratch. The licking and scratching irritates their skin more and can open the door for an infection to begin. Once infections start, the pet becomes more itchy and a vicious cycle of itching and infection begins. The best way to stop this cycle in its tracks is to visit your veterinarian. They will be able to determine what is causing the infection and treat it appropriately. Your vet can also help you control your pet’s itching with treatments like Apoquel and Cytopoint. Both of these products work on that itch signal that the body sends out to help prevent itching before it starts.

Have an itchy pet or questions about allergies? Contact us at Finan Animal Hospital at (630) 985-2777 for an appointment to help your pet kick the itch and enjoy these sunny summer days while they last!

— Dr. Zaidel