While the new blooms and buds of another spring season may be beautiful, this time of year can also bring seasonal allergies. Allergies are annoying for many of us, but you may be surprised to know that pets can also suffer from allergies.

Seasonal allergies in pets is a fairly common diagnosis, although the symptoms may be quite different from those we associate with our own. To help keep your pet itch-free and feeling great, The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital have compiled some basic information and tips to help your pet cope with allergies this spring.

Seasonal Allergies in Pets

When most people consider allergies, they often think of those annoying respiratory symptoms: sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, etc. In pets, however, allergies tend to manifest as skin conditions, including dermatitis and hot spots.

Signs that your pet may be experiencing seasonal allergies include:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Biting or licking at paws or other areas of the body
  • Head shaking
  • Rubbing face or body on carpet and other surfaces
  • Inflammation of ears or skin
  • Hair loss
  • Scabbing or oozing skin

While respiratory symptoms aren’t that common among cats and dogs with allergies, some pets will experience watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing.

Allergens associated with these reactions include tree, grass, and plant pollens, mold, and dust mites. Depending on what your pet is allergic to, seasonal allergies can become ongoing problems when the reaction is strong and the immune system becomes stressed, creating the potential for year-round allergies.

Helping Pets With Allergies

If your pet suffers from seasonal allergies, the experience can be quite miserable without treatment and intervention. If you suspect an allergy, please schedule an appointment so we can get your pet started on the correct treatment plan to relieve symptoms.

For allergies in pets the following at-home recommendations can be helpful:

  • Bathe your pet with an oatmeal or other recommended shampoo once a week. This helps reduce allergens on the coat and skin, as well as soothe itchiness.
  • Vacuum the home every few days and launder pet bedding (in some cases, removing carpeting in favor of throw rugs can also be beneficial). Opt for gentle, hypoallergenic cleaning products and detergents.
  • To help eliminate environmental allergens, use an air filter in rooms where your pet sleeps and spends a lot of time.
  • Soak your pet’s paws (or clean them with a warm washcloth) to remove any allergens he or she would otherwise track into the home.

Please call schedule an appointment to determine whether your pet has allergies and to discuss possible treatments (including nutrition and supplements). While allergies may be something we all have to live with, there’s no reason your pet should be uncomfortable. Our team is here to help!