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Can My Dog Be Affected by Seasonal Allergies?

Just like humans, pets can suffer from allergies. Have you noticed your pet sneezing more than usual, licking paws, or scratching persistently? Maybe your pooch is shedding more than ever. These could be signs of seasonal allergies. 


Dogs exhibit allergy symptoms, just like humans, but they experience most of them through the skin. Here is more information on whether seasonal allergies can affect your dog.



Can Your Dog Be Affected by Seasonal Allergies?



The answer is yes! The most common allergies fall into three categories: environmental allergies, external parasites, and food allergies. Environmental allergies result from pollen, dust mites, and mold spores. 


External parasites include fleas, ticks, and ear mites. Fleas pose the biggest problems, but some dogs are susceptible to ticks and mites. Some dogs are allergic to dairy, soy, gluten, and specific proteins. 



Symptoms of Pet Allergies 



Some symptoms can indicate that your dog has seasonal allergies. They include:


  • Respiratory issues, including coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
  • Biting and scratching the skin or coat.
  • Infected, red, or inflamed skin.
  • Compulsive paw licking.
  • Excessive shedding.
  • Licking the anal glands or scooting.
  • Chronic ear infections or waxy and red ears.



Soothing Pet Seasonal Allergies 



There is no cure for seasonal allergies, but there are ways to soothe the symptoms. There are allergy medications that can help relieve the symptoms. OTC antihistamine medications are often administered based on the dog’s weight and unique needs. 


It is essential to consult your vet before giving allergy medication to your pet. Avoid using decongestant medications or any drugs containing pseudoephedrine, as they can harm your dog. 



Remedies to Manage Allergy Symptoms



If your pet reacts to seasonal allergens, you should administer medication as a preventative. There are other ways to soothe the symptoms. They include:


  • Using flea and tick preventatives. 
  • Applying anti-itch creams or sprays.
  • Regular baths remove allergens and soothe the skin.
  • Wiping down the dog’s paws, coat, and skin after every outdoor excursion. 
  • Providing fatty acid supplements relieves itchy skin and prevents infection.
  • Avoiding allergens by limiting outdoor time on high-pollen days.
  • If your pet experiences severe allergies, your veterinarian can prescribe steroid medication to control inflammation. 



Understanding Seasonal Allergies 



Using the term “seasonal allergies” can be problematic as some dogs may experience environmental allergies all year round. The allergies may worsen when the irritants are in plenty, but the issue is always present. 


In some cases, a change in geographical location can trigger or resolve the problem. Most dogs begin to show signs of allergic response in young adulthood. The condition can be hereditary and often affects purebred dogs. However, mixed breeds can also suffer from canine atopic dermatitis. 


Allergy prevention is a part of your pet’s long-term health management. Medications can provide relief, but they do not eliminate the problem. Avoiding allergens is not always possible, so it is vital to take your dog to the vet regularly. 


For more on whether seasonal allergies affect your dog, visit Santa Monica Pet Medical Center at our Santa Monica, California office. Call (310) 393-8218 to schedule an appointment today.

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