Can You Spot Seasonal Allergies in Your Pet?

miniature pinscher scratchingSpring is finally in the air! The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and spring flowers are starting to bloom. Unfortunately, this means that seasonal allergies are also in full bloom – for humans and pets alike. But do you know how to spot seasonal allergies in your pet?

Many pet owners don’t recognize the symptoms of their pet’s allergies when they flare up. Your dog or cat’s spring allergies are more likely to manifest as itchy skin than the sniffles and sneezes we commonly associate with seasonal allergies.

Types of Pet Allergies

There are three types of allergies we see dogs and cats develop: environmental allergies, food allergies, and flea allergies. While food allergies are a problem all year, we see a dramatic increase in environmental and flea allergies when the weather warms up.

Seasonal allergies and flea allergies cause skin irritation. The first clue that these allergies are developing in our pets include:

  • Incessant scratching at a localized area

  • Chewing, biting, or licking at the paws

  • Red, irritated skin or hair loss

If not treated promptly, these itchy spots can quickly become raw and infected, which can lead to even greater health concerns for your pet.

How to Relieve Seasonal Allergies in Your Pet

If you suspect your pet is suffering from spring allergies, you’ll want to visit your veterinarian to determine the cause of the allergic reaction. Fleabite allergies are particularly worrisome, and if not diagnosed can result in fleabite anemia, a potentially deadly health problem.

Once your veterinarian has determined the cause of your pet’s allergies, there are a few things you can do to help minimize the symptoms:

  • Give any prescribed allergy medications, creams, or baths as directed. Be sure to follow the directions on the medication, and do not skip doses. If you miss a dose, do not double up the next dose.

  • Stay up to date on flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. Fleas are much easier to prevent than to get rid of once an infestation is in place. Fleas can make your pet very ill, so be careful not to let your monthly preventative lapse.

  • Don’t change brands of foods unless directed by your veterinarian. Food allergies can happen at any age. If your pet is on a well-rounded diet, avoid changing it if possible.

  • Bathe Your Pet Frequently. When your pet goes outside, pollen clings to its fur and feet. Bathing your pet frequently will help reduce the amount of pollen that gets into your home. Baths are often the quickest way to relieve allergy related itching, as well!

If you suspect you’re seeing symptoms of seasonal allergies in your pet, or that your pet is suffering from a fleabite allergy, make an appointment to come see us as soon as possible.

Allergy related itching is not only uncomfortable for your pet, it can also lead to a variety of skin problems if not addressed promptly. We are happy to help you get to the root of your pet’s itching and scratching.