Spring is the season in which flowers and plants come back to life. Unfortunately, the beauty of Spring is accompanied by pollen, dust, bugs and other allergens that can make your eyes water and your skin crawl. Our furry friends can also become a victim of the symptoms of allergies. Read on to learn some of the things that you can do to recognize, prevent and alleviate the symptoms of allergies.
Allergens that can affect dogs
Similar to humans, there is a wide range of allergens that can affect your dog, but the most common allergies seen in dogs (and humans) are:
- Seasonal Allergies – Caused by seasonal plants, pollens, and grasses and are normally seen during spring and summer months when plants are most active
- Food Allergies – Caused by food intolerances
- Insect allergies – Caused by bug bites including but not limited to fleas, ticks, and spiders
Symptoms of allergies
Humans can display a wide range of allergy symptoms, but in dogs, we mostly see itchy skin as a response to the most common types of allergens. Dogs can also display the following symptoms as a response to allergies:
- Red odor
- Waxy discharge
- Yeast infections
- Scratching, rubbing, shaking head
- Frequently rubbing face
- Hair loss around ears or muzzle
- Swollen face
- Lots of scratching and rubbing of the face
- Bad odor
- Hair loss
- Scaly skin
- Dry, irritated skin
- Scratching and trembling
- Licking skin
- Rubbing on objects
- Redness and bare spots
- Dull or greasy fur
- Bad odor
- Discolored fur from licking or sores
- Licking body
- Rubbing on furniture
- Hot spots
- Dry skin
- Red or brown skin between toes
- Excessive chewing or licking paws
How to prevent allergy symptoms in your dog
Respond to pollen levels and high pollen areas
If possible, avoid walking your dog in the early morning or late afternoon, when pollen levels are typically highest. Steer clear of fields and parks where offending plants are common.
Keep it clean
Inside your home, regularly change air filters to cut down on airborne allergens that enter through open doors and windows. Running an air conditioner or a dehumidifier will help remove moisture from interior air, making it harder for allergens to settle in your home. Investing in high allergen air filters also helps reduce irritants in your house as well. Also, vacuum at least once a week, and remember to clean curtains and rugs that may have picked up dust and pollen.
- Antihistamines – OTC products such as Benadryl are safe for dogs but be sure to consult with your vet regarding dosing.
- Oat Bath – If you prefer natural remedies to treat symptoms such as itching, oat baths are a great option.
- Aloe Vera – Another natural option for topical relief is aloe vera, which contains an antifungal and anti-inflammatory.
- Coconut Oil – Adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet can reduce inflammation and help promote healthy skin.