The blanket of snow still covering the ground might not make you feel like Spring is on its way, but buds and blooms will be here before you know it. Of course, to some, this means Benadryl and sniffles – but did you know that your dog can suffer from allergies too?
What can Fido be allergic to? What are some common allergy symptoms
*Fleas/Flea Control Products *Itchy and runny eyes
*Cleaning Products *Scratching all over and on stomach, primarily
*Cigarette Smoke *Itchy ears
*Prescription Drugs *Vomiting/diarrhea
*Dust/House Mites *Chewing on paws
*Mold Spores *Sneezing/runny nose
*Tree/Grass/Weed Pollens *Incessant licking
There are three basic types of allergies: Inhaled (airborne allergens, such as pollen and mold spores), contact (allergens that your pet will come in contact with, such as chemicals, fleas, prescription drugs, and cleaning products) and food (this is one of the hardest allergies for veterinarians to diagnose because of all the ingredients found in commercial pet food). When your dog is allergic to something, the most common response (as a result of a histamine release), is itchy skin and eyes. Unfortunately, while the scratching may offer immediate relief, it can also cause your pup’s skin to break open (causing additional bacterial issues). How can help minimize the impact allergies have on your pet?
*Dust and dust mites are a common allergy that can be alleviated by regular vacuuming, cleaning of dog bed linens and by purchasing an air purifier for your home. The best defense is a proactive offense – improved air quality will not only benefit your dog, but you’ll breathe easier, too.
*Switch your cleaning products. The harsh chemicals found in most cleansers aren’t just bad for your dog’s health, they are not good for you either. Consider using natural products in replace of ammonia and bleach products. Businesses like The Honest Company offer products that are earth-friendly, people-friendly, and best of all, pet-friendly.
*Flea and tick control is important, but that doesn’t mean you need to resort to harsh chemicals and common medications. There are many natural alternatives to traditional flea and tick control, in fact you might recall our article on the use of the Neem plant to keep those buggers in check!
*Leave the pollen out with the lilacs and daffodils. Encourage everyone (even the humans) to wipe their paws at the front door. If fact, it might be best to have a “shoes off in the house” policy during Spring so that pollen isn’t being tracked through your home.
*Studies have shown that high-quality nutrition may prevent allergic reactions in pets. Of course, we don’t have to tell you that – as any regular reader of the Wisconsin Pet Care Blog knows, we believe that good food is the cornerstone of your dog or cat’s health.
You’ll want to take Fido to his veterinarian for a proper diagnosis, as well as treatment options. There are many holistic approaches to allergen control, as well as traditional Western medicine (antihistamines and allergy vaccinations). Remember, there is no “quick fix” for allergies and it may take you some time to find the right combination of treatments that work best for your dog.