Just like humans, pets can be allergic to a variety of things – environmental, food or even fabrics. It is a common cause of scratching, itching and skin problems in pets. It varies from the occasional scratch to incessant biting and licking, sometimes to the point of causing injury to themselves. An allergy is actually an exaggerated reaction of the immune system to external substances, something the body sees as foreign. This then causes a domino effect within the pets body that causes the inflammation, scratching etc.
What can pets be allergic to?
- Fleas – some pets are more sensitive to a flea bite, causing a condition called flea allergic dermatitis
- Food – some pets can be allergic to a certain protein or ingredient in a food. This can not only cause the typical scratching, but gastrointestinal upsets too
- Contact allergy – when the body comes in contact with a substances (such as certain plants)
- Atopy – the allergen is generally found freely in the environment (such as pollen). This is similar to humans and hayfever
Because the symptoms of allergies may closely resemble each other, it is important that the exact cause is properly investigated. The age at which the animals develop the allergy is in 85% of cases between 9 months and 4 years of age.
Does your dog have allergies? Unless your dog is diagnosed, you may not even know the truth. Only if you’re looking for signs of allergies.
Did you know food allergies affect 10 percent of canines? Aside from food, there are several ways your pooch could be suffering. But it’s not the end of the world if you can learn how to treat these dog allergies.
How to Start Treating Dog Allergies
Food, fleas, and seasonal allergens could all be keeping your pet from living a healthy life. Here are some ways you can fix that.
1. Treating Canine Food Allergies
First, you need to know the signs:
- Look at their nail bed- if they’re brown or red it might be a symptom
- Inflammation around lips- these areas will look red or pink
- Constant scratching- this means they’re having reactions to the food
One way to tell if these symptoms are from a food allergy is to try an elimination diet. Take away the food you think is causing trouble, and see if they go away. If it does, switch their food.
You can also get them tested for allergies at the vet clinic. This may be the fastest route.
2. Treating Seasonal Dog Allergies
Dogs can suffer from dreaded seasonal allergies as much as humans can. They sneeze, have puffy eyes, and have trouble breathing, too. What are some ways you can help your pet during these times?
One way is to adjust your walking schedule. While dogs develop routines, it’s not a bad idea to fix them, so you avoid over-flowered areas. Anyplace the pollen would be thickest is what you should avoid.
Baths are essential during this high-pollen time. Every time you get back from a stroll, clean their fur and paws to make sure they aren’t carrying it around. If you struggle with obedience during bath time, this company has tips for bathing your dog.
3. Treating Flea Allergies
Sometimes, fleas seem like a part of canine life. They’re always getting them from romping outside or playing with other pets. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the effect they have on your fur baby.
So, how do you treat this flea induced skin problem?
First, it’s critical to prevent fleas and their larvae from staying on your pet. Flea collars are useless and unhealthy. So, stick with the vet recommended flea medications that aren’t harmful.
Second, if your dog is already struggling with an infection, take them to the vet. They’ll give them steroids to help bring down the swelling and rashes.
Dog & Cat allergies aren’t ideal for pets or the humans who take care of them. But, they’re a loved member of your house, and we know you’d do anything to keep them healthy. Visiting a vet for anything about your pet’s health is the best way to get the right diagnosis.