After this crazy winter weather, I can’t wait for spring. My dog is not quite as excited. See, he suffers with seasonal allergies, which for him means a lot of itching, losing the hair around his eyes and ear infections. Wondering if your dog has allergies, there are a lot of symptoms to look out for.
- Itching and scratching: This is one of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies in dogs. You may notice your dog constantly scratching or biting at their skin, especially around the face, paws, and ears.
- Red and watery eyes: Dogs with seasonal allergies may develop red and watery eyes, which can be itchy and uncomfortable.
- Sneezing and coughing: Just like humans, dogs with seasonal allergies may experience sneezing and coughing due to irritation in the respiratory system.
- Runny nose: Dogs with allergies may also have a runny nose or discharge from the nostrils.
- Ear infections: Allergies can make your dog more susceptible to ear infections. You may notice your dog scratching at their ears or shaking their head frequently.
- Skin rashes and hives: Allergic reactions can cause skin rashes, hives, and other skin irritations in dogs.
Don’t worry there are things that can be done at home to help your dog get through the season, but if you think your dog has allergies it is best to consult with your vet. For us, it’s daily brushing, more frequent baths, and an antihistamine shot twice a year.
WHAT TO DO
- Keep your dog clean: Regularly bathing your dog with a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo can help remove allergens from their coat and skin. You should also wipe down your dog's paws and body with a damp cloth or pet wipe after they come in from outside.
- Manage your dog's environment: Limit your dog's exposure to allergens by keeping them indoors during peak allergy seasons, closing windows and doors, using an air purifier, and regularly cleaning and vacuuming your home.
- Consider dietary changes: Some dogs may benefit from a diet change, such as a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet, to help manage their allergies.
- Provide relief for itching: Use a gentle, over-the-counter anti-itch spray or cream to provide relief for your dog's itchy skin. You can also try giving your dog an oatmeal bath or applying a cool, damp compress to affected areas.
- Consult with your veterinarian: Your veterinarian may recommend other treatments, such as antihistamines or corticosteroids, to help manage your dog's allergies. They can also provide guidance on the appropriate dosage and frequency of these medications.
- Depending on the severity of your dog’s allergies, your vet may recommend you take your dog to a dermatologist to determine what they are allergic to and work out a care plan.
Remember to always consult with your veterinarian before starting any treatment for your dog's seasonal allergies.
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