Dogs and cats can be allergic to many of the same things we are: foods, medications, household chemicals, dust mites, mold spores, pollens, and nearly anything else in the environment. Just like in humans, an allergic reaction in pets is caused by an overactive immune system that mistakes a non-harmful substance as a threat.
Many pet owners don’t recognize the signs of pet allergies because our furry friends exhibit different symptoms. While humans tend to suffer from upper respiratory issues like sneezing, coughing, sinus trouble and watery eyes, pets usually show allergic reactions through their skin.
Telltale signs of an allergy in your pet may include:
- Itchy, inflamed skin
- Excessive licking or chewing
- Rubbing face on carpet or furniture
- Frequent head-shaking
- Inflamed ears
- Recurrent ear infections
- Swollen paws
- Hair loss
Could it be Your Pet’s DIET?
Pets with food allergies are typically reacting from a specific protein that comes from an animal or plantbased ingredient in their diet. Some of the most common culprits include:
If food allergies are suspected, an elimination diet can pinpoint the ingredients that are causing your pet’s immune system to overreact. When determining a proper diet, it’s important to work with your veterinarian to ensure nutritional requirements are met.
Could it be the ENVIRONMENT?
While many of us are looking forward to spring and summer, for others it’s a reminder that allergy season is about to be in full bloom. But we’re not the only ones suffering. Pets are prone to seasonal allergies too as pollen, grasses, mold spores and weeds bring on misery in many forms. If your pet is suffering from a sudden onset of seasonal itchiness, there are several ways you can provide relief at home.
- Give regular baths with a hypoallergenic shampoo to wash away allergens.
- Keep windows closed when pollen counts are at their highest.
- Wipe down paws with a damp cloth once your pet comes in from outside.
- Keep your pet’s favorite areas clean by washing and vacuuming regularly: bedding, carpeting, couch covers and anywhere else dust and dander collects.
What We Can Do Together
Thankfully veterinary medicine has come a long way, and we now have a variety of tools at our disposal that can reduce your pet’s discomfort. From allergy and diagnostic testing to antihistamines, special ointments, shampoos and diets, we’ll help you create a game plan for keeping your pet happy and healthy all year round.