For some people, severe allergy seasons bookend summer. If you’re not affected by pollen in the spring, autumnal ragweed will probably cause a runny nose. If that doesn’t get you, some types of mold, which flourish in the warm, wet weather of early autumn, will probably do the trick.
When people have allergies, they take over-the-counter medication and wait it out. However, most pet parents don’t know that dogs can also have seasonal allergies. If you’re not looking for them, you might miss the symptoms, resulting in an uncomfortable autumn for most pups.
Allergies don’t always manifest in dogs as they do people. Your pet won’t likely sneeze or have runny eyes. More commonly, they’ll scratch, lick, and chew their skin, which can cause hair loss, sores, and secondary skin infections. This happens when allergens are inhaled, creating skin issues from inside your pet. Itchy skin, ears, and recurrent ear infections are tell-tale signs of seasonal allergies.
So, what do you when autumn allergy season is just around the corner and Fido is starting to scratch? Plenty of management strategies exist. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Visit your veterinarian. This one might seem obvious, but some pet parents need the extra push. If your pet has mild, seasonal symptoms, symptomatic medications are probably all they need. Mild anti-itch shampoos, antihistamines, and steroids can do wonders for your pet’s comfort and happiness. Just be sure to visit the vet before making any decisions.
- Up your bath count. While most seasonal reactions are caused by inhaling allergens, pollen and ragweed can settle into your pup’s fur. This exacerbates their allergies. To prevent against this, give your dog a bath at least once a week. If the scratching has already begun, be sure to use an anti-itch shampoo.
- Minimize travel. If you know your dog has a history of seasonal allergies, try not to schedule trips and vacations with her in autumn. You never know what regional allergens exist until the symptoms appear with full force. Plus, you don’t want to subject Fido to hours of uncomfortable travel while they’re experiencing allergies, especially if the travel carrier is too small to let them itch.
- Get an allergy test. Yes, they exist for dogs. Knowing the specific culprit can help pet parents minimize exposure to allergens and reduce the anima’s symptoms. When you understand the cause, you can get a better, more specific solution. This is also a great option if you’ve noticed a sudden onset of symptoms with no discernable cause. Talk to your vet about getting a test done.