August Is Itchy Pet Awareness Month

dog scratching his body

Does your pet have an itch that they just can’t stop scratching? Is your first thought fleas? Well, the truth is that pets itch for many reasons- and it can appear out of nowhere. For dogs, skin allergies are one of the main reasons “itchy” dogs are brought to the veterinarian, and it’s usually after most pet owners have tried multiple “at home”/over-the-counter itch relief treatments with little or no success. So what causes itchy pets?

The main causes of itchy pets can range from outdoor allergens to chemicals found in household items to parasites. Causes include:

  • Outdoor allergens (pollens & plants)
  • Indoor allergens (dust mites and molds)
  • Parasites like fleas or mites
  • Anxiety and/or boredom
  • Certain foods that are a part of your pet’s main diet or treats
  • Chemicals found in detergents, shampoos or lawn care treatments
  • Synthetics used in carpets or bedding

Itching of the skin can either be localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body) for both cats and dogs. However, scratching isn’t the only symptom of an itchy pet. In addition to scratching, an itchy pet can also have symptoms that include:

  • Rubbing, chewing or biting themselves
  • Frequent licking
  • Hair loss
  • Body odor
  • Skin changes (redness or swelling)
  • Recurring ear problems

So what should you do if you suddenly have an itchy pet or they display any of the above symptoms? Consult with your veterinarian and, if necessary, schedule an exam so the cause of the itch can be determined and a proper treatment plan created for your pet.


Zoetis Petcare;;;
“Allergies in Dogs” article at