How To Save Your Pet From "The Summer Itch"

After months of speculation, the weather Gods have finally decided to grant us some sunshine! Immediately followed, of course, by some intense rainfall. Nevertheless, summer is here at long last. Time to get out and enjoy the warmth with your favourite furry friend. Long warm walks and lake swims are among the many things for your pet to look forward to but, unfortunately, there is one thing that comes around at this time each year which no one enjoys – the dreaded “summer itch.” It’ll keep both your pet, and you, awake at night while causing them some serious discomfort. This irritation can come about for a whole variety of reasons – fleas, allergies, infections. The problem can come from many sources. Here’s a few potential reasons why your pet is so irritated, along with some ways you can help them out.

  1. Cause: Summer Allergies

Environmental allergies can be a real pain to deal with and can come from a whole host of places. Seasonal allergies are linked to plants and their lifecycles throughout the year. We go into detail on the different types of allergies and where they come from in our Spring Allergies blog (available here).

What can you do?

It sounds obvious, and it is, but it requires some careful thought and attention – remove the sources of the allergen from your home and from your pet. The two often go hand in hand. This can include upping the frequency of baths for your pet, or washing your dog’s paws after a good walk. Walkies time is prime time for picking up allergens outside, so be careful about what you bring back in when your pooch is all tired out. It’s also a good idea to ensure your pets skin is well looked after from the inside and out if you’re going to increase the wash frequency, as excess washing can remove healthy oils from your pet’s skin and make it more itchy. Hydrate from within too, by adding lots of healthy fats and possibly even supplements, and use a good moisturiser on their skin (such as our Dog/Cat Sprays).

  1. Parasites

Hot weather and sunlight are great boosters for wildlife and plant growth but, unfortunately, that means more fleas, harvest mites and other such parasites around to make your pet’s life a misery. Rainy spells in the summer can also boost the population of ticks, so there are a few different creatures to be aware of.

What can you do?

Again, vigilance is key. Make sure to do regular checks on your pet’s skin and coat, to see if any parasites have made their way onto them for what they think is a free lunch. As soon as you find them, take action immediately! We love natural remedies that repel bugs, such as the herbal supplement Billy No Mates along with, of course, with our own natural Insect Repellent!

  1. Shedding

Our pets switch from a winter coat, to a summer one, and back. This period of extreme shedding can cause itchiness and irritation – especially when combined with summer heat and/or humidity.

What can you do?

Be sure to brush your pet regularly. It removes dead hairs from their coat, stimulates the surface of the skin and distributes their natural oils for a clean and healthy coat which, if that’s the root of the problem, should lead to no more itching! It could also help to increase the frequency of bath time, too, although we don’t recommend doing too much more washing for reasons listed in point 1. Be sure to use a gentle Shampoo that doesn’t dry out your pet’s skin.

  1. The Temperature

If your pet suffers from existing skin conditions and is prone to irritation even in the cooler months, those issues can be aggravated by the summer heat.

What can you do?

Keep them cool, of course! The thicker the coat, the more likely it is for your pet to become overheated, so make sure to bring plenty of water with them when you’re out for a walk and make sure they have a nice cool spot, either in the garden or in the home, to crash out and relax in when they get back from their adventure on the lead. Cooling mats are another option, also, along with “cooling treats” that you can make at home, from banana, berries, chicken – whatever their favourites are! Taking your dog for a swim rather than a walk is also a great way to beat the heat. They might even like their own paddling pool!

We hope these handy tips and tricks will help get your pet back to their best. Everyone wants to enjoy the summer free from irritation and your pet is no different.