Does your pet scratch, lick or chew itself? Does your pet shake its head and have dirty ears? If so, your pet may be suffering from allergies. Pet allergies can be seasonal, environmental or food related.
Seasonal allergies are currently at their peak. Pollen from grass, trees and plants stick to hair coats, causing allergic reaction on the skin, which can erupt into secondary bacterial skin infections. Occasionally only one area of the skin is involved that your pet will chew and lick resulting in a “hotspot.”
More frequent bathing will help eliminate pollen from your pet’s hair coat. If full bathing is not possible, take a damp cloth and wipe your pet’s hair coat down, paying specific attention to the feet and muzzle. Another temporary solution for some dogs is to wear a lightweight coat to keep pollen off the body.
Flea allergies are very common at this time of year. Make sure your pet is protected from fleas by using the appropriate medication recommended by your vet.
Environmental allergies come from pollutants in the air. These can be inhaled or contacted directly, resulting in itchy skin, as well as eye, ear and breathing problems. These types of allergies are more difficult to protect our pet from.
Food allergies in dogs and cats are much more common now than a decade ago. Signs that your pet may have food allergies can range from itchy skin, recurring ear infections or digestive problems. Seek help from your veterinarian who will establish a diet plan to determine what foods are best for your pet.