Though they don’t suffer from respiratory symptoms like most humans do from allergens, our pets do suffer at the hands of irritating allergies. Over half of pet owners are not aware that their pets can spend the spring season battling pollen and other environmental allergens, according to Novartis Animal Health. So, if you’ve noticed your dog a little itchier than usual, allergies may be the culprit. Learn about allergies in pets and how you can help provide relief for them during the spring season.
Signs of Allergies in Your Pet
For dogs and cats, allergies manifest in a much different manner than we’re used to. Rather than a runny nose or scratchy throat, your pet’s allergies will likely be in the form of skin irritations or inflammation. They’re skin becomes very itchy until they start scratching or chewing excessively on the affected area. If left untreated, their allergies can lead to hair loss, open sores, scabbing and even hotspots.
A sign to look out for, other than itching, is redness in certain parts of their body like the eyes, mouth, chin, paws, and even anus. Dogs are especially susceptible to ear problems during generalized allergic reactions. Pets with seasonal allergies and weak lungs may also develop sinusitis and bronchitis. While not common in pets, they may develop itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and coughing.
Types of Pet Allergies
Pets are prone to suffering from food or environmental allergies. If you notice your dog or cat itching during specific times throughout the year, typically during the warmer months, they may simply be reacting to outdoor allergens. Bear in mind that allergies can be seasonal or year-long. If your furry friend is itching year-round, the root of the problem may be something constant in the environment or in their diet. Some seasonal allergies can eventually affect your pet year-round, so it’s better to treat the signs early on.
Helping Your Pet Find Relief
Contact your local veterinarian if you think your pet may be suffering from allergies. For persistent allergies, it’s best to find the root of the problem. Whether seasonal, environmental or food allergies are to blame, knowing the cause of your pet’s allergies is the first step in helping them. Call the Valley Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced veterinarians at (956)787-2709. For other itch-relief tips, check out the list below:
- Baths with soothing shampoos and oils
- Foot soaks to reduce spreading of outdoor allergens
- Vacuum and clean areas where pets spend a lot of time
- Consider a grain-free diet