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Making Heads, Tails, and Toes of Seasonal Pet Allergies

2020-04-03

Spring is here! And for many pets, so are hives on their bellies, itchy paws, watery eyes, and near-constant sinus discomfort. Humans aren’t the only ones that experience seasonal allergies. If you’ve noticed your dog tearing up, your cat obsessively licking her paws, your pet may be one of many that struggles with spring allergies. While allergies may seem like nothing to sneeze at, they can make your companion feel miserable.

Want to learn how you can identify these allergies and what you can do to help? We’re here to help you make heads, tails, ears, nose, and toes when it comes to springtime allergies for pets.

Signs Your Pet Might Have Seasonal Allergies

If your pet has watery eyes, it’s not because they’re emotional, but they could be experiencing an allergic reaction. For example, if you notice your dog or cat’s eyes tear up more after they’ve been outside, they could be allergic to pollen. Some of the other signs of pet allergies include:

  • Redness in and around the eyes
  • Pawing at the eyes
  • Red, itchy ears
  • Flakey skin
  • A rash or crusting
  • Bald patches and hot spots
  • Inflammation of feet
  • Red bumps between toes and excessive licking of paws
  • Rubbing against the walls, floor, furniture
  • Ear infection, often paired with an odor
  • Head-shaking
  • Sneezing

What Are Pets Allergic To?

Airborne Allergies

Most seasonal allergies are airborne, in the form of pollen, mold, and dust. As seasons come and go, they wax and wane in their intensity. Allergies to grass can cause your pet discomfort from spring all the way through fall, while other pollens like ragweed, cherry blossoms, and oak may only be prevalent in your area for a short time. 

Dust and mold are two other environmental allergens that tend to flare up but dissipate after the weather dries out, and we change air filters and open windows in our homes. 

Pets can even be allergic to other pets. With the springtime shed in full swing, your pet may not be able to escape the effects of their sibling’s dander.
 

Flea Allergies

Did you know that pets can have an allergic reaction to fleas? We often see a resurgence of this allergy in spring and summer when these bugs are most active. 

While flea bites irritate every pet, flea allergy dermatitis amplifies the misery a dog or cat feels when they’ve become infested with the parasite. Because the allergic response is triggered by the flea’s saliva, one bite can continue to itch for up to two weeks. In response, pets scratch and scratch the same area, damaging the skin and making it vulnerable to infection.

What Can You Do to Help Your Pet Deal with Allergies?

With some small changes or additions to your routine, you may be able to reduce the symptoms of your pet’s seasonal allergies. We recommend:

  • Add a dietary supplement with omega-3 and 6s to encourage healthy skin and reduce itching.
  • Walk your dog in the morning when pollen levels are lower. 
  • Close windows midday to keep pollen from entering your house. 
  • Year-round preventative care for fleas, ticks, and other parasites.
  • Wipe your pet’s feet when they come in from the outdoors.
  • Give your dog a foot soak.
  • Change your A/C filter and switch to a filter designed to reduce allergens. 
  • Wash your pet’s bedding frequently.

If your pet doesn’t see improvement after trying these suggestions or is experiencing more severe allergic reactions, determining the source of the allergy is the next step. Using allergy tests, we’ll find the root cause of their discomfort and use desensitization therapy to relieve their symptoms.

Pet Allergies Are Nothing to Sneeze At

Let’s put the pep back in your pet’s step and make spring the best time to be a cat or dog. Have questions about supplements, allergy tests for your pet, or flea prevention? Make an appointment today

Photo Credit: Pexels

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