Pet Owners Unaware of Allergy Risks

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According to the pet Allergy Worldwide Survey (PAWS) 44 percent of dog and cat owners were not aware of the symptoms that their pet could be suffering from seasonal allergies.  During the spring time, pollen and other allergens are everywhere and just like humans pets can suffer too.  The worldwide online survey was conducted in February and included responses from 1269 pet owners from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States.

According to Dr Stephen Shaw, a specialist in veterinary dermatology, “it is important for pet owners to be able to recognize the most common signs of allergy symptoms of their dogs and cats including more frequent scratching, excessive licking of the same area, fur loss and rash.”  Other symptoms may include sneezing, redness, runny nose and eyes, dry flaky skin, ear infections, or scabby skin.

It is important that pet owners realize that their dog or cat can develop allergies at any stage in their lives.  Pet allergies can manifest themselves in many ways as noted above and should be taken seriously to help prevent further complications and sometimes these allergic reactions can be fatal.

Here are some ideas to help prevent allergies at home:

Clean your pets’ coat – by keeping your pets coat clean you help remove pollen, dirt and other particles that can cause an allergic reaction.  Also, keep your pets bed clean by vacuuming and include your rugs and curtains.  Don’t forget to bath you dog(s) and use wipes or sprays for your cat(s) if they refuse to take a bath.

Check for food allergies –   Be aware of any reactions after eating, for these may be signs of an allergic reaction to the food your pet consumes.  Changing your pet’s food should be one of the first things you should try if you see that your pet is suffering from some form of allergy.

Help prevent fleas – hypersensitivity to flea bites causes allergic dermatitis in pets is the most common pet skin disease there is according to PetMD.  There are many over-the-counter treatments and shampoos to help control these pesky insects.

It is always a good idea to visit your local veterinarian if your pet’s allergic symptoms do not improve or get worse.

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