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Tips On How To Stop Pets From Itching
March 1, 2024

Have you noticed that your animal companion is itching a lot lately? If Fluffy or Fido only scratches themselves once in a while, you probably don’t need to worry too much. We all get itches from time to time! However, itching that won’t go away or seems particularly bad is an indication that something else is amiss. A local Saginaw, MI veterinarian talks about itching in pets, and gives you some ideas on how to make your furry friend feel better, in this piece.

What Should I Not Do If My Pet Is Scratching?

The big one here is giving your pet medicine that was not prescribed or recommended by your vet. Not all medicines are safe for our pet friends. In fact, some can be deadly to them! We really can’t overstress how important this one is. 

You also should never double up on preventative care products, such as flea and tick control. That could also be unsafe, as it could expose your pet to dangerous levels of pesticides. Follow your vet’s instructions on this. 

Now that we have the ‘don’ts’ out of the way, let’s move on to the do’s:

Schedule An Appointment With Your Saginaw, MI Veterinary Clinic

The first thing you need to do is figure out why your pet is uncomfortable. There are a number of options. These include allergies, dry skin; parasites, like fleas, ticks, and mites; fungal infections; bacterial infections; harsh shampoos; and skin problems. Some, like using the wrong shampoo, are easy to fix, but others, like bacterial infections, need to be properly treated. 

Be Diligent About Parasite Control

Keeping up with your pet’s preventative care is very important! Ask your vet for product recommendations. 

Vacuum Regularly 

If you are dealing with an infestation, you’ll also need to stop the life cycle. Vacuuming can help a lot here. If you have a flea problem, that vacuum cleaner can be very helpful because it will pull fleas and their eggs out of the carpet. Vacuum every day for a while. After you’re done, dump the contents into a plastic bag, seal it, and take it outside to throw it away. 

Once the emergency is over, just quickly do trouble spots every day,  and follow with more thorough vacuuming about once a week.

Even if you aren’t fighting fleas, it’s still a good idea to vacuum often, as this helps control odors and fur. Vacuuming can also help pets that have allergies, by getting rid of dust, pollen, and pet hair from your rugs.

Take Care of Your Pet’s Beauty Care Needs

All of our pets have different needs when it comes to grooming. Getting rid of dust and dander is very important, not just for aesthetics. A coat full of dead fur and dust can not only make your pet get itchy, but also won’t protect them from hot or cold weather.

Offer Your Furry Pal Good Food

Diet affects every aspect of your pet’s health, even how their skin and fur look. Offer your animal companion an age-appropriate, nourishing food. Ask your vet for recommendations. 

Use Pet Wipes

Does your dog have any allergies? Fido will get dust and pollen on his paws and belly when he goes outside, which can definitely aggravate those itchies. Keep pet wipes by the door and give your canine companion a quick wipe down before bringing him inside. (Tip: Teach Fido that if he lets you do this, he’ll get a tasty treat.)

Pay Attention To Pollen Levels

This one is also helpful for people who have allergies. You might want to get an app that tracks pollen. Keep an eye on the amounts, especially in the spring and fall, when pollen counts are high. When levels rise, limit pets’ outdoor time. (We always recommend keeping cats in, but that’s another topic.) 

Pick Up A Humidifier

Dry air can pull the moisture out of pets’ skin, just as it can with ours. If your pet has dry skin, you might need to get a humidifier.

Hydration is also very important here, even if your furry pal isn’t itchy. You might need to set out more than one water bowl, especially if you have a big house or more than one furry pal.

Keep Up With Property Maintenance

Many flea infestations start outside. Fleas, ticks, and mites might still find a way in, even if you give your pet preventative care. Taking care of your yard can help a lot, especially if you are dealing with an infestation.

Here are some ideas for that:

  • Cut your grass every week. Pests love to hide in tall grass.
  • Get rid of trash like leaf piles and fallen tree limbs.
  • Don’t leave standing water. Rainwater buckets quickly turn into mosquito nurseries.
  • Cut back bushes so they don’t touch your house.
  • Clear out overhanging branches to let sunlight into the yard.
  • You might want to add helpful insects like ladybugs.

Keep Your Feline Buddy Indoors 

This one is probably more about protection, but it’s still true. Cats that go outside are much more likely to get fleas, ticks, or mites. They are also at risk of insect bites and chemical exposure. (Plus, Fluffy will be safer staying inside.)

Check Your Pet’s Products

Have you recently changed your pet’s food, litter, shampoo, or bed?  You might be told to try the old brand again or switch to something safe. This is also something to mention to your veterinarian.

Observe How Your Pet Acts When Itching

It can be very helpful to just watch your pet. If Fluffy and Fido are pawing or rubbing their head against something, they might have an ear infection. Tell your Saginaw, MI veterinarian about anything you observe regarding how and when your furry pal gets itchy.

Consider A Different Shampoo

Some pets have very sensitive skin. Use a mild shampoo for your furry pal. It’s also important to make sure you are rinsing thoroughly. Ask your vet for specific advice on this. 

Basic Housekeeping

Wash your pet’s bedding on a regular basis, using a non-scented detergent. You’ll need to check the bedding label for special care instructions. If you can, wash it with hot water and unscented detergent. It will also help to dust and clean your home regularly and change your air filters every so often. 

Keep Your Furry Friend Happy And Healthy

Did you know that pets can also be itchy because they are bored or anxious? For example, cats that are stressed out tend to clean themselves too much or too little, which makes their fur look messy and untidy. Give your pet lots of toys and a soft place to sleep, and spend time with them every day.

In Conclusion: Itching is just as annoying for pets as it is for people. Your furry pal can be itching for many different reasons. If your pet seems itchy, contact your vet to schedule an appointment, as the issue will need to be properly diagnosed before you can treat it. 

Has your pet been itching a lot recently? Feel free to get in touch with us, your Saginaw, MI animal hospital, at any time! We are always happy to help!

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