Does Your Dog Have Seasonal Allergies?
Dogs love diving right into nature, so it can come as a surprise to some dog owners that their pets can also get seasonal allergies to pollen and ragweed, just like humans. While our seasonal allergies usually take the form of itchy, watery eyes and sneezing, seasonal allergies in dogs usually takes the form of skin irritation and inflammation (although eye irritation and sneezing can also be present).
Watch for changes in your dog’s behaviour like excessive scratching, biting of fur, or rubbing up against walls, carpets or furniture. Scratching can also lead to redness of the skin (or “hot spots”), sores, or loss of fur.
If your pooch suffers from seasonal allergies, there are some steps you can take to manage your dog’s symptoms:
The at-home spa treatment
Dogs can carry allergens on their skin, fur and paws. You can help manage your dog’s symptoms and prevent the spread of allergens indoors by giving your dog regular baths and foot soaks. For dogs with irritated skin, there are shampoos specially formulated for dogs with inflamed or sensitive skin. Speak to your veterinarian about which shampoo is best for your friend and how often to use it.
Keep high traffic areas clean
Make sure your dog’s favourite parts of the house are as allergen-free as possible. This means cleaning floors and your pet’s bedding regularly with non-toxic, pet friendly cleaning products. Air filters can also help remove any airborne allergens from your home, especially on days when allergen counts are high.
Dogs with mild seasonal allergies can also benefit from omega-3 fatty acids and antihistamines, with occasional use of steroids. Dogs who have stronger symptoms or who suffer from year-round allergies may benefit more from an allergy shot. Talk to your veterinarian about the best course of action for your dog.
When it comes to giving your pup over-the-counter allergy medicine intended for humans, consult with your veterinarian about this beforehand. It’s easy to miscalculate dosage and often any reduction in scratching is the result of drowsiness.
To read more about allergies in pets, visit the ASPCA website.
Hats off to you
To all kind-hearted and hard-working people at SPCA: hats off to you. I love animals and admire the work you do.