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Ways You Can Relieve Itching In Pets

March 1, 2024

Have you noticed that your furry friend has been itching a lot lately? It’s probably not a big deal if Fluffy or Fido only scratches themselves once in a while. We all have to deal with the occasional itch! On the other hand, itching that is persistent or frantic is a warning that there is something else going on. In this article, a local Wheat Ridge, CO veterinarian explains itching in pets, and offers tips on how to make your furry friend feel better.

Take Note Of How Your Pet Is Itching

Simply observing your dog or cat, and seeing when and how they get itchy, can be pretty informative. For example, if your furry friend is pawing at their head or rubbing it against something, an ear infection could be the cause. This is certainly vital information to share with your Wheat Ridge, CO veterinarian.

Maintain Your Furry Pal’s Grooming Needs

Our animal buddies each have their unique grooming requirements. It’s important to get dead fur and dander out of their coats. Otherwise, your pet may become itchy, and will not be as well protected from hot or cold conditions.

Make Sure Your Pet Is Getting A Nutritious Diet

Nutrition influences many aspects of your pet’s health, including their skin and fur condition. Make sure that Fluffy and Fido are eating a nourishing, age-appropriate diet. Ask your  Wheat Ridge, CO veterinarian for recommendations.

Schedule An Appointment With Your Veterinarian

First and foremost, you will need to determine why your pet is itching. There are many possibilities.

They include:

  • Allergies
  • Dry Skin
  • Parasites, Such As Fleas, And Mites
  • Fungal Infections
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Harsh Shampoos
  • Skin Problems

While some problems, such as using the wrong shampoo, are resolved easily, others, such as bacterial infections, require specialized treatment. This may involve medication, such as steroids or antihistamines. 

Switch Shampoos

Some of our furry pals have extremely sensitive skin. Some pets will develop itchy skin simply from harsh shampoos. Your veterinarian may recommend something milder, like an oatmeal shampoo. 

Vacuum More Frequently

Vacuuming is not a cure-all, and definitely will not replace medication. However, it can help. If you have a flea infestation on your hands, that vacuum cleaner can be incredibly useful in not just removing live fleas, but also in getting unhatched eggs out of the carpet.

Vacuuming can also benefit pets with allergies by eliminating dust, pollen, and dander from their carpets.

If your pet is itching due to a flea or mite infestation, you’ll have your job cut out for you. Your first step should be to contact your veterinarian and get your pet caught up on their preventative care. However, if you are dealing with an infestation, you will also need to disrupt the life cycle.

Vacuuming comes in handy here. Get into the habit of vacuuming every day for a while. When you’re finished, empty the canister into a plastic bag, seal it, and carry it outside to dispose of. Once the crisis has passed, simply complete high-traffic areas rapidly every day. Follow up with a thorough vacuuming once a week or so.

Even if you don’t have fleas, vacuuming on a regular basis is beneficial, as it can help with odors and fur busting. 

Wipe Your Pet Down After Outdoor Time

Does your dog have allergies? Fido may pick up dust and pollen outside, especially on his paws and belly. Keep pet wipes by the door and give your canine buddy a quick wipe off before bringing him inside. You can also use clean washcloths and a spray bottle full of water.

Of course, you may need to sweeten the deal. Teach Fido that he’ll get a tasty treat if he lets you help him.

Monitor Pollen Levels

This one is also especially beneficial for people whose pets have allergies. Consider downloading a pollen-tracking app. Keep an eye on the levels, especially during peak pollen seasons, such as spring and fall. When the count is high, limit your furry pal’s outdoor time.

Look Into Getting A Humidifier

Dry air can drain moisture from your pet’s skin, just as it can with ours. If your veterinarian has concluded that dry skin is the problem, you may want to purchase a humidifier.

Proper hydration is also essential here. Consider adding extra water stations or getting a smart waterer. 

Keep Kitty Indoors

This one would most likely go under prevention, but it is still worth including on our list. Kitties that go outside are far more likely to take up fleas, ticks, or mites. They are also more susceptible to insect bites and exposure to chemicals, such as lawn/garden products. Plus, Fluffy will be both safer and healthier as an indoor cat!

Look at Your Pet’s Products (Especially New Ones)

As previously stated, if you’re not sure why your pet is itching, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. However, if you have recently changed your pet’s food, litter, or shampoo, and/or purchased a new bed, please mention it.  You may want to try returning to the original brand or switching to something hypoallergenic.

Stay On Top Of Cleaning 

Wash your pet’s bedding on a regular basis, using a non-scented detergent. You’ll need to check the bedding label for precise care recommendations. If you can, wash in hot water and dry thoroughly.  We already mentioned vacuuming. Dusting regularly can also help, as can changing your air filters.

What Shouldn’t I Do If My Pet Itches?

The main one here is giving your pet medication without first consulting with your veterinarian. Some medications are safe for our pets, but others can be quite deadly. We cannot express how crucial this is.

You should also never double up on parasite control. This can be very dangerous! Ask your vet for recommendations.

Don’t Forget Property Maintenance

Flea infestations often start outside. Even if you keep your pet on preventative care, fleas, ticks, and mites may find a way in.  You may also need to treat your property, particularly if you have fleas or ticks outside.

Here are some tips for that:

  • Keep the lawn mowed. Many insects hide in tall grasses!
  • Remove any debris, such as fallen branches and leaf piles.
  • Pick up fallen produce, as it can attract wild animals that carry fleas and ticks.
  • Don’t let standing water sit. Buckets filled with rainwater quickly become mosquito nurseries!
  • Trim back hedges so that they do not touch your house.
  • Trim above branches to allow sunshine onto your lawn.
  • Consider adding beneficial insects like ladybugs.

Keep Your Furry Best Friend Happy

Did you know that boredom and anxiety may make pets itchy? For example, agitated cats tend to overgroom or undergroom themselves. Provide your furry bestie with plenty of toys and comfortable beds, and spend quality time with them every day.

Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Wheat Ridge, CO Veterinary Clinic

When it comes to pet care, one ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. Make sure your pet visits their doctor on a regular basis!

Has your pet been itchy? Please feel free to contact us, your local  Wheat Ridge, CO animal clinic, at any time!  We are always happy to help!