Your Pet's Behaviour Could be a Tell-Tale Sign of Something More Serious

Royal Canin, CAVD, CEVA and Zoetis launch annual campaign to educate Canadians about pet skin health

TORONTO, Aug. 11, 2021 /CNW/ – The Empathy for Itch campaign, a joint initiative between the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Dermatology (CAVD), CEVA, Zoetis and Royal Canin to educate and encourage pet owners to think about their pet’s skin health more frequently, launches today with a clear message to Canadian pet owners: if you have an itchy pet, it’s time to see your vet!

In the past year, ‘pandemic’ pet ownership has soared with approximately 3.7 million Canadians having adopted, purchased or fostered a cat or dog. However, when we combine this increase in pet ownership with the less known statistics of 1 in 5 Canadian pets currently suffering from allergic disease and requiring treatment from their vet, the Empathy for Itch campaign recognized the importance of better empowering pet owners to feel supported in tackling their pets skin health and the hidden suffering associated with dermatological issues.  

Skin health is often overlooked in pets, and when it comes to skin conditions (particularly itchy skin), the path to relief is not a one-size-fits all solution. Pet owners should feel confident knowing what is healthy and what to monitor when it comes to their pet’s skin. They should also feel empowered to speak with a veterinary team when they’re concerned, as they are the best source of truth and support and can help pet owners navigate complexities associated with dermatological conditions.

“Pet owners need to know the importance of keeping an eye of their pet’s skin health since pruritus, or itching, can also be due to an underlying health issue that could run more than just skin deep,” says Jennie Tait, AHT, RVT, Charter Member VTS (Dermatology) and Executive Committee Member of the CAVD. “Excessive licking, chewing, biting, scratching, and rubbing are all forms of itching, and a sign that a pet has a skin issue. While some itching is normal in our furry friends, excessive itching, hair loss, pink skin, darkened skin, and even rust-coloured areas of hair, can all indicate that it is time to make an appointment to check their skin, coat, and ears. I can’t say it any easier – itchy pet? See your vet.” 

Skin issues can cause pets great discomfort and significantly reduce their overall quality of life.  If left untreated, they can also lead to greater health concerns. Once identified, most issues can be managed through a combination of the right diet, medication, and topical solutions, giving the pet back the comfort and wellbeing they deserve.

“The objective of the Empathy for Itch campaign is to educate pets owners to seek a veterinary consultation when their pet begins to show signs of skin-related ailments, and to showcase what a healthy coat and skin should look like,” says Meghan Hewitt, Trade Marketing Manager – Veterinary Division at Royal Canin. “We want pet owners to feel supported and empowered to address their pet’s overall health, including their skin.”

Debunking the myths

It is important to pay close attention to your pet’s behaviour consistently to help spot any potential dermatological issues early on, particularly during the warmer months when skin issues can progress quickly due to heat and humidity. Understanding that all pets are different, and no two will exhibit the same signs, here are a few key things to look out for:

  • Have you noticed excessive licking and scratching? This can be a sign that your pet has a skin issue. Chances are that if you’ve noticed it, they are doing it even more than you see and it is time to see the vet.
  • There are some signs that are less obviously related to a dermatological concern. These include: dandruff (scaling skin), staining between the toes from excessive licking, strong odour, greasy skin or fur, and thinning of coat.

The key to success is teamwork. Through working closely with your veterinary team, asking and answering questions openly and honestly, a solution can be reached It is important to visit the vet for proper diagnosis and effective treatment, as vets can assist pets to getting on the right path to an overall improved quality of life. For more information on the Empathy for Itch campaign and to gain access to helpful information and tips check out:

*based on CAHI 2018 data.

About Royal Canin

Royal Canin is a global leader in science-based health nutrition for cats and dogs. Founded by veterinarian Jean Cathary in 1968, Royal Canin has over 50 years of experience in delivering precise nutritional solutions.  Passionate about creating a better world for pets, Royal Canin collaborates with expert teams of nutritionists, breeders and veterinarians from around the world to ensure cats and dogs are at the very center of the innovation process. A subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, Royal Canin’s diverse product line is tailored to the unique demands of size, age, breed, lifestyle or therapeutic requirement, and is available at veterinary hospitals and pet specialty stores throughout Canada.  For more information about Royal Canin’s Canadian operations, visit

SOURCE Royal Canin

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