Allergy Awareness Week takes place from today and, although aimed at us humans, it is well worth bearing in mind that your pet may suffer from any number of allergies too, just like you. Pets can suffer from many of the same symptoms as people who have allergic reactions. There are two types of allergies your pet can suffer from. These are food allergies and environmental allergies.

What are the common allergies seen in pets?

  • Grass
  • Dust
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Fleas and flea control products
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • Food

Although there are no cures, taking some practical action and getting advice will help prevent your pet from discomfort. One obvious way to help a pet with dust allergies is to hoover regularly. Dusting with a damp cloth can also help. Pets with grass or pollen allergies can be kept away from freshly mown lawns; and having their feet washed after walks can also help.

What are the general symptoms of allergies in pets?

  • Itchy, scabbed skin
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrehea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws
  • Constant licking

How to help your allergic pet

  • Give frequent baths to give complete, immediate relief to an itchy pet and wash away the allergens on the coat and skin. If you suspect something outdoors is irritating your pet, in between baths, give them foot soaks as chances are the allergy is coming inside on your pet’s paws.
  • Make sure no one smokes in your pet’s environment and switch to non-toxic cleaners and other chemicals, which can dramatically reduce your dog’s or cat’s exposure to environmental toxins. You can also invest in an air purifier, as they do a very good job removing dust mites.
  • Make sure your dog’s drinking water is good quality and doesn’t contain fluoride, heavy metals or other contaminants.
  • Don’t allow your pet to be over vaccinated. Too many vaccinations can send your pet’s immune system into overdrive. An over-reactive immune system sets the stage for allergic conditions.

If you think your pet may have an allergy, one of the most important things to do is assess their overall lifestyle. Think about the foods they eat and the chemicals and toxins they are exposed to both inside and outside. Think about specific times they have had an allergic reaction and try to match of those times with things in their environment that could be irritants. By thinking carefully about your pet’s lifestyle, you’ll be better able to make choices about how to reduce the amount of allergens in your dog’s or cat’s environment.

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