Do Dogs Itch More in the Summer?

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Pool chemicals can dry out dog skin.
Pool chemicals can dry out dog skin. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Dogs can have sensitive skin, much like people do, and the summer months can bring on a host of itch-producing factors that can make a pup uncomfortable. Overscratching an itch or leaving a skin condition untreated can lead to infection. If you think your dog is suffering from any type of skin disorder, especially one accompanied by hair loss, scabbing or swollen, red skin, see your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Bugs

A variety of insects plague both people and dogs during the summer months. Your dog may be scratching more due to flea or fly bites, mites, mosquito bites or ticks. Dogs tend to spend more time outdoors during warm summer months, when these biting bugs are most prevalent, leading to the increase in bites. Help reduce bug bites by treating your dog with a tick and flea repellant during summer months, and avoid letting your dog run in heavy bug-infested areas, like ponds with standing water.

Chemicals

If you spray your yard and porch with insecticide to protect against bugs in the summer, your dog may have an itchy reaction to the chemicals you use. Many commercial products recommend a pet waiting period after applying yard chemicals, so read instructions carefully or ask your lawn care provider for advice. Common weed killers used in summer can also cause itchy skin irritations on pups, as can swimming in chlorinated pool water.

Allergies

Environmental summer allergens, also known as atopy, may cause your dog to itch more than usual. Your pup may be allergic to something blooming in your yard, or may be sensitive to high pollen counts and other allergens. You may see your pup experiencing itchy eyes or sneezing due to an irritated nasal passage. Talk to your vet about appropriate remedies. He may suggest some form of antihistamine or a topical agent.

Dry Skin

A dog’s skin can dry out in the summer, leading to flakiness and itching. Dogs with white fur are prone to sunburn, which can lead to irritated skin. Dogs who are outside a lot and get extra dirty probably get bathed more frequently, which can lead to a loss of natural skin oils, also causing itchy skin.

Skin Disorders

Your dog could be experiencing a health-related skin issue that presents with scratching. Scabies, manage and severe dermatitis often start out as itchy skin. See your vet if your dog develops welts, raw skin patches, or shows discomfort or severe scratching.

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