The heat of the summer months can bring extra concerns to dog, cat and horse owners. Mainly, keep the furry friends hydrated with always available fresh, clean water and provide shelter from the hot sun. For horses, fly repellent in the form of a spray or apparel is a must.
Bugs are also a problem for dogs and cats, especially fleas and ticks. There are new types of monthly treatments including a new flea collar that works for several months. See your vet for what will work best for your pet in your state.
Allergies here in Florida cause multiple problems especially to dogs. You may find scabs on their skin or see them licking paws and scratching more than usual. Here are a few tips to help relieve the itching:
- Bathe your dog with Oatmeal shampoo every 2-4 weeks, either by a groomer or do it yourself at home. Use an aloe conditioner after shampoo to help soothe the skin.
- Keep your dog's hair short; depending on the breed, have a groomer shave the coat or keep it at 3/8 to 1/2 inch so you can see the condition of the skin.
- Brushing the coat will help, but make sure you reach the scalp. Use a plastic men's comb for small breeds with hair that grows, and a rubber curry for short haired dogs. For long-haired large dogs, a rubber curry followed by a furminator comb or rake type comb will also remove the shedding hair.
- After walking outside to take care of business, wipe your dog's paws with washcloth or wet wipes to prevent invisible allergens from spreading to belly and the rest of the body. When they lick and scratch, they will spread allergens possibly causing crusty flakes or scabs. This usually occurs when dogs reach age 9 or so and their immune system is not as strong.
- Treat the scabby areas by removing hair (shave the area) and applying petroleum jelly or natural ointment (see The HealingCompanyStore,com - tell them Groomer Sharon sent you!). Don't use antibiotic ointment like Neosporin as the dog will get sick when he licks the area.
- Ask your vet for an anti-itch spray.