Many of us know what it’s like to struggle with allergies as the seasons change, but what you may not know is that these seasonal allergies also frequently occur among our pets. This is a rather unknown topic for many pet parents, which is why we’ve asked our Freshpet vet, Dr. Aziza, to give some insight on what to look for and how to handle these seasonal allergies.
Common symptoms include excessive scratching, sneezing, recurring ear infections, coughing, biting or licking at paws, and red skin. If these symptoms develop but seem to occur around the same time every year or during a change of seasons, your pet may have seasonal allergies. If you think this is the case, the next step would be to speak to your vet about the best way to offer your pet some relief.
Seasonal allergies amongst cats and dogs are similar, in that they both will exhibit things like itchy, red skin, sneezing, and coughing. There is one difference between them though – cats can develop asthma and it’s believed that this is caused by an allergic reaction to inhaled allergens.
Interestingly, there are a few breeds of dogs that tend to be more prone to seasonal allergies. These include Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Boxers, Chinese Shar-Peis, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Dalmatians, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzus.
Just like humans, dogs and cats can have reactions to allergens in the environment. What the pet is allergic to will determine whether the pet will have the same type of allergic reaction if in a different environment. Sometimes a pet will start to display seasonal allergies after a recent move to a new country, a new state, even a new home in the same city.
If you are noticing your pet has seasonal allergies, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. During the appointment, they will be able to prescribe medication that will help with the symptoms or make recommendations for over the counter options. If your pet’s seasonal allergies are causing them to develop itchy or red skin, you can start to increase the amount of omega fatty acids (OFA) they get in their diet. OFAs are a great way of improving skin and coat health, and they have anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re looking for a new healthy dog food recipe that’s higher in OFAs, try our Nature’s Fresh® Grain-Free Salmon & Ocean Whitefish Recipe.
When it comes to changes you can make in your home to help with your pet’s allergies, the most important thing you can do is simply try and manage the allergens present. This can seem like a daunting task, but there are two easy ways it can be done. Firstly, you can vacuum regularly using a hypoallergenic grade filter. Secondly, you can replace filters in your HVAC system regularly with those that target allergens. By making these two small changes, you can help to give your pet some relief from their allergies while they’re inside the house.
Allergies may be a common occurrence but that doesn’t mean your pet should have to tough it out every time the season changes. We hope that these tips from Dr. Aziza help you identify your pet’s allergies and determine a game plan for how to tackle them!