You may be unaware of this, but dogs and cats can suffer from seasonal allergies just like humans can, though not always in the same way. While humans usually experience respiratory problems (sneezing, runny noes, etc.), dogs usually suffer more from allergic dermatitis (skin rash or irritation). If not taken care of, these allergies can make your pet very uncomfortable during certain times of the year and could lead to serious infections.
Types of Dog Allergies
There are two main types of allergies that dogs commonly experience: food allergies, which can last all year round, and environmental allergies, which dogs typically experience more during the spring, summer, or fall, rather than during the winter. So, if your dog deals with allergic reactions all year round, it’s more likely due to a constant, such as something he eats or is exposed to all year long. If your dog experiences the symptoms listed below primarily during the spring and fall, however, it’s probably due to seasonal changes in the environment. Molds and pollen from trees, grass, and weeds are common seasonal allergens for dogs (and humans).
According to ASPCA, these are common symptoms of dogs with allergies:
- Itchy skin
- Moist skin
- Increased scratching
- Chewing on paws
- Itchy ears
- Ear infections
- Itchy and runny eyes
- Constant licking
If any of these look familiar to you, your dog may be suffering from allergies, so keep reading.
SKIN: If your dog has allergies, he’ll probably be itchy because of skin inflammation or irritation. You might notice him rubbing up against things and scratching a lot or even biting at certain areas on his body. This could make the area where he’s scratching sensitive and red, sometimes even to the point of bleeding or producing sores, scabs, or losing some hair.
EARS: When dogs have allergies, their ears are often itchy. If not treated, the itchiness could turn into something more serious, such as a bacteria or yeast infection. If your dog has one of these infections, you might notice a discharge from his ears that produces an odor.
What dog breeds most commonly experience allergies?
Any kind of dog can experience allergies, but it’s more common in certain dog breeds like bulldogs, pugs, terriers, setters, and retrievers.
What do I do if I think my dog has allergies?
If you think your dog may be suffering from allergies this spring, take him to your veterinarian. He or she will help you get to the bottom of the source of your dog’s allergic reaction and help you determine what is causing the discomfort. It may not be an easy thing to find and your vet might need to conduct several tests to find the answer. In the next blog post, we will discuss several home remedies that you can try as well to help your pet.
A Few More Tips
An easy way to help keep outdoor allergens out of the house it to remove your shoes at the door, so you don’t track anything inside. Wipe down your dog’s paws with a cool rag so he doesn’t bring allergens inside either. This will help not only your dog, but everyone in the house suffer less from spring allergies.
Aside from environmental allergens like pollen, your dog could also be suffering from dust and dust mites from inside your home. Be sure to vacuum and dust your home regularly. Clean windows, bedding, underneath your bed, and around your dog’s favorite hangout spots throughout the home. By getting rid of household allergens, you’ll provide a cleaner and fresher environment for you and your pet.
Since spring is right around the corner, and the warm weather is already here for many of us, be sure to treat your dog for fleas and ticks on a monthly basis. Ask your vet for what kind of treatment he or she recommends for your dog.
Have you recently adopted a dog from your local animal shelter? Here’s an eBook with 10 great tips to make this transition period easier for you and your new dog.
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The information contained in The Dog’s Way website is presented as public service information only. It is not intended to be nor is it a substitute for professional veterinary advice. Consult with your vet for diagnosis of and questions about your dog’s condition. The Dog’s Way occasionally supplies links to other web sites as a service to its readers and is not in any way responsible for information provided by other organizations.