We love our pets. For many of us, our pets are full-fledged family members. In fact, we often take them with us on errands, weekend trips, and family picnics. Did you know that just like us, our pets can suffer from allergies? In fact, the next time you see your beloved pet scratching at his belly or chewing at his tail, it may not be fleas. It could just be allergies. Like humans, our dogs, cats, and other critters can show signs of an allergic reaction. Of course, most of our pets can go their entire lives without suffering signs of allergies. But for those animals who are prone to allergies, the world can be quite miserable if their human is unaware of their suffering.
Allergens come in a variety of forms. They can be ingested, inhaled, or simply contact the skin of our pets. It is when our pets’ bodies react negatively to the allergen that they begin showing signs of distress. There are a number of symptoms that may indicate our furry friend is suffering from allergies, including:
- Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
- Regular scratching
- Runny or red eyes
- Itchy ears or wax buildup in ear
- Chewing at paws
- Constant licking
- Hair loss
Like humans, our pets can be allergic to a variety of things. A few of the more common causes of allergies in our pets include:
- Tree, grass, and weed pollens
- Mould spores
- Cigarette smoke
- Ingredients in their food
- Flea control products
The above list isn’t complete; there are many more things that can cause an allergic reaction. But the good news is that allergies in our pets can usually be treated quite easily. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from allergies, schedule an appointment with your trusted veterinarian. A physical exam will be conducted and you will have the opportunity to share your observations. Be sure to write down any instances when your pet may have demonstrated behaviour that made you suspect allergies — from acting differently to regular chewing of feet. From there, your vet can recommend a special diet, skin or blood tests, or even an allergy prescription.
Allergies don’t have to mean misery for our pets. Always be sure to pay special attention to your beloved “fur baby” at the change of the seasons, as this is the most common time for allergies to appear.