Itchy and Scratchy!

Do you have itchy pets? Maybe a dog with dandruff or a cat with a skin rash? Skin conditions can get our pets down and can often need careful management. Read about some of the causes of itching and scratching in our pets…

Signs of skin problems can include:

  • Excessive scratching, licking, or chewing of the fur
  • Loss of fur
  • Redness and swelling of the skin
  • Swellings or bumps on the skin
  • Scabby, scaly, or flaky skin


There are a number of causes of skin conditions. Common skin allergens may include parasites, food, house dust mites, pollens, trees, grass, household detergents and pet shampoos.

Allergens in the home

Around the home, the most likely cause of irritation is house dust mites. It pays to keep on top of the dusting and vacuuming when it comes to keeping our pets away from common allergens. 

Another source of irritation for our pets in the home can come from biological washing powders and fabric softeners. It’s always a good idea to wash pet bedding regularly, but biological cleaners can sometimes lead to skin irritation - even if your pet hasn’t experienced any problems in the past. Pet shampoos are usually kind to pet skin, but some pets may encounter issues so watch out for pets who are itchy after a bath!

Allergens outside

Outside of the house there are also a few allergens to keep an eye out for - though many you won’t be able to see! Hayfever sufferers will know when the pollen from trees, grass or flowers is likely to have them itching and sneezing, and our pets can sometimes react in the same way. 

Grass is a particularly common cause of skin reactions, though it tends to be the pollen which causes the problems.


Fleas biting can be very irritating in itself. But some pets also become allergic to flea saliva which causes a hypersensitivity reaction. This leads to your pets intensively itching, which can cause hair loss, sores and scabs on the skin. Once a pet is hypersensitive just one bite from a flea can trigger the allergy. 

Regularly treating your pets with parasite protection is so important to prevent unpleasant itching for our pets. Using a vet recommended product is the best way to protect your pets. Remember that if you have signs of fleas, you should treat household furnishings and floor coverings as fleas can hide in the environment and jump back into your pets.

Just get in touch with your clinic if you’re concerned about pet allergens or parasites.

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