Have you noticed your pet sneezing more lately? With spring here and the weather getting warmer, you may find that your pet starts showing signs of allergies. Pollen in the air is usually associated with allergies in humans, however pet allergies are very common and can cause itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and wheezing.
What You Should About Your Pet’s Allergies
Allergic reactions are an immune response to harmless substances that are the body (human or animal) thinks is dangerous. In fact, many concerned pet owners bring in their furry friends to see the vet because of the symptoms of allergies, not realizing that their pet has an allergic reaction.
In general, pets can be allergic to the same substances that cause allergies in humans. Some of the most common are:
- Mold and mildew
- Strong smells from cleaning products or perfume
- Some soaps and shampoos
- Certain foods. (Did you know that many dogs and cats are lactose intolerant?)
The Symptoms of Pet Allergies
Just as there are common allergens that can cause allergic reactions in pets and humans, so the symptoms are very similar. Some common allergic reactions in pets are:
- Constant sneezing and other symptoms of respiratory inflammation.
- Scratching because of itchy skin, especially the ears and back of the neck.
- Watery eyes.
Of course, these symptoms can also be caused by other pet health problems, so if you notice anything unusual or changed in your pet’s behavior, it’s best to take them for a checkup. A qualified vet will do an allergy test to find out the source of the allergy. This is just the first step in helping manage your pet’s allergy successfully.
How to Manage Pet’s Allergies
Managing your pet’s allergy successfully depends much on the type of allergen. For example, if dust or pollen is the culprit, then regularly cleaning areas where your dog or cat spends time will help. If your pet is allergic to a certain food, then removing this from the diet will solve the allergy.
Sometimes, a course of treatment is needed to reduce allergic reactions and build up resistance to the allergens.
Whatever the source of the allergy, you can successfully help manage your pet’s allergy symptoms and improve their quality of life.