You may suffer from allergies. Heck, you may suffer from allergies because of your pet. But have you ever stopped to wonder if your pet suffers like you? Unless your pet has severe allergies (and at that point it’s impossible not to notice the suffering and discomfort), you might not have ever considered the potential. But yes, your pet can suffer from allergies. And yes, you can do something about it.
Allergy symptoms in animals are a lot like in humans: itchy skin, runny eyes, and sneezing. But pets might also exude symptoms such as itchy ears, swollen paws, and constant licking. So, what can you do to help your pet through this discomfort?
First you should know that most dog and cat allergies are caused by the environment, so unless you want a Bubble Beagle, you’ll have a hard time completely eliminating potential allergens. However, you can reduce your pet’s exposure to common allergens by practicing these tips:
Be a flea flicker. Many animals are allergic to fleas. An allergy to fleas goes beyond basic itching. In order to avoid this type of flea allergy, make sure you give your dog and cat flea preventative treatment all year round. Did we mention all year round. Fleas don’t just join your pet’s party in warmer months. They can hang out on your dog’s body for months. Would you want fleas setting up camp on your skin?
When it rains. If you suffer from allergies, you might have discovered that rain makes it all go away. After a rain, your symptoms subside. The same goes for your pet. Try to time long outdoor activities shortly after the rain, or on cooler days, as that’s when pollen count is at its lowest.
Pollen is a late sleeper. Are you a morning person? If you are, you’re in luck. Old man Pollen likes to sleep in, meaning that you can take your dog out for longer walks before 10 a.m., without fear of sparking major symptoms. Take your dog for shorter walks during other times of the day.
Wipe your feet! That exclamation point was mostly targeted at your pet (but goes for you, too). Pollen and other allergens can be found all over the ground. When your dog or cat walks around outside, they can track those allergens inside, and embed them into the carpet and furniture. So, wipe your feet! Okay, since your cat or dog likely won’t wipe their feet, do it for them, by investing in hypo-allergenic moist wipes. (This also keeps your pet from ingesting these allergens as he cleans his paws).
Cover your butt by covering. Your pet might be allergic to dust mites. Even museums have them, so you likely won’t get rid of them anytime soon, no matter how clean you claim to be. What you can do is invest in allergen covers for your bedding, your dog’s bedding, pillows and any other plush items. Note: you might see these items advertised for humans, but they still work for your pets.
And there’s always the vet
If you know, for sure, that your pet suffers from environmental allergies, then the advice listed above should help to lower his symptoms. The key phrase here, of course, is “for sure.” You can’t be sure of anything without getting sound advice from your vet. Your vet can determine what, if any, allergies your pet has. You’d be surprised to learn that your pet could be allergic to his food, or to a type of clothing, or a number of other random things (no, probably not your in-laws, sorry). While chances are the allergy comes from the environment, you never can be too sure. Go to your vet so you can find out for sure.