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May Is Pet Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month

May 25, 2020

Allergies are common in pets, especially when Spring pops up and so does all of the pollen. Many of us humans are affected by the pollen that flies around and we get the indefinite sniffles, coughs, sneezes, and puffy eyes. Not only can allergies be miserable for humans, but they can be miserable for our furry friends. 

Asthma can also affect both cats and dogs during this time. Here are some signs and symptoms that you should look for in your pets to make sure that everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and the outdoors.

Allergies are common in pets

Ah, the pretty grass and the bright new leaves! Everything is so fresh and new but what else is new is all of that tree and grass pollen. Depending on where you live will also depend on high those pollen rates are going to be. While humans are affected by seasonal allergies, so are cats and dogs, and knowing what affects them can certainly help you keep them from chewing their fur off. 

Does your dog seem to be chewing and licking their paws more often right now? Are her paws getting red and inflamed? If so, then you probably have a case of allergies with your fur baby. 

The same can manifest in cats. They can have skin and ear infections, also chew on their paws, and have wheezing, coughing, and sneezing. Keep a close on these symptoms in both cats and dogs since their symptoms generally will devolve a lot faster than in a human. 

Pet Allergy Symptoms

  • Chewing of their paws
  • Ear infections
  • Coughing & sneezing
  • Wheezing, especially if they have asthma
  • Rash
  • Skin irritation and inflammation

How do I prevent allergies in my pet?

Bathing, pet food, and even mild medications can help keep your pet a lot more comfortable during the Springtime allergens. Also, talking with your vet will help you figure out what the best course of action will be for both of you. Here are some of our suggestions (yes, even if you have a cat, some of these can be used, but contact your vet before giving either your dog or cat any kind of human medication).

  1. Bathing: regular bathing is always going to help your pet’s skin be moisturized when using the right shampoo. If your pet is more susceptible to allergens, using the right medicated shampoo will help alleviate symptoms. While Dawn seems like a great shampoo, during high allergy season, make sure that you’re bathing your dog and cat with the right shampoo and save the Dawn for your now pollen-covered car. 

Also, something else that you can do to help your dog after you have gone out on a walk is to make sure that you wipe down his coat with a soft cloth and clean his paws before coming back into the house This help keep the pollen outside and keep your pet comfy inside

  1. Pet food: Cats are especially affected by low-moisture food, and allergies can only increase their skin irritation. The same can go for dogs, too. Make sure that you’re feeding your dog and cat the right food that can help them retain the right body weight as well as the right amount of retained water. Also, some foods can contain allergens and contaminants that can also exacerbate allergies when going outdoors. Make sure you consult your vet if your Fido or Fluffy has seasonal allergies. 
  1. Antihistamines: Use these sparingly and, again, consult your veterinarian. Antihistamines can help alleviate symptoms in your pets if they are showing a lot of signs of an allergy – paw chewing, scratching ears, skin irritation, etc. PetMD has some great advice on how to administer medications to your pet that is showing allergic reactions. 

Pets can have asthma, too

While not usual, pets can also have asthma. It’s an allergic reaction to environmental stimulants, so you’ll need to pay special attention to your cat or dog if they also have allergies. Beyond just pollen, perfumes and dust in your house can also affect your pets. Here are some symptoms that you should look for. 

Asthma symptoms in pets

  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Coughing & sneezing
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Pale or blue gums (see your vet immediately if this happens)

Preventing asthma in your pets

  • Don’t smoke around your pets, especially in enclosed areas
  • Refrain from aerosol sprays like hairspray
  • Don’t use perfumes
  • Try to use natural cleaners as much as possible
  • Make sure your floor cleaning products are pet friendly
  • Bathing your pet regularly
  • Clean the little box regularly

Still not sure? Make sure that you make an appointment with your vet to go over all of the symptoms that you see to find out what’s ailing your cat or dog. Keeping up with their pet food, regular shots, and regular wellness exams will keep you, your pet, and your veterinarian up-to-date on what’s going on with your pet’s health. Also, now might be the time to consider some pet insurance, too, so you’re always protected against any emergency problems that might arise in the future.