Cats and dogs can experience most health ailments that plague humans. That means seasonal allergies, the great equalizer, can affect cats and dogs, sometimes more intensely than they do humans. If you’re worried about Fido or Fluffy having an allergic reaction – either at home or while on a trip – there are a few things you can do to prevent catastrophe.
To start, dust, mold, and pollen are among the most common triggers of seasonal allergies in pets. All of these can result in sneezing, coughing, excessive scratching, licking, and chewing. If you suspect your pet may have an allergy to one or more of these triggers, make an appointment with your veterinarian to figure out a treatment that works for you and Fluffy. That said, most symptoms of seasonal allergies, in both cats and dogs, are frequently skin-related. Your pet can experience extreme itchiness, inflammation, and hot spots. Animals who have stronger allergies can also experience ear and respiratory issues.
Luckily, pet parents can control the presence of these triggers in their homes. While spring cleaning, inspect all moist cracks and crevices for signs of mold. If you find any, remove your pet from the room, don a breathing mask, and get to work scrubbing the spores away. To prevent accumulation of dust and pollen, dust your home frequently, keep fans running to circulate the air, and keep your windows closed as much as possible – at least until allergy season has passed.
Pet dermatologists recommend taking a similar approach to pet allergies as you would your own. Give cats and dogs frequent baths to provide immediate relief from itchiness and wash away allergens that may coat their fur and skin. If you’re worried Fido is tracking in pollen from outside, clean their feet whenever they enter the house. You may also want to consider an allergy-fighting supplement, like pet Benadryl. You can get this medication through your veterinarian or a pet supply website. In most cases, you will not need a prescription to get these medications and they will rarely cost more than $10.
If you plan to travel at peak allergy season, be sure to research the allergens that may be present at your destination. There’s nothing worse than having an allergy-ridden pup on what’s supposed to be a relaxing weekend away. If you suspect your pet has an allergy, buy a medication or supplement prior to travel – just to ensure you have something handy in case of disaster. If allergies strike while you’re away and you’re unprepared, take a quick visit to the nearest pet store and see what they have.
If you don’t take steps to address seasonal allergies, they can turn into a year-round problem. If you suspect your pet has environmental allergies, do what you can to aggressively manage their symptoms. This keeps Fido and Fluffy comfortable and ensures their immune systems stay strong and resilient, even in the face of pollen, dust, and mold.