Can Dogs Suffer Seasonal Allergies?
Just like their human companions, canines may experience seasonal allergies. Not all dogs will experience allergies, but when they do, it can be highly stressful for a dog parent to see their pup uncomfortable in this way. Allergy symptoms can be triggered by any number of allergens, including airborne pollen, which can irritate your dog’s eyes, nose, and fur.
Allergy symptoms may flare up during specific times of the year, or be year-round depending on what your pup is allergic to. Spring and summer are the most common times to experience seasonal allergies, in humans and dogs, but the transition into fall can also have impactful effects on your canine.
To help your dog through this itchy, bothersome time, we’ve provided some further information that can help you understand any allergies your dog may be facing and strategies you can use to alleviate their symptoms.
How to Treat Seasonal Allergies in Dogs?
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your dog’s beloved time outside to protect them from allergies. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to prevent these bothersome symptoms.
It is advised to consult your vet before attempting various treatments, and many of the most effective treatments will require veterinary assistance. Your vet may recommend some at-home remedies before offering in-house treatment options, and in some cases, these remedies have extremely effective results.
Some of the most popular allergy-relief treatments include:
- Limit Exposure to Allergens: It is practically impossible to fully avoid allergens, but there are many ways to go about significantly limiting your pup’s exposure to this dander and debris. Wipe them down with a damp cloth when they return from the outdoors, and consider replacing your home’s air filter with a HEPA-grade product capable of capturing pollen. You can also check the pollen count in your area for a strategy on when to keep allergy-stricken pups inside.
- Wash Linens and Bedding: It is important to frequently wash your dog’s bedding in hot water to eliminate dust mites from infesting their comfort space. Because pollen and other common allergens cling to fabric, vacuuming and dusting often can be productive preventative measures.
- Some Dogs Find Relief in Honey: While there is no verifiable or conclusive scientific research to validate these claims, many dog owners have experimented with raw honey to aid their dogs through the allergy season and found successful results. Honey is safe for dogs to consume in small quantities, but there are some instances when you should never give your dog honey. Because of the high sugar quantity in honey, obese dogs or those with compromised immune systems should stay away from this remedy.
- Antihistamines and Anti-Inflammatory Steroids: Antihistamines are considered the milder treatment of the two. These medications help to block symptoms. While antihistamine medications are widely used, they have less potent and less effective results than some other treatments. Anti-inflammatory steroids are the stronger medications used to treat allergies in pups, but come with some potential side effects including extreme hunger, thirst, weakening of the immune system, rise in blood pressure, or higher susceptibility to infections. Some of these medications may be available over-the-counter, but always consult with your vet prior to attempting any treatment. They can offer specific recommendations based on your dog’s symptoms and medical history.
- Allergy Shots: Also called allergy-specific immunotherapy (ASIT), allergy shots are often used to treat environmental allergies in dogs. This treatment is typically recommended when a dog has symptoms that interfere with their quality of life and they have not responded to other methods of relief. Allergy shots are particularly effective in young dogs, too. Before a vet can administer an allergy shot, your pup will undergo an allergy test by a veterinary dermatologist to pinpoint the kind of allergen(s) affecting your canine.
- Dog Baths: A bath will remove dust, dander, debris, and anything else on your pup’s fur that might be irritating their senses. You can find specific shampoos and products that offer relief for allergy-prone pets, too. The dog bathing services at Greenlin Pet Resorts take the stress and mess off your hands. We’ll bathe your pup and have them squeaky clean and smelling fresh when they return to you.
What Are Common Allergens?
Allergies are triggered by some debris in the environment that your canine is particularly sensitive to. Most commonly, pollen and mold are the biggest causes of canine allergies.
Tree pollens, grass pollens, and weed pollens all have unique physiology, and they can affect your dog in different ways. Allergens from mold spores, mildew, and dust are typically present year-round, but they can flare up at certain times of the year when the weather is just right. Additionally, dogs can be allergic to humans the way some humans are allergic to dogs. Shed skin cells cause allergy symptoms in some canines!
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
If you suspect that your dog is facing allergy symptoms, you can check for various telltale signs. Dogs will typically show symptoms of allergies within the first 1 to 3 years of their life, but on occasion, allergies won’t develop or present themself until later. You’ll notice that many of these symptoms are similar to the allergy symptoms that affect humans.
Some of the most common symptoms of allergies in canines are as follows:
- Biting or scratching of the skin
- Excessive licking
- Red or inflamed skin
- Excessive shedding
- Sneezing more than usual
- Skin discoloration
- Excessive paw licking or chewing
- Respiratory issues like coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing
Are My Dog’s Allergies Genetic?
Some allergies in dogs are hereditary, like atopy and other environmental and seasonal allergies. Some breeds are also more likely to develop certain allergies, such as Golden Retrievers, Dalmatians, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, and others. There are many dog DNA and allergy tests that can help you link together if your dog’s allergies come from their family line.
When Should I See a Vet About My Dogs Allergies?
The best way to assess if your dog needs a vet or not is to trust your best instincts as their caregiver. If your dog is acting unusual or seems uncomfortable, that is a good indication that professional care is necessary. If you have done everything you can to limit your dog’s exposure to allergens without any success, a vet may also be a productive next step in this situation, too.
Be sure to check for the symptoms of allergies in dogs, and if you notice cracked or inflamed skin, immediately set up an appointment for your dog to be seen.
Stay, Play, or Train at Greenlin Pet Resorts and Enjoy the Benefits of Our Dog Spa Services!
At Greenlin Pet Resorts, we offer allergy-safe pet products for our dog bathing services to help your dog get a fresh feeling of relief from a soft, clean coat. Our facility also has a high-quality air purification system that filters out dander, debris, and fur from the air to keep your pup comfortable while they play or stay with us!
When dogs come to Greenlin, they have a variety of ways to stay entertained and enjoy an enriching and stimulating experience. Your dog can board with us overnight, learn training commands, or simply join us for playtime in daycare. We have luxurious amenities and comfortable, spacious grounds for all pups to enjoy!
Our dog bathing services are available when you join us for any occasion, and our skilled team of bathers is trained to look for signs of skin allergies or uncomfortable problem areas in your dog’s coat. We also provide calming baths with allergy-safe products for sensitive dogs.
We have 6 Harrisburg locations! To get in touch with a Greenlin Pet Resorts location near you in the Harrisburg area, contact us online.