It’s Itchy Pet Awareness Month in August

mt. carmel animal hospital itchy pet awareness month

In honor of Itchy Pet Awareness Month, Mount Carmel Animal Hospital wants to share more information regarding allergies in dogs and cats

It’s Itchy Pet Awareness Month in August, and itchy dogs and cats may be telling you something else about their health. Many pet owners are unaware that itchiness might often be a symptom of a problem requiring treatment. Causes for chronic itching can range from parasites or nutritional needs to food or environmental allergies. So, in honor of Itchy Pet Awareness Month, Mount Carmel Animal Hospital wants to share more information regarding allergies in dogs and cats and how pet parents can contribute positively to this critical cause.

Allergies in Dogs and Cats

One of the most prevalent medical conditions affecting dogs and cats is allergies. Common allergens include fleas, environmental (pollen, house dust, mold, grasses, etc.), and food ingredients.

Environmental allergies are the most common skin allergies we see in our pets. Some can occur seasonally, like grass pollens. However, others are constantly with our pets, like mildew, molds, and house dust mites. Pets with environmental allergies will show dermatological signs more often than stuffy noses and puffy eyes like we experience.

Although food allergies are often more talked about, they only account for about 10% of allergies in pets. The most prevalent food allergens in dogs are proteins, particularly those from beef, dairy, chicken, soy, or wheat gluten. Food allergies can present as itchy skin but can also show up as GI upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea.


Environmental and food allergies often present similar symptoms, such as:

  • Ear infections
  • Itchy skin that flakes
  • Head shaking and ear scratching
  • Face rubbing
  • Sneezing
  • Eye discharge
  • Respiratory problems
  • Excessive paw licking and biting
  • Hot spots


Determining the precise allergen affecting your pet can be difficult. There is blood testing available that can test for both environmental allergies. Testing is also available for food allergens, but often when diagnosing pet food allergies, the best and most effective method is the elimination trial approach. An elimination trial is when your pet is on a hypoallergenic diet for at least two months to determine whether their symptoms improve.


You can alleviate your pet’s allergy symptoms by treating them with anti-allergy medication, preventing exposure to allergens, and treating secondary skin infections with antifungals, antibiotics, or ear medications. Also, avoiding exposure to allergens may include limiting walks through parks with high pollen levels, vacuuming more to reduce dust mites, and cleaning your dog’s bedding more often. There are also immunotherapy treatments available that can be given to your pet to help reduce their symptoms.

Ultimately, it can take time to determine what triggers your pet’s allergies and how to treat them best. So, take advantage of this Itchy Pet Awareness Month to become a knowledgeable advocate for your furry companion!


Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!

This entry was posted on Friday, August 11th, 2023 at 10:22 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.