Does your pet struggle with allergies? Just like people, our furry friends can suffer from a variety of allergies, including environmental allergies, food allergies, and allergies to certain pests. While allergy symptoms can be frustrating, they can also lead to more serious medical conditions if your pet does not receive the proper care.
In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about your pet’s allergies and how to care for their unique needs.
🙂Understanding Your Pet’s Allergies
Allergies occur when your pet’s body mounts an immune response to a specific substance known as an allergen. While these allergens are usually harmless, the immune system identifies the substance as a danger and alerts the body to react. Pets can have allergies to a variety of substances, including ingredients in their food or environmental factors.
Below are some of the most common allergies seen in pets:
Environmental and Seasonal Allergies
Environmental allergies are one of the most common types of allergies seen in pets and include reactions to pollen, mold, and dust. Since pollen counts can vary throughout the year, environmental allergens are often seasonal and flair at specific times of the year.
Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Another common type of allergy seen in pets is a food allergy. Food allergies are usually associated with a specific protein in your pet’s diet. Unlike in people, food allergies usually cause only mild symptoms in pets.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Fleas are pesky parasites that can cause any pet to itch. However, some pets can experience a condition known as flea allergy dermatitis. This condition occurs when your pet’s body mounts an immune response to a protein found in the flea’s saliva. Unfortunately, pets with flea allergy dermatitis can experience severe itch that lasts for days after the flea’s initial bite.
🤔Common Signs of Pet Allergies
Many of the symptoms associated with allergies involve skin reactions. While it’s normal for your furry friend to scratch an itch from time to time, consistent scratching should be cause for concern. Depending on your pet’s specific allergy, you may notice them biting or scratching certain parts of their body, such as their paws or ears. Other skin-related symptoms include:
• Red or irritated skin
• Raised bumps on the skin
• Loss of hair or fur
• Chewing or biting of paws
If these issues are left untreated, your pet’s skin irritation can worsen and lead to secondary bacterial infections. When this occurs, you may notice additional redness, bleeding, and even open sores.
In addition to skin issues, pets can also experience more generalized allergy symptoms. These include:
• Runny eyes and nose
• Recurrent ear infections
• Gastrointestinal upset - including vomiting or diarrhea
These symptoms are often associated with other medical conditions, so you’ll want to pay close attention to when your pet’s symptoms occur. With allergies, you will typically notice a pattern in your pets symptom’s and a spike in problems shortly after they have been exposed to the allergen.
😎How to Care for Your Pet’s Allergies
Allergies are never enjoyable and can have a significant impact on your pet’s well-being. Luckily, there are some excellent options for reducing your pet’s symptoms and providing some much-needed allergy relief.
An important step in addressing your pet’s allergy problem is determining the specific cause and allergens involved. As mentioned, it’s essential to monitor your pet closely and look for patterns in their symptoms. This can be extremely helpful in pinpointing the cause of your pet’s condition.
For example, if your pet has a grass allergy, you may notice their symptoms worsen after spending time outdoors and when your grass is mowed. In this case, you may be able to reduce your pet’s symptoms by limiting their time outdoors and reducing their exposure to the allergen.
Some pets may have an allergy to certain fibers or materials, in which case it's important to switch out your pet's harness for a material that doesn't irritate their skin. This also applies to scents and chemicals in laundry detergent when washing harnesses, beds or bedding for some pets that may have sensitive skin.
If you are unable to detect a pattern in your pet’s symptoms, there are additional measures that can help. It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian and have your pet evaluated. Your vet can run various diagnostic tests to rule out other medical conditions and determine the cause of your pet’s symptoms.
If a food allergy is suspected, your vet may recommend a food trial. During a food trial, your pet will receive a specialized diet containing a protein source they have not previously eaten. Food trials typically last 6-8 weeks. If your pet has a food allergy, their symptoms should improve during the course of the trial.
Caring for a pet with allergies can be challenging. However, early detection of allergy symptoms and appropriate allergy care can significantly improve your pet’s condition.
At Voyager Harness, we want to ensure your pet is healthy and happy for years to come. We hope this information will provide a better understanding of your pet’s allergies and how to achieve some allergy relief.