It’s that glorious time of year again… Flowers are blooming, the grass is getting green and the allergies are back!
Just like humans, our pets may also suffer from seasonal allergies. Dogs and cats have two types of allergies, namely food allergies and seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies mainly occur during a certain time of year or season whereas food allergies would occur year round. What most people don’t realize is that seasonal allergies can progress to the point where they also occur year round, and that is why pet owners need to make sure they are aware of any allergies a pet may have and how to treat these.
The most common sign to look for is constant scratching. Seasonal allergies in dogs result in skin irritation or inflammation which causes extreme discomfort to dogs. Many of them would lick or scratch the itchy skin to such a degree that hair loss and bleeding occurs. Other signs are hot spots and constant gnawing of the paws. The pads underneath a dog’s feet often come in direct contact with allergens such as pollen or dust mites, so checking between these pads for redness can also help prevent discomfort. Alternatively, pets may also display common cold symptoms such as wheezing, sneezing and a runny nose or they could develop ear infections due to built up bacteria when the skin inside the ear becomes inflamed. During allergy season it is vital for pet owners to keep all these symptoms in mind and speak to your vet should anything concern you.
If your dog does suffer from seasonal allergies, there are a few steps you can take to help ease them through allergy season. Giving your dog regular baths will help keep his coat free from airborne pollen and allergens. Another helpful tip is to use pet wipes to clean their paws after every walk as well as giving them the occasional paw soak. This will also help with their allergies inside the house since they won’t be tracking these pollens throughout their space. Make sure to keep their beds and play areas clean and clear of allergens and speak to your vet about a balanced diet that can help build their immune system and fight off inflammation.
Should all of these methods fail or your furry friend’s allergies get progressively worse, you may need to seek medical treatment. A vet may decide to treat allergies with antihistamines, but these are unfortunately not effective for all dogs. The next step may be steroids but due to the long term side effects this is also not a permanent treatment option. In severe cases, allergy testing and immunotherapy will be advised.
Regardless of which treatment method you and your vet decide upon, the important thing is to always ensure that your furry best friend is living his best life possible!