Environmental allergies in pets are very common and show symptoms like paw licking and head shaking. Some of these allergies could be seasonal when there is more pollen in the air. Or, indoor allergens from chemicals, dust mites, or molds in the home could cause allergic reactions in your pets.
Let’s have a look in more detail at some environmental allergies and how you can spot them in your pets.
Excessive paw licking
Frequent or constant paw licking could be a sign that your pet dog has an allergy. When your dog licks their paws, he isn’t doing it for hygiene reasons. The licking it your pet’s way of coping with the extreme itching in the paw.
Both food allergies and environmental allergies can cause paw licking.
The reason why dog’s paws tend to show signs of an allergy is that the allergen is absorbed through the skin. This causes inflammation and irritation in the paw which your pet tries to alleviate by licking or chewing the paw.
Depending on the allergen that is causing paw licking, the licking may occur just at specific times of the year. However, if the allergy is caused by something in your home or in the garden, the foot licking may happen all year round.
If you have noticed that your pet has started licking or chewing their paws excessively, you should go for a checkup at your local vet. Your vet can test for pet allergies and recommend the best course of treatment.
An allergic reaction in your dog or cats ear may cause them to shake their head or constantly scratch their ears. The problem with excessive ear scratching or head shaking that is the result of an allergy is the risk of complications. For example, blood clots can form in the ears or secondary infections can develop.
Another symptom of an allergic reaction is a loss of hair around the ears. You may also notice red patches of skin and some discharge with an offensive odor.
The reason for the constant head shaking is because of allergens that cause irritation in the ear. The only way to try and get rid of the itching is to shake the head or scratch.
How to treat pets with environmental allergies
Your vet can give the best advice on how to treat environmental allergies. In some cases, supplementing your pet’s diet with omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation and improve the immune system.
Your vet may also recommend some antihistamines for pets to reduce irritation and itching in the paws or ears.
Another way to help prevent severe allergic reactions that cause paw licking or head shaking is to get rid of fleas from your pets. Many dogs and cats are allergic to fleas and these tiny bugs may just aggravate existing allergies that your pet has.