With spring in full swing, gardens blooming, warmer weather, doggie play dates many of us are reaching for our allergy medication. 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, and our PUPs can suffer from seasonal allergies also. An overactive immune system could have your PUP with a case of “hay fever” It is estimated that about 15% of dogs suffer from seasonal allergies. The most common triggers may be ones you are already all to familiar with. Pollen, mold, and dust mites can wreak havoc on the best of us and our best furry friend. Foods, insects like please and mites, chemicals and other substances can all cause allergic reactions. So how do you know??? Is your dog scratching caused by seasonal allergies, or just cause it feels oh so good to scratch that special spot? Is there anything we can do about it? Let’s dig a little deeper.
If your dog is extra-itchy one time of year versus the others then the seasonal allergies may be the cause. Itchy in April, but not in November could mean a tree pollen allergy where as ragweed allergy is more common in the fall months. If dust mites are the mighty villain the symptoms will be on full attack in the winter months. Look for hotspots, ear infections, itchy skin, or watery eyes that seem to manifest only at a certain time of year. This is most certainly signs of seasonal allergies. These allergic reaction will intensify over time, getting worse as your PUP is continually exposed to the allergens. Your PUPs behavior also provides tell tale signs. When allergies are the culprit the scratching is excessive. It is as if they do not get relief, because the scratching is constant. So, unless your PUP is practicing for a mix master DJ competition this is definitely a sign of an allergic reaction. Other behaviors to watch out for include sneezing, excessive licking, chewing on paws, runny or swollen eyes, irritated skin, and even scabbing or infections that can come from complications of allergies.
What Can We Do?
Poor PUP! Whoever is suffering from allergies can understand it is no spring picnic. There are options for testing to see what your PUP is allergic too. Here is what we can do: Monitor Exposure
When you narrow it down to what triggers your PUPs allergies it is time to monitor how much your PUP is exposed to these things. You can check local allergen levels and keep your PUP indoors when the levels are high. You may miss some of the outdoor spring fun, but hey… more indoor snuggle time! Prevention
Your vet can treat chronic allergies and you can put in place some preventative measures. Grooming will play a huge part in easing your PUPs chances of exposure. Wiping down your pet’s paws after a walk will help remove pollens and dander. Bathing regularly to keep environmental irritants at bay. Vacuuming and frequently washing your pet’s bedding can help plenty too. And these are things we know we should be doing anyway.