Spring is in the air! Which means so is pollen, ragweed, and all sorts of other allergens. Just like humans, our pets are susceptible to seasonal allergies which can cause them a great deal of discomfort when untreated.
How can you tell if your pet has seasonal allergies? For the most part, seasonal allergies manifest in skin issues for pets. If you see your pet excessively scratching, scooting, or shedding this could be a sign of allergies.
When examining your dog or cat, look for dry, inflamed skin. Cats can show seasonal allergies through respiratory issues, such as coughing or wheezing. Dogs prone to ear infections may have more ear problems during allergy season.
While there is no cure for seasonal allergies, there are plenty of ways to treat them to ease any discomfort your pet may be experiencing.
- Over-the-counter meds: Like humans, dogs can take over-the-counter medication to relieve their symptoms. Benedryl, Zyrtec, Chlor Trimton, and Claritin (*NOT Claritin D) are all safe for pets. Before administering any medications to your pet, consult your vet in order to ensure you’re giving the proper dosage.
- When buying allergy medication for your pet, be sure to avoid decongestants, or anything that includes pseudoephedrine, which is lethal for dogs when consumed.
- Creams and Sprays: If you’re looking to avoid medication, topicals are also a great option to provide temporary relief for your pet’s allergy symptoms.
- Baths: regular baths will remove the allergens from your pet’s skin and fur, thus reducing the amount of irritation. Gentle products, such as oatmeal shampoo, are a great option for dogs with sensitive or irritated skin.
- Avoid Allergens: Ultimately, exposure to allergens leads to allergies. While it’s difficult to completely avoid taking your pet outside, limiting their time outdoors when allergen levels are high will help reduce symptoms.
Keep your dog or cat comfortable this spring and be sure to enjoy the beautiful weather!