Approximately 50 million people combat allergies each year, but did you know that about 12% of dogs also deal with seasonal allergies, and the percent rises every year. As a pet owner, there are many things you can do to help reduce the risk of your pet having an allergic reaction. Routine baths and foot soaks to bringing in professional carpet cleaners are a few good places to start.
The most affected areas for your dogs are their eyes, ears and paws. Common symptoms are fur loss, sneezing, coughing, nasal or eye discharge, a change in fur color or excessive scratching, licking and chewing different body parts.
Tips to help combat your pets’ allergies
- Regular Bathing – give your pet a bath with a hypoallergenic shampoo every 2-3 weeks (this will not only help to remove allergens but will moisturize their skin
- Close Windows and Doors – this will help keep the allergens outside, when doors and windows are open allergens are easily transferred to plants, and soft surfaces
- Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning – get your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned to remove lingering allergens and vacuum with a HEPA filter every 5-7 days
- Wipe Paws – wipe your pets paws as soon as they enter the house, this way they don’t track the allergens around the house
Diet, Supplements and Treatments – reach out to your veterinarian to help get your pet on the right course – some things to talk to them about are:
- Biotin and Omega-3’s can help decrease itching
- Allergy Pills
- Under the tongue Immunotherapy
Though many pets will respond well to shampoos and antihistamines, more severely affected pets might require stronger therapies or medications. Either immunosuppressants, such as cyclosporine, or desensitization therapy (injections or oral drops, which contain small amounts of what the pet is allergic to in order to retune the immune system) are often employed by veterinarians.
With so many options readily available, there’s no need for your pet to itch and scratch his way through fall – or any season for that matter! If you have noticed a sudden onset of signs of allergic reactions, head on over to your veterinarian for a consultation and make sure you take steps to eliminate them from the household.