Tips to Help Itchy Dogs (and Everyone’s Sanity)

Is your dog scratching and scratching and chewing and chewing? Is your dog so uncomfortable in his/her own skin that there is no sleep for either of you? Does your dog look at you with big, sad eyes asking for help, saying "make this itch stop, let me sleep"? Well, the problem may be due to seasonal allergies.

dog scratching graphicAs the growing season changes from summer to fall, so do the plants that produce possible allergies in our pets. Just like some people, some dogs are more sensitive to spring plants, some to summer and some to what is now blooming.

Although lots of people think golden rod is a big contributor to allergy suffering, it is primarily an insect pollinator so there is little contact with the pollen. Actually, the big culprits right now are plants that use wind as their means of spreading their pollen such as ragweed, mugwort and sorrel.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

All members of the feline family except cheetahs have retractable claws. When a cat is walking around, the claws are retracted and don't catch on anything. This is also partly why cats can be so stealthy.

TCat Scratching Posthe claws grow somewhat like human fingernails, but also will shed the outer sheath periodically, leaving a sharper claw beneath.

To aid in removing the sheaths, cats scratch, often by stretching up and pulling downward. This action also helps to stretch out the spine and leaves a scent mark.

Scratching is a natural and necessary behavior for cats.

You cannot teach them never to scratch. However, you can provide an adequate scratching surface and then teach them to scratch only on that surface.

It is very important to provide appropriate scratching opportunities for cats right from kittenhood, so they learn where and where not to scratch.

Scratching Posts, Nail Trimming & Other Options

Cat with Soft PawsWe recommend trimming nails as frequently as necessary, training cats to use horizontal scratch pads or sturdy scratching posts (you must let them choose which they like better) and if desired, Soft Paws nail cap application.

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