By Katy Cable-A 3-minute read
For the past few weeks nearly every dog owner I know is complaining about their dog's relentless scratching and itching. I too, hear the incessant licking and tap-tap-tap-tap-tap of the dog tag as Olive attacks her own itch in the middle of the night. That starts me itching my own dry skin and you get the picture. Did you know your dog can suffer from seasonal allergies just as you do?
Over half of all pet owners aren't aware their fuzzy family members can be feeling miserable thanks to allergens. Now lets take a look at what type of allergy it might be and how you can offer some relief for your sweetie.
There are two main types of allergies: food allergies and environmental allergies. Food allergies frequently cause diarrhea, vomiting, bloat and sometimes irrational behavior due to your pet feeling uncomfortable and having no way to get relief. Later, itching and irritation can follow. If your pet gets itchy during winter, spring, summer or fall, and there isn't a bout of vomiting or diarrhea first, it's most likely a reaction to a seasonal allergens. If symptoms continue year-round, it's more likely a sensitivity to something in their diet.
There are a several exceptions to this rule. For example, living in So. Cal where we don't get snow, a hard freeze, or, with the exception of this year, RAIN!😜environmental allergens can build up and cause year-round issues. And, without extremes in our seasons, allergies can persist or worsen year-round.
Most humans who experience seasonal allergies, suffer from dry, red, itchy, puffy eyes. Sneezing, and a dry persistent cough. Dog allergies more commonly take the form of skin irritation or inflammation – a condition called allergic dermatitis.
If your dog has seasonal allergies, their coat will become very itchy. You'll notice them scratching excessively, and they will most likely bite or chew their paws or other areas of their body. If your pup is rubbing up against you (especially if you don't have food in your hands) or if you notice them rubbing against furniture or rolling their faces into plush rugs or carpeting for relief, most likely they’re desperately trying to relieve uncomfortable itchiness as best they can.
If this continues long enough without relief, their skin will become red, inflamed, warm and tender to the touch. Other signs of allergic dermatitis include patches of hair loss, open sores on the skin, and scabbing. If left untreated, hot spots can develop. A hot spot is raw, red, inflamed, infected skin that occurs when your dog's natural bacteria overwhelms an area of their skin. Typically the skin will be very red, and often there’s weeping, bleeding, and hair loss.
Pugs, English Bulldogs, Basset Hounds and Irish Setters with allergies can also suffer from ear problems as a result. Their ear canals may be hot, red, itchy and inflamed as part of a generalized allergic response, or they may grow infected with yeast or bacteria. If your pug's ears are giving them problems you will notice them scratching at their ears, and shaking their heads frequently. Often you will notice anything from a hint of a sweet smell to a horrible foul odor in their ears. Upon cleaning their ears you may find a brown discharge that can be thin and runny or a thick clumpy sludge.
While respiratory symptoms aren't common in pets with allergies, they do occur. A running nose, watery eyes, coughing, sneezing and that scary "back-breathing" in flat nosed, brachy dogs, can also attack four-legged seasonal allergy sufferers.
Another tell-tale sign of an allergy is redness. Allergic pets often have puffy red eyes, red gums, a red, possibly bumpy blemished chin, red paws and even a red anus.
Seasonal allergies can worsen or turn into year round problems. Allergic reactions are produced by your pet's immune system, and the way his immune system functions is a result of both nature (his genetics) and the environment. The more your pet is exposed to the allergens they're sensitive to, the more intense and long-lasting the allergic response becomes. In order to build up your pet's immune system and tolerance try to first identify the culprit and eliminate exposure
Helping a Pet Suffering From Environmental Allergies. As someone who has been plagued by allergies all my life, my physicians recommend a few simple things which you can also do for your pet. We all need to enjoy the great outdoors but limit exposure during peak readings for pollens, ragweed, etc. During a rough season, it's important to shower both at night and in the morning to remove allergens. I recommend you do the same for your dog if they are symptomatic. Also use an air purifier and close windows during windy days and the peak pollen hours from 2-8 AM.
I hope this puts an end to some of your fur baby's suffering this season. For great tips each week, please subscribe to my free weekly blog by clicking the link below. Pugs and kisses!🐾
🐾Katy Cable is a former actress appearing in “Back To The Future” and starring in the TV series: “Safe At Home” & “ Fired Up!” In addition to her dog health & lifestyle blog/vlog: The Weekly Runt, (https://www.weeklyrunt.com/) she’s a contributing writer to numerous publications including Thrive Global, & The Huffington Post. Cable lives at the beach with her husband, Rick and her rescue Pug, Olive.🐾