Seasonal Allergies

As the weather changes and seasons shift, many pet owners begin to notice changes in their furry friends’ behavior and health. Unfortunately, just like humans, pets can also suffer from seasonal allergies. Identifying the signs and symptoms of allergies in your canine companion is important, as it can help you determine when it’s time to seek veterinary care and how to treat your pet’s allergies.

Seasonal Allergies

What are Pet Seasonal Allergies?

Similar to people, pets develop allergic conditions when their immune system overreacts to allergens such as pollen, dust, or mold. When your pet comes into contact with these allergens, their immune system produces an allergic response that triggers their symptoms.

Where pets and people differ with allergies is the symptoms they produce. While people get runny noses, itchy eyes and respiratory signs, pets typically have the following common symptoms:

  • Itchy skin
  • Scratching or rubbing at ears
  • Licking or chewing at paws or skin

If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it’s important to take them to the vet for an examination. Allergies are not the only think that can cause itching in dogs!  Your vet will likely run diagnostic tests to determine if there are infections, parasites, or other causes of itch as these will require different treatments. 

Treatment for Pet Seasonal Allergies

There are a variety of treatment options available for allergies in dogs and cats, depending on the severity of your pet’s symptoms. Your vet will be in the best position to recommend which ones are best for your situation.  They may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Apoquel – medications that are used to treat allergic skin conditions in dogs. It works by inhibiting the production of certain molecules involved in the inflammatory response, which helps to reduce itching and other symptoms of allergic skin conditions.
  • Immunotherapy – this medication works by targeting a molecule called interleukin-31 (IL-31), which is involved in the inflammatory response that causes itching and other symptoms of allergic skin conditions 
  • Antihistamines – while less effective in the treatment of pet allergies, these can sometimes help by blocking the release of histamines, which are chemicals that cause allergic reactions
  • Corticosteroids – these can reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system’s response to allergens
  • Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy – this involves exposing your pet to small doses of the allergen over time, in effort to build up their immunity to it
  • Topical treatments – these can include medicated shampoos, creams, or sprays that can be used to help relieve itching and soothe irritated skin
Seasonal Allergies

Prevention of Pet Seasonal Allergies

While you may not be able to completely prevent your pet from developing seasonal allergies, there are some steps you can take to minimize their exposure to allergens. Some of these include:

  • Keep your pet indoors on days with a high allergen counts
  • Bathe and groom your pet regularly to remove pollen and other allergens from their fur
  • Work with your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is on a quality parasite preventative plan as fleas and insect bites can cause allergic flares
  • Vacuum and dust regularly to help keep your home clean and free from dust and to reduce the amount of allergens in your pets environment