!Header Logo

Animals First + Veterinary Hospital, Urgent Care & Wellness Center

!Give us a call button

Call Now! 856-858-0551 Request an Appointment

!Call Icon

Ways To Help An Itchy Pet

March 1 2024

Have you noticed your furry best friend seems a bit itchy lately? If Fluffy or Fido only occasionally scratches themselves, it’s probably not a big deal. Everybody gets the occasional itch! However, persistent or frantic itching can be a warning sign that something more is going on. In this article, a local Haddon Township, NJ veterinarian discusses itching in pets, and offers some suggestions on how to help your fuzzy buddy feel better.

Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Haddon Township, NJ Veterinary Clinic

First and foremost, keep up with your dog or cat’s veterinary care needs. When it comes to pet care, an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure. Make sure your furry pal sees their doctor regularly!

Plus, Fluffy will be much safer as an indoor cat!

Revisit your furry’s Products (Especially New Ones) 

As mentioned above, if you aren’t sure why your four-legged is itching, make an appointment with your Haddon Township, NJ  veterinarian. However, if you’ve recently changed your furry’s food, litter, or shampoo, or perhaps picked up a new bed, by all means mention it.  You may be advised to try going back to the old brand, or switching to something hypoallergenic.

Pay Attention To How Your Furry Pal’s Behavior

Sometimes just observing Fido and Fluffy can be very telling. For instance, if your four-legged friend is pawing their ears or rubbing their head against something, an ear infection could be to blame. This is definitely important information to tell your veterinarian.

Find Out Why Your Pet Is Itching

You’ll need to sort out exactly why your dog or cat is itching. There are several possibilities.

Some of the most common ones include:

  • Fleas
  • Mites
  • Allergies
  • Dry Skin
  • Fungal Infections
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Harsh Shampoos
  • Skin Problems

Make an appointment with your veterinary hospital right away. While some issues, such as using the wrong shampoo, are easily remedied, others, such as bacterial infections, require proper veterinary care. Treatments may include various medications, such as steroids or antihistamines. However, before you can treat your pet, you’ll need to pinpoint what the issue is.

Reconsider Your Pet’s Grooming Products

Simply using a shampoo that is too harsh is enough to cause the itchies in some pets. Some of our furry friends have very sensitive skin! Your Haddon Township, NJ veterinarian may recommend something gentler, such as an oatmeal shampoo. It’s also important to make sure that you rinse your pet off thoroughly.

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuuming isn’t a cure-all, and it definitely isn’t going to take the place of medication. That said, it can definitely help. If you have a flea infestation, that vacuum cleaner can be extremely crucial, as it will help pull fleas and unhatched eggs out of the carpet.

Vacuuming can also help pets with allergies, by removing dust, pollen, and dander from your carpets.

Offer A Good Diet

Your pet’s diet affects every aspect of their health, including their skin and fur condition. All of our friends have unique nutritional needs, so ask your vet for specific advice. 

Wipe Your Pet Down After They’ve Been Out

Does your canine companion have allergies? Fido will pick up dust and pollen outside, particularly on his paws and belly. Keep pet wipes near the door, and give your pup a quick wipe down before bringing him inside. (Tip: Teach Fido that he’ll get a yummy treat for letting you help him out.)

Keep Up With Parasite Control

If your four-legged is itching because of a flea or mite infestation, then you pretty much have your work cut out for you. Your first move should be contacting your veterinarian and, if needed, getting your furry friend caught up on their parasite control products. However, if you are dealing with an infestation, you’ll also have to break the life cycle.

Get into the habit of vacuuming daily for a while. As soon as you’re done, empty the canister into a plastic bag, then seal the bag and take it outside to dispose of it. Keep in mind that vacuuming regularly is a good idea even if you aren’t dealing with fleas. Once the infestation is taken care of, you can scale back a bit.

Monitor Pollen Counts

This one is also most helpful for pets with allergies. Consider downloading a pollen tracker app. Keep an eye on the levels, particularly during peak pollen times, such as spring and fall. When counts are high, limit your dog’s outdoor time.

Consider Getting A Humidifier

Dry air can suck the moisture out of your pet’s skin, just as it can with ours. If your veterinarian has examined your furry buddy and come to the conclusion that dry skin is to blame, you may want to get a humidifier.

Proper hydration is also very important, even for pets that don’t have the itchies. You might want to set out extra water stations, or perhaps get a smart waterer. 

Keep Your Cat  Indoors

This one would probably fall more under prevention, but it’s still worth noting. Kitties that go outside are at much higher risk of picking up fleas, ticks, or mites. They’re also more vulnerable to insect bites and chemical exposure, both of which can cause itching. 

Keep Up With Grooming

Our animal companions all have their own specific grooming needs, so ask your vet for specific advice on this. That said, it’s important to remove dead fur and dander. Otherwise, your dog or cat may not only get itchy, they also won’t be as protected from hot or cold weather.

Keep Up With Housecleaning

Keeping your place neat and clean can also  help. Wash your furry buddy’s bedding regularly, using an unscented detergent. You’ll need to check the bedding label for specific care instructions. However, if possible, wash with hot water, and then dry thoroughly. Regularly dusting and vacuuming will also help, as may changing your air filters. 

What Are Things I Should Not Do If My Pet Is Itching?

The biggest mistake here would be giving your furry friend any medication without your Haddon Township, NJ veterinarian specifically instructing you to do so. We can’t overstate how important this is! While some medications are safe for our furry friends, others can be very dangerous to them. 

Property Maintenance

Even if you are keeping up with your dog or cat’s preventative care, parasites can still find a window of opportunity, particularly as the time nears for your furry buddy’s next dose.  You may also need to address your property, especially if you have fleas or ticks outdoors.

Here are a few tips for that:

  • Remove debris, such as fallen branches and leaf piles
  • Don’t let standing water sit. Buckets full of rainwater quickly become mosquito nurseries!
  • Trim back hedges so they don’t touch your house
  • Trim overhead branches to allow sunlight into your yard
  • Consider incorporating beneficial insects, such as ladybugs
  • Keep your lawn mowed. Many insects lurk in tall grasses

Purrs And Tail Wags

Boredom and anxiety can also cause pets to be itchy. For instance, cats that are stressed or anxious often tend to overgroom or undergroom themselves, resulting in messy, unkempt fur. Provide your pet with plenty of toys, as well as comfy beds. It’s also important to spend quality time with your dog or cat friend every day.

Has your furry buddy been itching lately? Please feel free to contact us at your local Haddon Township, NJ animal clinic, anytime!

!Single Blog Social Sharing Icons