Pets can suffer from seasonal and environmental allergies just like people can. Often, pets will experience allergies when the seasons change or new scents within their home environment. Allergies can be tricky to diagnose and even more brutal to treat. However, it is possible to beat pet allergies by recognizing the early symptoms and getting your pet some fast relief. Below, let’s take a closer look at what causes pet allergies to understand better how you can help your pet.
What Causes Pet Allergies?
Just like people, pet allergies can come from several environmental sources. Pet allergies can come from outdoor triggers and allergens such as pollen or mold. Usually, pets with allergies related to the outdoors will experience seasonal allergies that are worse as the seasons change in the spring and the fall.
Other times, pets will experience environmental allergies inside the home. These allergies could be anything from smoke to mold or mildew inside. Pets can also be allergic to different scents or soaps, such as scented laundry detergent. If your pet is allergic to a specific laundry detergent, remember not to use it even to wash your pet’s toys or bedding.
Pet allergies can also come from food allergies. Your pet may experience diarrhea or vomiting or have skin irritation connected to a food allergy. Remember that your pet could be allergic to pet food, treats, or even certain foods that people eat. Luckily, many companies that make dog food will offer specially blended foods that are generally safer for pets suffering from allergies.
What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?
Allergies can present themselves in several forms. Some dogs experience allergies that are similar to human symptoms. They can have a runny nose, watery eyes, or may have difficulty breathing and sound wheezy. Other pets sometimes have skin allergies. Usually, pet owners will notice their pets chewing or biting at one particular area. Your pet may lose its fur completely, and sometimes a bloody or red patch of irritated skin can develop. If your pet has created a raw patch of skin, be sure to keep the area clean. The open and raw skin can be a prime site for dangerous bacteria to take hold and cause an infection. Food allergies can present themselves as either a skin allergy or digestion distress. Your pet may experience loose stools or could vomit from a food allergy.
Can Over-The-Counter Medication Help?
Sometimes, for mild allergy symptoms, over-the-counter medication can help. Many veterinarian sources recommend giving your dog some Benadryl to help reduce inflammation due to allergies. The recommended dose is 1 to 2 mg of Benadryl for every pound your dog weighs. While Benadryl may help reduce inflammation, it may make your dog drowsy.
How Can a Veterinarian Help?
Diagnosing a pet allergy can be difficult, and treating severe allergies can be even more challenging. Working with a veterinarian, you will be able to tackle your pet’s allergies. On your first visit to the veterinarian, your vet will most likely take a small skin sample to help diagnose your pet’s allergies. Testing the sample will help rule out the possibility of a skin infection causing your pet’s skin inflammation.
Next, your vet will talk to you about when you notice your pet’s allergies are worse. Working through a process of elimination, you and your vet will work to determine a cause for your pet’s allergies. For extreme cases, there are prescription medications available to help treat allergies in pets. Many medications are a simple oral pill that is taken once or twice per day.