Is your dog’s scratching more than “just an itch?” Actress and life-long dog lover Kate Walsh knows first-hand that dogs can be “off their game” because of allergic itching, leading to more serious problems if not treated by a veterinarian. Kate joins us today to share important info on how you can get your dog’s A-Game back.
As a lifelong dog lover, how did you know that Rosie was off her game?
Kate Walsh: She started scratching her face in sort of a cute way at first with both paws at the same time. And then it turned into a regular thing where it wouldn’t stop, and I realized pretty quickly it was probably allergies. So I took her into my veterinarian, and she prescribed Apoquel for Rosie.
How should we know when and if it’s more than an itch, and when it’s time for our pets to visit their veterinarian?
Kate Walsh: If the itching and scratching starts interrupting their regular daily activities — if they’re on a walk and they have to stop several times to scratch and itch or chew, or if they wake up in the middle of the night to chew, those are signs that there’s a problem. A lot of dog owners think oh, that’s just my dog itching but it’s likely allergies. If you see these signs, it’s a good idea to visit your veterinarian and see if Apoquel might work for you. It certainly worked for Rosie.
How should people with pets avoid allergies for some of their animals?
Kate Walsh: It’s hard to avoid allergens because so many allergies are environmental and are out of our control – just like humans with pollens or grasses, or during certain times of the year. For some dogs it’s seasonal allergies, some are perpetual and year-round. There’s really no way to prevent them so it’s about going to the veterinarian and seeing what they have to say. It’s also important to understand that dog allergies manifest differently than human allergies do. In dogs, allergies show as skin itching, chewing and hotspots – not coughing and sneezing like humans.
And how did you help Rosie get her A game back?
Kate Walsh: Well, I got her on Apoquel right away. Within a couple of days she was back on her A-game, happy, smiling, walking, tail wagging, able to relax and not scratching her face constantly. One of my favorite parts about this partnership is how we’re encouraging everyone out there to go to MyDogsAGame.com or use the hashtag #MyDogsAGame on social media to share a picture of your dog. For every photo uploaded, Zoetis will donate $10 to the K-9 Courage Program, which is an awesome program that provides medical services to retired service dogs, military service dogs, police service dogs. So that’s a really exciting aspect of this partnership as well. We’re not just raising awareness about what dog allergies look like, but really contributing and making sure all dogs are well cared for.
And what inspired you to represent an organization to help Canine Courage?
Kate Walsh: I love dogs. I’ve always loved them. I’ve grown up with them–they’re just so special and intuitive. I’m also a big fan of our service men and women and everything that they do for our country – so the partnership was a perfect fit. Most people don’t think about how retired service dogs are cared for, and the fact that the K9 Courage program helps support the medical care for retired service dogs is really cool.
So you’ve always been an advocate for pets?
Kate Walsh: Oh yeah. I have always been a big pet adoption advocate and an animal lover. I mean if I could, I’d be on a farm somewhere with lots of cats and dogs.
And where can our listeners go for more information?
Kate Walsh: You can go to MyDogsAGame.com If you have any questions, there’s actually a short quiz on there as well to help you determine if your dogs may have allergies, as well as more information about finding the right treatment like Apoquel.
About Kate Walsh
Actress, dog lover and animal rights activist Kate Walsh can be seen on recent and upcoming projects, including Netflix series, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY, and films, SELL BY and 3022.
Walsh has starred in award-winning series, including the ABC dramas GREY’S ANATOMY and PRIVATE PRACTICE, as well as the Netflix features 13 REASONS WHY. She was seen in Universal’s hit comedy, GIRL’S TRIP, alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Regina Hall, the Netflix feature, #REALITYHIGH and Sony’s MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE. She also recently starred in the off-Broadway play IF I FORGET, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and Drama League award.
Today, Walsh has teamed up with leading animal health company, Zoetis, to educate dog owners about a cause close to her heart – allergic dog itch. Walsh has credited her two rescue dogs for helping her through the most difficult times, but when her dog Rosie was diagnosed with allergic itch, it was time for Walsh to help Rosie get her A-Game back. Like Rosie, some dogs are “off their game” because their allergic itch gets in the way of doing things they love. Kate is encouraging dog owners to recognize when their dog’s scratching can be more than just an itch – and if it’s caused by an underlying condition, like allergies. As part of the program and in honor of Itchy Pet Awareness Month, pet owners can share a photo of their own pet’s “A-Game” on social media using the #MyDogsAGame hashtag, which will trigger a $10 donation (capped at $25K) by Zoetis Petcare to its K-9 Courage Program, which provides healthcare assistance to retired military and police dogs as well as active service dogs that assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Posts using the hashtag may also be featured on an interactive gallery on the “MyDogsAGame.com” website.