Spring is in the air, and along with beautiful flowers come common allergens: ragweed, pollen, and mildew. Do you know who feels the effects of these springtime irritants? Your pets. Just like us, dogs and cats can have seasonal and non-seasonal allergies, which is why we want to explain how these affect your pet and what you can do to help.
What Causes Pets to Have Allergic Reactions?
An allergic reaction occurs when a pet’s body misidentifies an allergen as a harmful intruder. The body’s immune system responds by trying to neutralize and get rid of the allergen. This reaction causes a release of histamines that cause sneezing, hives, and digestive issues.
What Are Common Signs of Allergies in Pets?
Pets experience a wide range of allergies and the symptoms that come along with them. From internal issues like an upset stomach to external ones like developing a rash, recognizing the symptoms can help you better understand your pets allergies.
Gas, diarrhea, hives, rash, and vomiting can be signs that your pet is allergic to something in his or her diet. One of the most common signs is your dog scratching or rubbing their face, tummy, or bottom. Cats also experience itchy regions as the result of a food allergy.
Fleas aren’t fun and they’re even worse for dogs and cats that are allergic to them. Flea allergies cause the bite area to itch and sting for hours to days after getting bitten. If you notice your dogs or cat has bald patches, dry, chapped skin, and excessively bites and chews, your pet may have and be allergic to fleas.
When your pet has seasonal or environmental allergies, you’ll notice itchy, watery eyes, and scratching from head to tail. Does your dog or cat groom excessively after spending time outside? They may be feeling itchy from contact with grass, even just the type on your lawn.
How Do We Diagnose and Treat Your Pet?
Allergic reactions can seriously impact your pet’s quality of life. Nearly all of these allergies cause excessive scratching so it can difficult for pet parents to figure out why their companion is suffering. We can help diagnose your pet and prescribe a medicine that can help reduce symptoms.
If your pet has a severe or chronic allergies, we can run tests or help plan an elimination diet. We can also administer allergy shots, prescribe antihistamines, corticosteroids, or topical medicines.
What Can You Do If Your Pet Has Seasonal Allergies?
If your dog or cat suffers from seasonal allergies, there are simple ways you can reduce symptoms and exposure.
- Keep your windows closed in the morning and evening.
- Avoid walking your dog right after dawn or before dusk.
- Wipe your dog or cat off when they come inside.
- Use a hypoallergenic air filter in your home.
- Use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.
- Vacuum often and run household linens through the wash regularly.
- Provide your pet with a supplement that helps repair and calm the skin.
- Wash pet bowls frequently.
Don’t Let Your Pet Sneeze Away the Spring
Your pet deserves to enjoy a life without itchy skin and watery eyes. If you suspect your pet has allergies, make an appointment to see us soon. We can help put a spring back into your pet’s step this season!
Image credit: Katarzyna Modrzejewska | Pexels