Vet Tech Rounds: How to Prevent Seasonal Allergies in Dogs and CatsPet Care Tips 4 min read
Seasonal Allergies in Dogs and Cats
Symptoms of environmental allergies in dogs and cats are similar to humans -- itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose, frequent sneezing and itchy skin. Common environmental allergens like pollen, spores, dust, mold and perfumes can trigger these symptoms of allergies in dogs and cats.
Allergies are caused by an over reaction of the immune system to a substance that is typically harmless. When a pet is allergic to a pollen, for example, the body will sense a danger from the substance, even though none typically exists. To combat that ‘danger’, the body releases a substance called histamine. Histamine causes the symptoms of allergies which we see, such as runny eyes and nose, sneezing and itching. This is why pharmaceuticals to combat allergic responses are called anti-histamines.
There are a few ways you can help your pet who suffers from environmental allergies. Allergy season is a particularly worse time for pets with asthma. These tips will help you reduce their asthma symptoms too.
This can be easier said that done because allergy season is also the best time to head outdoors with your pet. But if your pet is allergic to certain plants or to pollens, try to avoid too much outdoor activity during pollen season and when those plants are blooming. There are many indoor play parks for dogs, or exploring a nearby urban area may be an option to avoid plants and pollens as well.
2 -Filter the air
Use high quality air filters in your home. HEPA filters are rated to remove very small particles like pollens. Change the filters in your heating or cooling systems regularly, and place efficient air filters throughout your home.
3-Keep the environment clean
Allergens can collect on surfaces like bedding, outerwear and even their dishes. Regularly laundering the the washable items will help keep this build-up at minimum. If your pet frequents an area that can’t easily be laundered (like your couch?), provide clean blankets or sheets to cover the area. Keep their bowls and water dishes clean. In allergy season, you might need to do this 2-3 times a day.
4-Wipe away allergens
After walks or potential contact with allergens, wipe your pet down with a damp cloth. A full bath isn’t always required. Pollens and small particles can stick to the fur and follow your pet around. A good wipe down can help to remove these allergens. Bathing once weekly if possible is also a good idea.
5-Break the licking and itching cycle
Allergens can cause itchiness, which causes your pet to lick and chew. This damages the protective layer of the skin, which then leaves the body more prone to allergens and infections, causing further itching. It is extremely important to break this cycle and allow the skin to heal.
NHV Alge-Ex can help your pet’s body control and balance the histamine response while simultaneously reducing the symptoms:
NHV Ouch Away Spray can help break this cycle and bring some soothing relief from allergies in dogs and cats. Use the Ouch Away Spray on the sore and inflamed area (avoid using on an open wound) . Hold your pet steady for 10-15 minutes so that the skin gets a chance to soak it in. This will help reduce itchiness and inflammation. This spray is all natural and if your pet ends up licking it, it is perfectly safe.
Never bandage any wounds or raw areas on your pet without your veterinarian’s guidance. A loose t-shirt or ‘onesie’ may fit your pet to cover a raw area, but still allow it to breathe and dry out. Your pet may also need to wear a ‘cone’ for some time while the skin heals.
6-Include Omega-3s in their diets
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory nutrients that can help with conditions like asthma and allergies in dogs and cats. You can do a vet prepared homemade recipe that includes sardines, tuna and salmon or you can find a high quality commercial food that includes fish as one of the ingredients. These healthy fatty acids contribute to overall skin health, besides supporting the body’s immune system. Supplementing your dog or cat’s diet with Omega-3s is also a great idea. NHV PetOmega 3 is vet formulated to suit pets and can be given once daily to bring the all the superb benefits of Omega-3s to your pet.
Allergies in cats and dogs can be very difficult to diagnose and treat. Preparing in advance can help your pet the best.
Spring season is when environmental allergies get really bad. But even the rest of the year factors like smoke, dust and perfumes can bother your pet. If your cat or dog is prone to environmental allergies or is asthmatic, you can talk to an NHV Pet Expert like me about your pet’s health, just send us your message here and we will help put together a regimen that can support your pet with allergies.
Johanna is NHV’s in house Registered Veterinary Technician. Technicians are the veterinary equivalent of a human nurse. Johanna has over 10 years of experience in different types of veterinary clinics and hospitals. She has seen and assisted in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions and injuries. She will share her experiences in her monthly blog series “Vet Tech Rounds” to help our extended NHV family learn about common preventable medical cases and other interesting stories of vet clinic life.
Published: March 22, 2019