If you’ve been sneezing more often than not lately, then Happy Allergy Season. You may have also noticed that your pet is a bit more itchy than normal, too. That’s right, pets experience allergies in many of the same ways that we do. The only difference? They can’t tell you their symptoms. You just have to monitor them closely and try to understand what you can do to help them. If you notice your dog or cat acting differently this time of year, then learn to recognize the signs of allergies and how to try and treat them.
A dog or cat with a flea allergy can be affected by just one bite. Typical symptoms of the allergy are intense itching or scratching for days or even up to a week, resulting in rashes, loss of patches of fur, and even scabbing and bleeding. Remember that your pet doesn’t understand cause and effect like you do, so they can’t “just stop scratching” when they begin to bleed from itching too much; to them, they’re making it better. Talk to your vet about an antihistamine or a medicated shampoo to help soothe the itching. Consider inquiring about a new flea medication that might work better for your pet’s needs.
Pets can have food allergies just like people can. Beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb and soy are the most common food allergens in dogs, while common culprits in cats include beef, dairy and fish. Your pet could suffer from gastrointestinal or dermatological problems because of a food allergy. Because traditional blood testing is unreliable, you’ll need to try process of elimination with your pet. Eliminate the food and then reintroduce each one slowly, determining which one affects your pet negatively. Once you’ve figured it out, completely eliminate any foods which contain those ingredients from your pet’s diet.
Common irritants for your pets include dust mites, mold, mildew, and pollens from grass, trees and weeds. Pollens cause seasonal allergies, while other environmental allergens are problematic year-round. For these types of allergies, similar to you, your pet will need a reliable antihistamine they can take whenever their allergies flare up. It also helps to avoid exposure to whatever they’re allergic to. If your cat is allergic to dust or pollen, then keep your house as clean as you’re able, and try to keep them inside when trees or flowers are in bloom. Your cat may not be happy about it, but their immune system and sinuses will thank you for it in the long run.