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In order to treat summer canine skin itching, the cause of the itching needs some investigation. A veterinarian should be consulted if the cause of the itching is not readily apparent. Itchy skin can originate from environmental, inhalant or food borne allergies, parasites such as ticks and mites, bug bites or from underlying medical conditions. Itchy skin can also be present in shedding dogs that are infrequently brushed or bathed.
In summer months, administer veterinary-approved parasite preventatives that are applicable for your area of the country. When properly used, these over-the-counter monthly preventatives keep irritating fleas, ticks, biting flies and in some cases mosquitoes and mites away from your pet. Flea shampoos, powders, dips and specialized flea combs can also help keep fleas at bay or remove existing pests from your dog's coat.
Another step in the process of keeping your dog pest free is to include antioxidant supplements in one of your dog's daily meals. Building your dog's immune system will boost his ability to naturally ward off the ill effects of biting insects. Over-the-counter herbal and natural-based flea products and immune-building antioxidants can be found at animal supply retailers.
Many dogs are allergic to plants or grasses that grow only in the summer months. If your dog is in constant contact with plant or other environmental allergens, regular bathing with gentle shampoos may ease the itch. Oatmeal-based shampoos and conditioners have skin-soothing properties. Choose a colloidal oatmeal-based shampoo with all natural non-irritating ingredients. These shampoos are typically very mild and can be used weekly if necessary.
Bathe your dog in tepid water and cleanse gently as not to over dry irritated skin. Avoid using hot air driers to dry your dog. Instead towel off excess moisture and allow your dog to air dry. Use a soft bristle brush to remove any excess coat once your dog is totally dry.
Dogs, like humans, experience the occasional non-specific itch. If the itching is contained to one or two particular spots or you cannot determine a cause, yet the itchy skin looks healthy, you can treat small areas of the skin with anti-itch creams or sprays. Small amounts of over-the-counter antihistamine creams appropriate for use on children can be used according to the manufacturer directions. You can also administer anti-itch sprays that are manufactured for canine use. These sprays can be administered directly to itchy areas following the directions for frequency.
- dog image by Krzysztof Gebarowski from Fotolia.com