Spring has sprung – and so have a host of allergens for humans and pets, alike. Here’s how to know if your pet has allergies and how you can help provide relief this season:
1. Recognize the symptoms
While allergies can occur all year-round, spring often causes a rise in environmental allergens like pollens and molds. Allergic reactions in pets often take the form of skin irritation, which can look like:
- Excessive scratching or biting
- Red, inflamed or infected skin
- Excessive shedding or dandruff
- Compulsive paw licking
- Ear infections or red, waxy ears
- Respiratory issues, like coughing or wheezing
2. Get your pet diagnosed
If your pet is exhibiting symptoms of allergies, talk to your veterinarian about getting them diagnosed. This may involve a blood test or a skin test from a dermatologist, which involves monitoring your pet’s reactions to small doses of allergens.
3. Find the best treatment
If your pet does have seasonal allergies, your veterinarian will also recommend a treatment course, such an oral medication or allergy shots. You might also consider anti-itch topical treatments or baths with soothing shampoos as well as lifestyle changes, like minimizing outdoor time on high pollen days and regularly wiping down coats and paws after walks outside to minimize exposure.