A dog rubbing against a tree to relieve an itchThe wheezing, the sneezing, the inflammation and itching…seasonal allergies can make any one of us feel mildly to miserably uncomfortable. And, the same is true for animal companions when they struggle with pet allergies.

Unfortunately, many pets suffer through symptoms when they remain undiagnosed, untreated, or simply needlessly exposed to the allergens.

Detecting Seasonal and Flea Allergies in Pets

Allergens can be active year-round, depending on what your pet is allergic to. And, many pets who live with allergies are impacted by more than one type of allergy.

If your pet hasn’t had allergy testing or a thorough assessment and treatment plan for managing his allergies, we recommend doing so by scheduling an appointment. This will help not only determine how to better avoid the culprit allergens but also will allow for prescriptions that will help your pet feel better.

As a rule, most pets will be allergic to certain foods, flea bites, atopy or airborne spores and pollens, and contact allergens (like a chemical, household product, plastic, etc.).

Depending on what type of allergy your pet is experiencing, some of the following symptoms may arise:

  • Scratching
  • Chewing at skin or paws
  • Sneezing or wheezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Hair loss, sores, scabs, or skin redness
  • Head shaking
  • Redness of ears

In many cases, treatment will include one or more of the following: medications, prescription diets, topicals, medicated shampoos, and supplements.

Tips to Minimize the Impact of Pet Allergies

Along with seeking veterinary care for your pet’s allergies, there are some things you can do at home to reduce his exposure to certain allergens and to encourage overall health.

Some tips for caring for your allergic pet include:

  • Using air filters in the home and keeping windows and doors shut, especially on breezy days
  • Swapping out carpeting for tile or wood floors and laundering pet bedding with a hypoallergenic detergent once a week
  • Wiping off paws with a damp washcloth after playing outside
  • Brushing your pet’s coat daily and bathing him once a week using a medicated prescription shampoo or a soothing oatmeal based product for skin sensitivities (ask us for recommendations)
  • Preventing fleas year-round by keeping all pets in the home (even those indoor kitties) on a once monthly preventive
  • Avoiding morning walks, when the pollen count is at its peak
  • Steering clear of weedy, overgrown areas when out on those daily walks
  • Swapping out any know items that cause contact reactions – such as plastics, synthetic materials, or fabric sprays – with alternative natural materials and hypoallergenic products
  • Stick to your pet’s veterinarian recommended daily diet and supplement schedule, if the allergies are food related

If you would like more tips and recommendations to prepare for fall seasonal pet allergies, please contact The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center.