Pets Can Have Allergies, Too!
As we are in the heart of allergy season, now is a good time to remember that pets can have allergies, too. Just as humans can be allergic to their surroundings, so, too, can pets.
Some common allergens for pets include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Food ingredients
- Cleaning products
- Plastic materials
As in humans, animals start to show signs of an allergic reaction when their immune system begins to recognize these everyday substances as dangerous. As their bodies try to fight off the substance, you will notice skin, digestive, or respiratory symptoms.
Common symptoms of allergic reactions include:
- Itchy, red, scabbed skin
- Excessive scratching
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Chronic ear infections
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Pew chewing
- Swollen paws
- Incessant licking
How Are Allergies Diagnosed?
If your pet’s symptoms persist beyond your veterinarian’s initial treatment plan, it could be a sign of an allergy. Blood tests or intradermal skin tests similar to the tests humans receive can be performed to diagnose allergies.
How Can I Treat My Pet’s Allergies?
Prevention is often the best method for controlling allergic reactions. If your pet is allergic to dust or mold, do a deep clean of their living space and make sure to dust regularly to avoid build up. Don’t forget that dust can rest on rugs and curtains!
If your pet is experiencing a skin reaction, weekly bathing can help remove some of the environmental allergens. Ask your vet about specific shampoos that may help in controlling your pet’s allergies.
For food allergies, pets may be put on an exclusive diet to determine the ingredient that is upsetting them. If you are able to determine what ingredient affects your pet, you can simply purchase food that does not contain it. We have many options of all-natural pet food to help you find a food that is perfect for your pet’s diet.
There are medicines your veterinarian can prescribe for certain allergies. They can help treat allergic reactions, or help build up immunity to allergens.
It’s very important to pay attention to any signals your pet may be giving you that they are uncomfortable or in pain. If you feel like these symptoms are not going away and could be chronic, visit your veterinarian right away. Without proper treatment, allergies can become a severe health issue for your four-legged friend.