Why has my pet become itchy as the weather has become warmer?

AAh the weather – the favourite topic of the British people! There is nothing better than when the clouds disappear and we get a run of hot sunny days ☀

But, sniff-sniff, warmer weather also increases the pollen count, and makes life tough for all the hay-fever sufferers out there. Our skin forms a really good barrier against all these pollens, and compared to dogs our skin is very thick. So we tend to suffer these pollens on non-skin areas, like eyes and noses.

Dogs, and cats, do not typically get hay fever in the same way people do, because of these skin differences. Instead they tend to get really itchy skin (and ears – because these are skin too!)

Pollens from grasses, weeds like dandelions and nettles, and trees are all possible culprits for making cats and dogs itchy. 

For some unfortunate animals, when their skin comes into contact with these pollens, it goes into overdrive. Seeing these particles as a foreign invader and working really hard to destroy them. All the body’s natural defences make the skin inflamed and irritated – and itchy!

For others, this will just be part of an all year around itch, which just gets worse at some points in the year (a flare-up). Some may never have had itchy skin before, and the sheer amount of pollen this year is enough to make them itchy. 

Pollens are not the only reason why your pet could be itchy in the summer – little creepy crawlies, fleas in particular, also love the warm weather, increasing their numbers far faster in the summer than in the cold winter.

So it is important to ensure that your pet’s flea treatment is kept up to date and that they are checked over regularly!

If pollens are a problem then how we keep these cats and dogs happy will depend a little bit on whether they are an ‘always itchy’ or a ‘never been itchy before’ kind of pet. If you think that your pet might be suffering itchiness because of this hot weather then please make an appointment with your usual vet; there are a variety of treatments and management techniques we can try, to help your pet go back to enjoying their summer!