Can dogs suffer from seasonal allergies like us? A lot of people wonder about this and the answer is: Yes, they can!
Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from seasonal allergies. In fact, around 10% of dogs suffer from allergies. Pollen, weeds, grass, fungi, mold spores, and flea saliva are the most common culprits that cause these allergies. And, dogs need help to deal with their allergies just like we take medications to soothe allergy symptoms.
The first thing you need to do is find out if your pup has an allergy. How can you do that? By monitoring them and checking if you can recognize some of the common symptoms.
Season Allergies Symptoms
The most common season allergy symptoms are:
- Watery eyes
- Puffy eyes
- Runny nose
- Itchy and/red skin
- Fur loss
- Often ear and/or skin infections
- Increased scratching especially in the paws and that face
Have You Noticed Any of These Symptoms?
If you notice any of these signs, your pooch most probably is allergic to something. In order to find out what they are allergic to and get the right treatment, you should take your dog on a checkup at the vet. They will do an allergy test, with the most common being the intradermal skin test (still, the test choice varies depending on the symptoms). When the results come out, your vet will prescribe you the medicines your dog needs to take to overcome their allergy more easily.
Seasonal Allergies Treatment
The exact treatment depends on the type and severity of the allergy, but here are the most common treatment options.
Immunotherapy is a medical treatment when the allergens triggering the allergy are given (injected) to your dog in small amounts that slowly increase over time. In this way, the dog’s immune system learns to tolerate those allergens until they become almost immune to them.
Another treatment option is taking oral medications like antihistamines, Apoquel, and Atopica. These medications aim to reduce or completely eliminate your pup’s symptoms. They are usually given when dogs have allergy symptoms and allergy testing isn’t needed.
Your vet can also prescribe injectable medications like Cytopoint if your dog has symptoms and there’s no need for conducting an allergy test.
Other Treatment Options
Apart from the abovementioned medications, your vet can also prescribe steroids and fatty acids. While the fatty acids are healthy and can be taken regularly, steroids can’t be used for a longer time because there’s a risk of severe side effects.
What Can You Do?
If you want to help your dog go through the seasonal allergy season more easily, you can do the following:
- Bath your dog with hypoallergenic shampoo regularly – To remove allergens from their coat.
- Clean your home – To remove any allergen from the surfaces and the air.
- Change your walk time – If your dog has a pollen allergy, take it on evening walks or around midday because the pollen levels are lower in that period.
- Avoid fields and parks since they contain most of the allergens you want to avoid.