Summer is the itchiest time of year for pets. Animals that normally never raise a foot to scratch themselves can start to itch continuously. There are a few main causes, all of them relating to the warmer summer weather.
First, there are more pollens and dusts floating around in the atmosphere. Many pets suffer "atopy", which is an allergic reaction to air-borne allergens. When this condition is suspected, a blood sample or skin test can be done to confirm. Sometimes the culprits are dust mites, which are an all-year issue, but more commonly, grass, weed and tree pollens play a significant role. These are seasonal particles, emerging in the spring and summer. Allergies to plant pollens are made worse by the fact that pets spend more time outside in the summer, with warmer weather and longer hours of daylight. Regular shampoos (to wash off pollens and dusts, and to soothe the skin), anti-inflammatory tablets and high levels of essential fatty acids in the diet can all play a part in keeping allergic pets comfortable.
"External parasites" are the second reason why pets get more itchy in the summer, and the main culprits are fleas, ticks and harvest mites. Fleas can breed all year round, but they need heat to do this. In Ireland, the temperature for optimal flea-breeding is usually from April through to September. These days, there are lots of methods to prevent and cure flea infestations and speaking with your vet will help you formulate the best treatment routine to help protect your pet and family!
Another reason for itchy skin in summer is simple: warm skin is itchier than cool skin. Bacteria and yeasts multiply more rapidly, and red, sore skin gets even redder and more irritated. Sunburn can also be an issue –especially for white/blonde coated dogs and on hot days all dogs will benefit from a bit of pet=safe sunblock on their nose and ears.
Lastly, the warm summer weather brings with it a summer moult for many dogs and your dog will likely be a bit itchy during their moult as their new coat grows through.
If your pet gets itchy this summer, it's best to ask your vet for help sooner rather than later. Our friends at O’Connor Julian Veterinary in Cashel have a great team of vets and nurses on stand by to offer advice and care to help keep your pet cool, comfortable and itch-free.
Sunday, May 26 – Summer Stroll – Mo Chara Animal Rescue, Cooleeney, Moyne, Thurles - 3pm
Join us on Sunday 26th at 3pm to bring all of the rescue dogs out for a casual walk and meet and greet. You are welcome to bring your own dog too as this is a great opportunity for you and your dog to socialise with other dogs and pet-loving people!
Sunday June 2 – Bake Sale – Thurles Cathedral – 10am-1pm
The first Sunday of the month sees our ever popular bake sale return to Thurles Cathedral with a delicious range of home-made, freshly baked goods! Why not spoil yourself, your family or your friends by stopping by for a tasty treat?!