Allergies and Pets – How to Recognize Them

  1. pets and allergies

It’s very common for pets to have allergies and it’s important to know how to recognize them.

Just like humans, dogs and cats can be allergic to certain foods, airborne allergens, or have allergic reactions to dust mites, fleas or soaps. In fact, in a survey carried out in 2012, over half of pet owners didn’t realize that their pets can suffer from seasonal allergies.[1]

Allergies in pets and humans happen when the immune system overreacts to something that is usually harmless. Unlike humans, however, allergies in pets tend to show up as a skin irritation or inflammation rather than affecting the respiratory tract.

How to Recognize Allergies in Pets

Pets with allergies often have itchy ears – especially dogs. So, you may notice your pet dog scratching his ear more or shaking his head. However, allergies in pets can show up on any area of the body. So, constant scratching, biting a specific area, or face rubbing can be a sign that your pet allergic to something.

Scratching can also cause infections. Therefore, another sign of allergies in pets is ear infections with a strong odor.

Bottom scooting is another sure sign that your dog has an allergy. Although this can appear amusing, it’s good to remember that your dog is doing this because of a terrible itch in the bottom area. Bottom scooting can also result in abscesses and infections.

How to Prevent Allergies in Pets

In order to prevent allergies in pets it’s important to know what triggers your pets’ allergic reaction.

For example, if your pet suffers from seasonal allergies, frequent baths can help to reduce the allergic reactions.

Also, if your pet has been outside, it’s important to wash their paws so that they don’t spread allergens around the house. Your local vet can advise on the best treatment for allergies for pets.

It may surprise many pet owners but pets can also have food allergies. Susan Wynn, who is an internationally renowned expert on holistic pet care, says that 10% of all allergy cases in dogs are food allergies.[2] As well as a constant itch, your dog may have diarrhea or other digestion problems. The same is also true for cats with food allergies.

If you think that your pet has a food allergy, it is important to identify the source of the allergy and substitute the food for another. Very often, dogs and cats can be allergic to beef, dairy, fish and other sources of protein.

Fleas are one of the most common reasons for allergies in pets. Therefore it’s important to keep your dog or cat flea-free by using regular flea treatments.

It is good to remember that allergies can cause a lot of discomfort for your pet. Therefore, it’s important to try to recognize allergies in pets and then have a plan of action to manage the allergies.

Resources:
1. Pet owners unaware of their pet’s suffering during allergy season. Dvm360.com
2. Caring for a dog with food allergies. Pets.WebMD.com

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