For many people, springtime brings allergies, and the runny noses and itchy eyes that accompany them. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that pets are just as prone to seasonal allergies as we are. Sadly, they can’t tell us how they’re feeling. Seasonal allergies are quite common, and there’s a good chance your pet might have them. Here are seven ways to know if your pet may have seasonal allergies.
1. Scratching and Chewing
One of the most obvious signs is the scratching and chewing that indicates itchiness. A dog with allergies will scratch and chew like crazy, and their skin will often become red and inflamed. While a bath in gentle shampoo may provide some temporary relief, the best thing to do is head to the vet for appropriate treatment.
2. Skin Inflammation and Skin Infections
Inflamed and infected skin are some of the more severe side effects of seasonal allergies, most often caused by the chewing and scratching. While humans get runny noses and watery eyes from allergies, pets develop, itchy red skin and skin infections. You can give your pet some temporary relief by cleaning the area with witch hazel and applying a moisturizing ointment, but you’ll need to see the vet as soon as possible. Antibiotics may be required to clear up the infection.
3. Excessive Shedding
Hair loss and increased shedding are other clues that indicate allergies. Dandruff and flaky skin are also common. There are several prescription medications that can be incorporated into a plan to give your pet some much needed relief.
4. Paw Licking
Although cats normally lick their paws during grooming, if your dog is licking his paws compulsively, it’s a sure sign of allergies. Face rubbing often accompanies the licking. When a dog has allergies, the histamines that cause itchiness are pushed toward their extremities, including their paws, ears, face, and anal area.
5. Scooting and Licking the Anal Area
This is another symptom that is more common in dogs than cats. Although this type of behavior often signals allergies, it can also indicate an anal gland problem. Either way, it definitely means the area is itchy and uncomfortable. A trip to the vet is probably warranted, especially if your dog repeats the behavior over a couple of days.
6. Chronic Ear Infections
Ear infections are a common issue for pets, especially dogs with floppy ears. Sometimes chronic ear infections are related to allergies. If you’re noticing head shaking and redness in the ear, there’s a good possibility of a painful ear infection. Sometimes, drops or antibiotics may be required to treat the problem.
7. Breathing and Other Respiratory Issues
Cats tend to experience breathing and respiratory issues more often than dogs. If you notice that your cat is having difficulty breathing, coughing, or wheezing, feline asthma related to allergies may be the problem. These symptoms are urgent, so get an appointment with your vet right away.