You’ve done everything right in bringing home your new furry friend but for some reason, they keep on scratching – and not just a little scratch, they’re scratching so much that you’re sure something must be wrong. Whether your pet is a young pup or kitten or a little older, your beloved pet can develop itchy skin at any age and for a whole host of different reasons. Before we look at the reasons why let’s look at the signs… What are the signs of itchy skin in your pet? A little scratch behind the ear with a hind leg is totally normal for all cats and dogs but if you’re seeing your pet do the following, especially on a regular basis, then this may be where you need to intervene. Chewing or nibbling at their skinOver-grooming and excessively licking – cats may even pull out their coatThinning or balding patches in their coatRubbing their face and body on furniture or carpetsHot spots, dry and flaky skin – dandruff especially!Cats may even cough up lots more furballs So what is the possible cause of this behaviour in your pet? Why is my pet itching? Pests and parasites, environmental factors and allergies including food can all be the cause of your pet’s itching so let’s look at them each in detail. Pests – fleas, ticks and mites Fleas, ticks and mites tend to be the most common cause of pet itching, especially if you haven’t kept up with regular worming and flea treatment, or if your treatment doesn’t kill off all these different pests. The first step here is to check the treatment you have been giving to your pet to make sure it will fight off fleas, ticks and mites, and if it does, to give your pet a dose of treatment. If it is one of these pesky pests, this should help to stop the itching. The second step is you’ll need to disinfect your home by; hoovering thoroughly, washing all pet bedding and soft furnishings (like cushions) on a 60-degree wash, using a flea spray (especially in hard to clean areas) and finally, letting your now treated pet back into the infested area – the treatment on your pet will kill any remaining larvae that have or will hatch into adult fleas. To help you keep these pests at bay in the future, you need to keep on track of this treatment so we’d recommend setting a reminder in your calendar for every 4 to 6 weeks. Environmental factors Just like us humans cats and dogs can have sensitive skin and things like grass, pollen, cleaning detergents (from lying around on cushions or cuddling up against your clothes) and the central heating can also cause your pet to excessively itch. Depending on the cause, a natural supplement may help! If your pet’s skin is dry from central heating, our Omega EFA advanced oil may be the perfect solution and it has added bonuses of making your pet’s coat look super shiny as well as supporting their joints. For grass and pollen allergies, our itchy skin and immunity care chews may help as they help your pet to develop a healthy immune system that can then fight off allergies. Both of these all-natural supplements take a little bit of time to take effect so in the meantime your pet may also benefit from our itchy skin soothing liquid foam – with Aloe Vera it quickly helps to relieve itchy, irritated skin and the bittering agent helps to deter gnawing and chewing. It also eliminates the need for ointments and gels and can be used alongside spot-on flea products. If treating for pests and environmental factors don’t stop your pet from itching, your pet could be allergic to their food! Food allergies If your cat or dog is allergic to their food it is likely they are experiencing some other symptoms along with the ones mentioned above. These symptoms include loose poops and smelly wind. The first thing to check is the food you are giving your pet is of high-quality – we’d recommend anything with a high percentage of meat or fish, such as our daily digestion food for dogs and our daily digestion food for cats – both of which are made up from 50% (or more) fish. But, what if your pet is actually allergic to the meat or fish in their food? This is where it may get a little more complicated. Think about whether your pet has had the same main ingredient since birth, or since you have rehomed them. Are there grains in their food? What about soya? The process here is simply trying new foods with different ingredients to weed out the one causing the allergy. If your pet currently has a meat-based food, maybe try a grain-free food (like our daily digestion) with a fish as the main ingredient – it could be they’re allergic to grain but beef, chicken or turkey is too rich for their tum. Want to know more about pet allergies? Read our blog “What causes pet allergies and how can we treat them? – written by Dr Cristina Diaz-Madronero PgC(SAD) MVB MRCVS, vet and author of The New Pet Parent Book. Of course there could be other things causing your pet to itch so if you’ve tried all of these or you think any of these are highly unlikely, we’d recommend you seek the advice of a vet – all Broadreach members have access to free veterinary advice 24/7. If you have any questions about any of our products, you can also contact us by calling 01223 855857 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.