Many dogs and cats lick and scratch as result of itching (also called pruritis). The most common cause of itching is allergies, skin disease, dry skin, external parasites, infections and in rare cases, skin cancer. You can often see skin infections by looking closely at your pet’s skin; especially if you see dry patches and flaking. Elderly pets lick and scratch as they age if any of these conditions occur and can be treated with the help of your vet. It’s important to monitor your pet if they are constantly itching, licking or scratching.
There are many treatment options available for pets who constantly itch and scratch. Bathing your elderly pet can help alleviate the symptoms that are causing the itching. However, in some cases, long term antibiotics may be necessary in the case of a staph infection, or a medicated bath might be necessary in the event of fleas. Prescription allergy medication can also help if it is deemed that your elderly pet is suffering from allergies. However, antibiotics, steroids, and other medications are often a temporary fix that merely masks the real problem and in some cases can harm the immune system. Your vet can help determine what is the root cause of the itching and can help alleviate the symptoms.
Depending on the cause, your vet may recommend switching your pet to a specialty diet designed specifically for allergies. Diet is often attributed to constant itching, redness, paw biting, skin reactions and upset gut. Allergies can often be traced to feeding a diet that’s low quality and highly processed. Highly processed pet food makes your dog’s digestive system work overtime, often causing an adverse immune response. Allergic reactions such as constant licking and scratching are often merely symptoms of a bigger problem.
The bottom line there is no need for your pet to lick and scratch, especially if it is on a regular basis and especially if they seem agitated from the itching, scratching and licking. Talk with your vet if your pet’s licking, scratching or itching become troublesome for your pet. In time, your pet’s irritation can be resolved and he can go back to living without constant itching and will be more comfortable.
If your pet has allergies and they are causing your pet to itch and scratch, consult with your vet to determine the best course of treatment. If your vet determines that diet may be contributing to the problem, then switching to a specialty diet that is formulated to address allergies may help.
Dr. Harvey’s offers a specialty diet allergy formula that is made from the highest quality ingredients without the cheap fillers and highly processed allergens used in commercial kibble. This food nourishes on a cellular level, supporting good gut health and a strong immune system, plus it is free to try. Ditch the Itch! Visit their website to learn more or to get a free trial.
We do not endorse or promote any products or companies. You should always consult your vet to determine what is most appropriate for your senior pet.