Sneezing, Sniffling, Snorting, coughing, itching, wheezing - those of us with asthma and allergies are all too familiar with these symptoms. For some, it’s a little annoying. For others, it can be debilitating, especially if we don’t have any meds, natural or pharmaceutical, on which to lean. Few realize that the same goes for cats and dogs! Our cat and canine companions can also suffer from all of these symptoms to varying degrees, including seasonal allergies. May is peak allergy and asthma season, so The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has declared May to be National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
Facts & Figures
- Over half of pet parents don’t realize their cat or canine companions may also be miserable with allergies. There is no cure for asthma and allergies.
- Allergies are extremely common in cats and dogs.
- Asthma is more common in cats than in dogs, but both can suffer from asthma and related symptoms.
- The rate of allergies is climbing, globally.
- Dogs and cats can be allergic to their environment or to their food.
- Allergies can be seasonal or year-round, depending upon the cause.
- The most common symptom of seasonal allergies is skin irritation and itchiness, hot spots, and inflammation. This often makes them silent sufferers because they may not sneeze or wheeze, making their allergy go unnoticed by their guardians.
- Seasonal allergies can become a year-round problem if guardians don’t take aggressive steps to prevent or limit exposure, manage symptoms, and maintain their fur companion’s healthy immune system.
Common Asthma Triggers
There has been a spike in asthma among animals due to the increase in environmental pollutants, but there are many causes.
- Car exhaust and air pollution
- Dust from windy days, regular household buildup, or cat litter
- Grass and pollen
- Mold and mildew
- Smoke from tobacco, vaping, fireplaces, campfires, electrical and other sources
- Sprays, such as deodorants, flea spray, fragrances, and household or yard chemicals
Common Asthma Symptoms
- Open mouth breathing or panting
Coughing is often mistaken for hairballs by many cat guardians. Also, coughing and wheezing often occur as flare-ups where the cat or dog are fine between coughing and wheezing bouts, which can lead guardians to think it as a passing symptom. Everyday symptoms should be taken seriously. Panting and open mouth breathing can also be mistaken for a reaction to a warm day, but it can lead to a life-threatening turn of events, so guardians should monitor these symptoms.
Common Allergy Triggers
- Coming into contact with an allergen that causes symptoms is called ‘contact allergies.’ These can be topical medications, soaps and detergents, flea collars, fabrics, plants, and lotions.
- There are many pests that can cause allergic reactions. For example, flea saliva will cause itchy, irritated areas at the bite site. While there are many types of pests, fleas, mosquitos, and ticks, often called the pest trifecta, are the most common.
- Food allergies are on the rise in humans and animals. A person and animal can be allergic to anything, but the most common ingredients that cause allergies are beef, chicken, soy, and wheat.
- Inhaling allergens can also cause respiratory and other allergic reactions. There are indoor and outdoor factors to consider. Smoke, pollen, chemical irritants, fragrances, dust and other irritants can also cause mild and severe reactions.
People and animals share the same triggers, but symptoms can vary. While a pet guardian may react to dust with watery eyes and sneezing. A pup or kitty may react with sneezing fits.It’s important to determine allergens by paying close attention the animal, without expecting a direct comparison to human reactions.
Common Allergy Symptoms
- Redness and irritations
- Ear infections
- Upset stomach or digestive discomfort
- Gas, diarrhea, constipation
- Excessive licking or scratching
Because allergens can affect every bodily system, symptoms are far-ranging and varied. While these are the most common, there are many reactions that can clue us in to the presence of an allergen. It can be a good idea to consult a veterinarian for severe symptoms. Otherwise, systematically eliminating possible causes, while also providing carefully formulated solutions that will support healthy immune responses can help keep our fur-babies comfortable while we determine the allergen and how to prevent exposure.
Solutions and Treatments for Allergies and Asthma
There is no cure for asthma or allergies, but we can take several steps to make our companion animals comfortable.
Elimination diets can help to determine which foods may contain allergens, but the process can long and involves guesswork. Simply switching to EcoEats is the best answer because it’s fast and will provide immediate relief for dogs. EcoEats is all-natural, hypoallergenic, vet approved for all life stages, and it’s free-from grain, gluten, preservatives, and by-products.
The vet can test to pinpoint allergens. This can be expensive, but valuable if elimination methods have not been successful, or symptoms and their treatments are severe or expensive.
Allergies are an immune system response. That means having a healthy immune system is critical. EcoImmune for dogs and cats is an all-natural, powerful supplement containing immune enhancers and powerful antioxidants. Even if our fur-babies have seasonal allergies, it’s important to keep their immune system healthy and ready. EcoImmune is an easy, inexpensive way to ensure the health and comfort of our cat and canine companions.
Veterinarians can also provide prescriptions for animals with severe symptoms and discomfort. This can also be expensive but may be worth it if fur-babies are having a hard time with allergies or asthma.
Pests can be tough to avoid. Some are seasonal, but others are a year-round risk. They can harass our fur-babies indoors and outdoors. There are plenty of options out there, but EcoBug is one of very few available solutions that are gentle on our animal companions while formulated to be a powerful repellant again the trifecta, fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. EcoBug is natural, safe, and provides immediate relief.