Diagnosing Seasonal AllergiesFood allergies and environmental allergies are two ways allergens can wreak havoc on us and on our poor pets.
Food allergies will be present year-round if it’s something in their daily diet that’s bothering them. Or we might discover that certain treats consistently result in flatulence, upset stomach, or skin irritation.
Environmental allergies can occur year-round for those who live in warmer climates where plants and other potential environmental allergens are present throughout the year. Most of the time it’s Spring and Summer, the blooming seasons, that cause problems. There are fall and winter allergies too. But similar to their humans, cats and dogs suffer from plenty of warm-weather irritants.
The most common environmental allergens are grasses, flowers or seasonal plants, molds, pollens, ragweed, and some trees. For some parts of the United States, summer is a dusty, dirty time of year. Dust is a common irritant for us all, and our four-legged friends are no different.
Diagnosing pet allergies can take a slightly different form than identifying it in humans. We tend to wheeze, cough, and get the sniffles because environmental allergens attack our respiratory system. Our furry friends tend to end up with allergic dermatitis when suffering from environmental allergies. They’ll end up with skin irritation and inflammation that leads to maddening itching and scratching.
Allergic dermatitis can be miserable and when scratching doesn’t provide relief, our sweet canine companions and kittens will often end up rubbing along surfaces and even biting at themselves. This is the beginning of a pretty reliable cycle because as the area becomes more inflamed and itchy, they can end up with hot spots.
Hot spots are less common in cats, although the cycle is very real for both pet pals. When a dog’s natural eco-system of healthy skin bacteria becomes overwhelmed, their skin can become noticeably red and hot from the infection or inflammation. And hair loss is not uncommon. For those who are already watching their pups suffer through this process, we suggest EcoSpot. It’s natural, organic, and safe for cats and dogs. It’s specially formulated for a broad range of hot spot causes, including allergic dermatitis. And it’s strong, so it provides fast relief.
A surprising symptom of seasonal allergies, aside from an overall dermal reaction, are ear infections. The ears are one of three common checkpoints a veterinarian will use to quickly examine overall health: skin and coat, energy, and ears. Dogs, in particular, will have itchy, inflamed ears as part of a generalized response to allergens. Ear infections often occur if the ears remain irritated for too long and the the natural ecosystem of bacteria and yeast becomes unbalanced. If an ear infection has already developed in one or both ears, EcoEars is a proven solution that has already provided relief for over 100,000 dogs and cats. It’s not only natural and organic, it’s formulated specifically for cats or for dogs, so that it’s safe and effective.
The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies we should look for are irritated skin, itching, biting at themselves, and hot spots. Check the ears for irritation and if they are shaking their head, or an odor or discharge develops around the ears, it could be an ear infection from swimming - or it could be allergies. And, while they’re less common, respiratory symptoms, similar to our human reactions to allergens are not unheard of. Watch for irritated, watery eyes, runny noses, and sneezing. Bronchitis or sinusitis can develop if respiratory reactions aren’t monitored and treated.
How to Soothe Seasonal Pet Allergies
Get rid of or avoid the allergen. That’s typical advice and sure, that works for food allergies. But for environmental allergies - there’s really no way to avoid the great outdoors. So, if it’s a houseplant, move it to a room where precious pets aren’t allowed. If it’s identified as something we pass while on a walk, find a new route. Otherwise, we’re left to find other solutions.
We can give them more frequent baths or more trips to the groomers. Too many baths can add to the problem by continuing to dry skin or cause further irritation. The best approach is to make the baths more regular, rather than just more often. There are over the counter medicated shampoos available and oatmeal shampoos are common because they’re gentle.
Clean the house more often , especially areas our buddies frequent, like their beds and favorite window sills. Choose non-toxic, pet-friendly cleaning solutions and wipe down dusty floor, corners, and bedding.
Try a hypoallergenic, grain-free diet. Even though we’re fighting environmental allergen, a hypoallergenic, grain-free diet will help to reduce general inflammation. It’s a way to take a systemic approach to the irritation that can provide some full-body support to fight allergens. Vet Organics has a new dehydrated dog food available, EcoEats. It’s dehydrated, not freeze dried, so it’s incredibly fresh, healthy, natural, organic, non-GMO, grain-free, and hypoallergenic. Just add some warm water and a favorite protein. One 2-pound bag yields 16-pounds of dog food. And it’s priced for all fur-families.
Avoid vaccines during allergy season. Allergy symptoms are a response by the immune system to fight allergens. We want to calm symptoms, but vaccines stimulate the immune system. If possible, save vaccines for the off-season to give cat and canine immune systems a break.
Try allergen-fighting supplements, like Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Sources like salmon and tuna can be added to our pet’s diet during allergy season, although it’s healthy as a year-round protein as well. And adding fish oil to the daily regimen can help as well. An excellent supplement is EcoAllergy. This is an all-natural anti-allergy supplement that is highly effective and supports the immune system. There are no chemicals, hormones, steroids, preservatives, or antibiotics, so it’s also healthy and easy on the digestive system. It’s formulated to be safe for both cats and dogs when added to their food once a day. Anyone who has seasonal allergies can relate - they are painful and uncomfortable. For our special canine or cat companions, it can be overwhelming if it gets out of control. But there is so much we can do to help diminish exposure, manage and soothe pet allergy symptoms, and help build a strong, resilient immune system.