Perhaps you’ve noticed that Spike is scratching at himself a little more than usual. Maybe Kitty has runny eyes or is suddenly quite sneezy. People aren’t the only creatures who suffer from allergies, especially in the warmer weather. Here are some tips to help alleviate your pet’s springtime symptoms.
Mold, pollen, grass, dust and flea bites are all common irritants to a pet’s immune system. Those jogs around the park and even spring cleaning can trigger allergic responses. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to minimize your furry friend’s skin scratching, paw licking and watery eyes.
- Prevention is the best step toward eliminating one of the most common allergies in both dogs and cats – flea allergic dermatitis. Just a couple of bites can leave your flea allergic pet scratching for weeks. It’s a good idea to keep your pets on flea preventative year-round, but it is imperative to treat them from the time the ground thaws in spring until after several frosts late in the fall. And remember – pets that go outside can easily carry a passing flea inside, making indoor-only pets susceptible to flea bites as well.
- Other skin-based allergies can be alleviated by weekly bathing with a very mild shampoo. This can remove some of the itchy skin as well as wash away allergens that may have settled on their bodies. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on the right shampoo before beginning a weekly bathing regimen.
- If your pet suffers from airborne allergens, like dust, be sure to wash their bedding and vaccuum all carpeted areas at least once a week.
- Occasionally, antihistamines like Benadryl can be effective for pets, but check first with your veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.
- For more severe allergies, it may be necessary for your pet to undergo tests to determine the best course of action. Skin and blood tests can often find out exactly what your pet is allergic to. Allergy injections, topical anti-inflammatory products or immune modulating medications are commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms.
Remember, pets can develop allergies at any age, so if you notice uncommon skin irritation, excessive paw licking or unusually watery eyes, ask your veterinarian about treatments for allergies. The warm weather is a great time to get outside and spend time with your pet, so be sure they’re protected and ready to go!