What Are the Most Common Allergies in Pets?
While both pets and owners can suffer from allergies of all kinds, fleas are actually the most common allergen for our four legged friends according to a new report from Banfield Pet Hospital.
The 2018 State of Pet Health Report examines the science of pet skin allergies with a focus on fleas, food and environmental irritants to help pet parents better care for their animal companions.
"At Banfield, we're deeply invested in partnering with our clients to help keep pets happy and comfortable–and that includes getting to the bottom of signs to uncover accurate diagnoses," said Dr. Daniel Aja, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Banfield Pet Hospital. "With thousands of itchy pets coming through our doors each year, Banfield's 2018 State of Pet Health Report aims to uncover the common causes and offer pet owners the tools they need to help their pets find relief."
Although many owners themselves may experience food allergies, like gluten, shellfish or peanuts, dogs and cats are much less likely to be affected by what they eat. According to the report, only 0.2 percent of dogs and 0.1 percent cats have food allergies and proteins like chicken, beef or dairy are the most common causes rather than grains.
In the last decade, Banfield has seen a significant upsurge in flea allergy cases, including a 12.5 percent increase for dogs and a 67.3 percent increase for cats. Felines are also twice as likely to be found with fleas and even indoor cats can be exposed to the parasites via other pets or people.
Allergies from environmental factors are also on the rise for pets; Banfield has seen a 30.7 percent increase for dogs and an 11.5 percent increase for cats over the last 10 years. Allergens vary between regions and climates, but the most common causes are dust and storage mites, pollen, dander, molds, feathers, cleaning solutions and medications.
To see the full report or to learn more about allergy symptoms, diagnosis and treatments, visit banfield.com/state-of-pet-health.