Just like humans, our furry friends can have allergies, too. While some of the most common animal allergies are to food, fleas or environmental irritants such as dust, animals can also be prone to seasonal allergies due to a temporary increase in tree, grass and pollen. For animals, allergens are often inhaled or eaten, and cause problems elsewhere in the body.
Pet Allergy Signs
Many people miss the signs of allergies in their animals because they are looking for the same symptoms humans experience. Though some signs are similar, humans most commonly have respiratory issues during allergy season while animals are more likely to have skin problems.
Some common symptoms to keep an eye out for include dry, itchy skin, excessive licking and/or scratching around the eyes, tail and ears, runny eyes or nose, paw chewing, swollen paws, ear infections, sneezing, and snoring. Digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea may also occur due to allergies, but are a good indicator that the allergen is food-related.
Allergy Diagnosis in Pets
To diagnose allergies in your pet, your vet will likely recommend skin or blood tests, or a special elimination diet, to determine what’s causing the allergic reaction. In addition, they may be able to perform an intradermal skin test, similar to the one done on humans, to diagnose allergies. Depending on the severity of your pet’s allergies, they may benefit from a prescribed medication or even shots.
If food is not the issue, and your pet’s symptoms seem to flare up in fall or spring, chances are your dog or outdoor cat has seasonal allergies. But don’t worry – there are plenty of steps you can take at home to ease their suffering!
Pet Allergy Treatment
One of the best treatments for reducing pet allergies is to give them frequent baths. Use a shampoo that penetrates down to the skin and delivers moisturizing and nourishing ingredients, such as Vetericyn FoamCare Shampoo. Bathing helps relieve itchy skin, which may be caused by a common allergy to flea saliva, and will also wash away any allergens clinging to their coat.
To keep allergens from building up in your home, vacuum and dust regularly. You can also try wiping down your pets’ paws after they go outside, to keep them from tracking allergens back indoors. Make sure to use non-toxic cleaners instead of chemical ones, so as not to add any more irritants. You may also want to consider investing in an air purifier to remove any allergens from the air. Vetericyn Plus All Animal Wound & Skin Care works great for this type of daily maintenance.
If you notice your pet has itchy ears or eyes, use products specially formulated to flush irritants in these parts of the face, such as Vetericyn Plus All Animal Ear Rinse and Vetericyn Plus Eye Wash. Not sure where to start? Check out our At-Home Pet Care blog for tutorials on cleaning your pet’s ears and eyes!
Good hygiene and a clean home can go a long way to easing your animal’s allergies. If you notice persistent symptoms, contact a veterinarian for further assistance and treatment.
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