Similar to us, pets can be affected by environmental changes throughout the year. Spring brings warmer weather, stronger sun, and a huge sense of relief. But it also reintroduces ragweed, grasses, pollens, dangerous molds and budding trees. Those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies know that these environmental changes can cause uncomfortable symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, itchy skin, and other respiratory-related ailments. But did you know that your pets could be suffering from allergies as well?
How Would You Know?
Allergies in pets, whether food-related or environmentally-triggered, are most often expressed through skin-related symptoms, and therefore are frequently mistaken as something else. Seasonal allergies in dogs and cats can appear as excessive itching and scratching (such as rubbing themselves on the carpet and furniture), or visible skin inflammations and irritations. Known as “allergic dermatitis”, these symptoms can cause your pet extreme discomfort and can be persistent, resulting in hot spots, hair loss, and open wounds. Generalized redness, including eyes, ears, gum tissue, belly and paws, is another sign of seasonal allergies.
How Would You Treat It?
Consulting a veterinarian is step 1. Because allergies vary, there are a variety of prescribed treatments available through your vet that can provide instant and long-lasting relief for your pets. Nevertheless, there are multiple things you can do at home to control the spread of allergens and to provide your furry-loved ones with some relief:
1. Regular baths using unscented or oatmeal shampoos can provide short-term relief from itchy skin. The oatmeal will hydrate the skin, protecting it from drying out.
2. Regular foot soaks will provide some relief to irritated paws and help prevent the number of allergens your pet can track into the house, which can compromise the indoor environment.
3. Vacuuming and cleaning floors regularly during the spring and summer months will help limit the number of allergens that make it inside. Just be sure to use non-toxic cleaning supplies, or even make them yourself!
If you would like to learn more about seasonal allergies in pets or how to avoid them, speak with a local vet today!