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  • Sue

Summer skin problems

Updated: May 26

A pointer dog laying down on grass.

Most of us will be looking forward to the summer months and those longer, lighter days. For some dogs though summer brings a number of issues, from pollen to parasites – many skin problems peak during the summer months. They can be a real source of discomfort for dogs but there are things you can be on the look for and ways to combat that summer itch.


Allergies to pollen and grass

Like us, dogs can have sensitivities and allergies to their natural environment. If your dog seems to be excessively itchy, make a note of what they have been doing beforehand. If they are particularly itchy after they’ve come into contact with something specific, like grass, this could signal an allergy. Pollen and grass allergies are particularly common in the summer months. Keeping your pet’s bedding clean using a hot wash and unscented detergent is a great idea to remove any irritating allergens.


Hot spots and infections

The warmer, more humid weather can increase the risk of skin infections – especially in dogs with a dense coat or those who suffer from allergies. Some dogs become obsessed with certain areas and will wash them incessantly or even chew the skin, leading to hot spots and possibly infections. Groom thick coats regularly to remove moulted coat and keep an eye out for any areas that appear red or sore. Herbal support and topical products can help soothe the itchiness.



Fleas, ticks, and flies can all become more of a nuisance in the summer months. As well as treating your pet if they do have a problem, ensure your home is treated too. This will help to eradicate parasites and stop the cycle from reoccurring. Check your dog after every walk to ensure they have not picked up any ticks (as well as yourself) and use a tick remover to remove them correctly.


Grass seeds

Grass seeds can be a nightmare if they penetrate your dog's skin, feet, and ears, with skin folds also a common place to find them, so, as with ticks, make sure you check your dog after every walk. Here are some signs to look out for – if you think your dog has been affected by a grass seed, contact your vet straight away for advice.

  • Swollen, red lump, with blood or pus

  • Dog licking continually at site

  • Grass seed sticking out from the skin

  • Head shaking

  • Redness and painful to touch

  • Holding the head to one side

  • Loss of balance

  • Swollen, red eye

  • Excessive tear production

  • Rubbing the eye

  • Licking at the toes

  • Red, swollen area on the foot and between toes

  • Limping or holding the leg up

  • Repeated sneezing

  • Bloody discharge from nostril

  • Rubbing face on the ground

  • Difficulty breathing



If your pet has a thin coat or very little pigment, they may be at risk of sunburn. Regular sun damage can result in skin cancer developing. It’s also painful for your dog, just as it is for us. Always make sure they have access to shade and apply a pet-safe sun cream as needed to high-risk areas. Avoid outdoor activities in the hottest part of the day.


General signs to look out for on a regular basis

  • Redness, sore spot, or a rash

  • Increased scratching, rubbing, or licking

  • Flakiness and dandruff

  • Increased sensitivity

  • Hair loss

  • Smelly skin

  • Weepy skin



Dorwest herbal supplements are perfect for supporting sensitive or compromised skin.

Garlic & Fenugreek Tablets contain high levels of antioxidants and compounds to help maintain the body’s defences against infections and parasites. Garlic has also been known to provide a hostile environment for parasites such as fleas.

Green Releaf Tablets contain a powerful combination of specially selected green leafed herbs to help maintain healthy skin, particularly when it is sensitive; with soothing, cleansing and pH balancing properties. Green Releaf and Garlic & Fenugreek can be used together to help nourish and soothe itchy skin, whilst helping to stimulate and develop a strong immune system.

Skin Balm is ideal for pets who suffer with summer allergies, hot spots or for minor grazes and stings. It is lick-safe and can be applied regularly to help soothe, calm, and restore healthy skin.


It’s always important to speak to your vet if you’re worried about your pet’s skin, as there may be an underlying cause that requires treatment. Supplements can be used alongside most medications, but please check with your vet if you’re unsure.

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