Zoetis Encourages Pet Owners to Visit their Veterinarians During 3rd Annual Itchy Pet Awareness Month this August

Skin issues remain a prevalent pet problem with itchy dog visits increasing 60% over the past five years

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – July 28, 2021 – Zoetis, the leading animal health company, is promoting the third annual Itchy Pet Awareness Month this August to raise awareness among pet owners of allergic itch in dogs as a medical issue. As veterinarian visits for itchy pets increased 60%over the past five years, it is more important than ever for pet owners to notice itching behaviors in their pets and discuss treatment options with their veterinarians to help improve their pets’ quality of life.

“We’ve been seeing an increase in itchy dogs over the past few years, and even more so during the pandemic,” notes Mark W. Hanlon, VMD, Medical Director, Owner of Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital in Gilbertsville, PA. “As people have been spending more time at home with their dogs, they have noticed itching behavior they might not have been aware of before. This is why it’s so important to shine a light on how common skin issues can be for pets and the importance of discussing itching behavior with a veterinarian, since effective treatments are available that can help make pets more comfortable.”

Itching can be caused by a variety of sources, including skin infection, parasites, and allergies to fleas, food and environmental allergens. While frequent scratching is an obvious sign of itch, dog owners might see other signs and symptoms of dermatological issues, such as:

  • Frequent licking, chewing or biting  
  • Excessive rolling, rubbing or scooting 
  • Recurrent ear problems (ear infections, head shaking, ear discharge/odor, or scratching at ears
  • Hair loss
  • Body odor 
  • Skin changes (rash, redness, greasy skin, scabs)

“Allergic skin disease including atopic dermatitis – an inflammatory, chronic skin disease similar to eczema in humans – was the top reason pet owners took their dogs to the veterinarian between 2012-2019,”ii  notes Michele Rosenbaum, VMD, DACVD, Veterinary Medical Lead, Dermatology at Zoetis Petcare (a U.S. business unit of Zoetis). “We also see frequent itching and scratching in dogs caused by skin infection from staph bacteria or yeast, hot spots – areas of intense irritation and damaged skin that lead to redness and oozing – and allergies to fleas, food and the environment.”

The best thing a pet owner can do if they notice itching behavior in their dog is to discuss the problem with their veterinarian and report all signs of skin issues, even if they seem minor or happen less frequently than others. A veterinarian will be able to better diagnose the cause of a pet’s discomfort and determine the best approach for treating the condition, which may include prescription medications that can help control itching and relieve inflammation. 

Zoetis has created a special website, www.ItchingForHelp.com, specifically for pet owners to learn more and to take the quiz: “Itching to Know.” 

Additionally, Zoetis is launching a new website for veterinarians, ItchyPetAwarenessMonth.com, providing free tools to spread the word. The website includes customizable Facebook and Instagram posts complete with a step-by-step guide for posting on these social platforms and a new Itchy Pet Awareness Month trailer video encouraging pet owners to schedule a visit with their veterinarian. Zoetis is also providing printable waiting room and exam room posters for veterinarians to further increase awareness of this important month within their veterinary practices. 

About Zoetis 
As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After nearly 70 years innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect, and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide - from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet owners. The company’s leading portfolio and pipeline of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and technologies make a difference in over 100 countries. In 2020, Zoetis generated revenue of $6.7 billion with ~11,300 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.

For Further information please contact: 
Colleen White 
908-666-5050 
colleen.white@zoetis.com

Jorge Suarez 
516-589-0896 
jorge.suarez@ketchum.com

References: 
iZMR: Vetstreet Zoetis Pruritus Projection Trend 2021 (v1.0) 
iiNationwide Insurance: Insurance Claims Reveal Most Common Aches and Pains (v1.0). 

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