Why Is My Dog Always So Itchy In The Summer?

July 23, 2022
Amber LaRock, Vetted Vet Pro
Skin and grooming

If it seems like your dog’s itchy skin flares up in the summer heat, you are not alone. Many dogs will develop “the summer itch” as temperatures rise, causing them to fall into a cycle of skin scratching and biting.

Not only do we want our dogs to be comfortable and itch free, but we also want to prevent the complications that come along with constantly pawing at their skin. Vetted wants to help your pup find comfort in the warm summer months, so let’s introduce you to the many factors behind a dog’s summer itch!

Can Dogs Have Seasonal Allergies?

Just like you and I can, our little ones can experience seasonal allergies at different points throughout the year. Some plant material and pollen are more abundant during particular seasons, which is why some dogs will only have sensitivities throughout the summer.

If the allergen they are sensitive to only blooms in the summer months, this means they will typically only experience allergy symptoms between May-August. This is no different than those of us who struggle when ragweed levels are high, and some of our dogs may even have the same sensitivities as we do.

If you have a dog that struggles with seasonal allergies, we know just how complicated their situation can be. If you are in need of any additional assistance on how to offer them comfort, you can speak to one of our pet experts at any time with a Vetted membership. We are always happy to help!

Why Is My Dog So Itchy In The Summer?

With so many little ones experiencing itchiness during the summer months, many pet parents wonder what could be behind this irritating symptom. There are typically a combination of factors at play, so let’s dive into the details of each one below!

They Have A Specific Summer Allergy

As we mentioned above, many dogs will struggle with certain allergens that are present in the summer. Some of the most common irritants behind a dog’s summer itch include grass pollen, Ragweed, Sagebrush, Bermuda, and Timothy. If your dog is particularly sensitive to any of the irritants we just listed, they will often develop itchy skin when these levels are at their highest.

Fleas Are More Prevalent In The Summer

Warm weather is exactly what a flea needs to thrive. Flea eggs will often cocoon when temperatures drop below 50 degrees, but they will begin to hatch again once they rise above 70 degrees. This means that flea eggs around the globe are hatching once the spring and summer months come along, offering them ample opportunity to snack on your pet when they are outdoors.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while flea and tick prevention will prevent fleas from making a home on your pet, they can typically still bite your dog’s skin. This is due to the fact that many preventative options rely on the flea to bite the skin and ingest the flea toxin from their sebaceous glands, so dogs can still develop itchy skin if they are allergic to the flea bite itself.

Dogs Are Exposed To More Plant Material In the Summer

Even if your dog is not allergic to any plant material, it can still make them a bit itchy if they are rolling around in it! I’m sure many of us have experienced skin irritation from sitting in grass for long periods, and our little ones are no different. If your dog loves to roll around in the grass and have a blast when outdoors, this could lead to some residual itchiness.

But Bites Are More Common In The Summer

Just as fleas are more prevalent in the warm summer months, so are many other types of crawling critters. Bugs that are known to bite and sting are all around us when spring and summer roll around, and many of these bugs will bite our little ones when given the chance. Not only can these stings or bites lead to significant itching around the area, but some dogs are even allergic to these critters. If this is the case, your dog can have a full body allergic reaction.

Bacteria & Yeast Can Thrive In The Summer

When it is warm and humid outside, dogs are more prone to developing itchy yeast and bacterial infections. The humidity helps both yeast and bacteria thrive on a dog’s skin, quickly leading to an overgrowth of these microscopic invaders. Our dogs will then begin to scratch and bite at their skin, which only introduces more bacteria to the area. Before you know it, your pet will have an irritating skin infection.

How Can I Help My Itchy Dog In The Summer?

Our team at Vetted knows that you can’t protect your little one from each of the factors listed above, but there are a few ways to decrease the risk of skin complications to follow. We want your pet to enjoy their time spent in the sun, so let’s go over some of the most effective ways to help your dog’s itchy skin in the summer.

  1. Brush your dog daily: Brushing your dog daily can help to remove any allergens that are sitting within their fur, as well as to stimulate the natural oil production on their skin. Both of these benefits can help to prevent skin irritation down the line.
  1. Bathe your dog with a soothing shampoo: If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, a soothing bath can help to relieve their itchy skin. You can bathe them anywhere from twice to once a month based on how dry their skin is during the summer, and we suggest using a shampoo with ingredients such as aloe vera, oatmeal, honey, and coconut oil.
  1. Protect them from fleas and ticks: No matter where you are throughout the country, there will be fleas and ticks present in the summer months. Protecting your pet from these crawling critters will help them avoid significant skin irritation to come, as well as dangerous illnesses these insects carry. If you need some additional guidance on which flea and tick product to choose, you can always reach out to one of our pet experts with our 24/7 chat!
  1. Address any chronic allergies: If your dog is really struggling with their itchy skin, it may be time to reach out to your veterinary team for help. Our team at Vetted can offer you guidance on how to limit skin irritation moving forward, but you may need to reach out to your vet for a long term medical management plan.

Final Thoughts On Itchy Dogs

There is nothing worse than struggling with a case of itchy skin. Vetted wants to empower you through education on your pet’s health, and make sure you have all the tools you need to keep them healthy and happy!