Springtime Allergies and Your Pet
It’s almost that time—winter’s cold will begin thawing and be replaced by blossoming flowers and warmer weather. However, for many of us, the beauty of spring is often complicated by the onslaught of spring allergies. While you reach for the nearest antihistamine to keep your symptoms at bay, don’t forget about your furry babies.
Regular trips outdoors can make dogs susceptible to aggravating allergy symptoms from exposure to weed, tree, and grass pollens. According to VetStreet.com, an estimated 10 percent of dogs are affected by environmental allergies. Just like humans, spring allergies symptoms can cause discomfort to your dogs.
Below are some of the most common symptoms:
- Itching and scratching: One of the most common signs of allergies in dogs is constant scratching.
- Skin infections: Often the result of excessive scratching, your pet’s skin can become infected.
- Excessive paw licking: On walks and during outdoor exercise, pets paws come in contact with pollen and other irritants, leading them to groom their paws more often to try to relieve the irritation.
- Scooting on rear: The presence of increased histamines can cause your dog’s rear to become itchy.
- Ear infections: Especially common in dogs with large or floppy ears, chronic ear infections can be a sign of an allergic reaction. If you notice that your dog’s ears are really red and waxy or that she’s shaking her head more often, she may have achy ears.
- Extra shedding: Dry, flaky skin and increased scratching can lead to more hair loss than normal in dogs experiencing allergy symptoms.
To help your pet enjoy spring and reduce allergy symptoms, here are a few tips:
- Bathe regularly. Use a mild shampoo to wash your dog once or twice a week during allergy season. This soothes itchy skin and helps remove tree, grass, or pollen irritants.
- Wipe your pet’s paws and coat. After walks or other outdoor activities, make sure to wipe your best buddy’s paws and coat to reduce the presence of allergens in between baths. For seriously irritated paws, Dogtopia suggests soaking paws in an apple cider vinegar solution (2 parts water with 1 part vinegar) for more effective all-natural removal.
- Wash Bedding. Allergy-causing particles can collect in areas where your pet sleeps or relaxes. Washing their bedding weekly is an effective way to remove pollen, dirt, and other irritating debris.
- Replace air filters. Your air conditioner can circulate allergens throughout your home. Regularly changing air filters can reduce the presence of these irritants, making your home’s air safer not just for Fido but for the rest of the family as well.
- Contact your veterinarian. If your pet’s allergy symptoms do not seem to be improving or possibly getting worse, talk to your veterinarian about treatment options. From medications to allergy shots, a wide range of treatments are available to help your best pal stay comfortable.
Even with all of this in mind, we want you to enjoy the Springtime outdoors with your favorite fur babies.