Dog Spring Allergies: Prevention and Treatment
Spring has arrived and with it comes a bevy of blooming flowers, green foliage, and thriving grasses producing pollen. Like humans, your dog can also experience seasonal allergies that will send you scrambling for tips at prevention and treatment.
What Causes Dog Spring Allergies?
Allergies occur when your pet’s immune system is kicked into overdrive because it thinks that it has encountered something dangerous. It’s important to identify potential allergens that can impact your pet’s well-being.
Common pet allergens include pollen from:
Other potential allergens include:
During the spring and summer, fleas become especially active. Many pets are allergic to parasites and can quickly develop a severe skin reaction to the saliva of the insect.
Symptoms of Spring Allergies in a Dog
When humans experience an allergy, they will typically have a runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing. However, respiratory allergy symptoms are not as common in dogs. In fact, most canines display allergies with a skin reaction. You’ll notice reddened irritated segments of skin that flair up and then subside as the allergy season passes.
Your dog might start to excessively lick his skin, over-groom, display bald or thin patches of hair, and develop what is referred to as ‘hotspots’ Hot spots are areas where the fur is absent and the skin becomes badly inflamed, smelly, and itchy. Dogs with allergies often rub their face, head, and snout against furniture. All these symptoms, either alone or in groups, are strong indications that your dog is suffering from allergies.
Here are just a few ways to prevent allergic reactions in your dog:
- Keeping your dog’s coat clean with regular bathing helps remove the pollen, bacteria, dust, and dander that act as irritants to your dog’s skin. You might also want to use an ear wash to clean the canal of dirt and bacteria which can cause irritation and inflammation.
- Specialized paw washes clear away irritants, so your dog does not track the pollen into the house or onto his dog bed.
- Natural dietary supplements such as fish oil that contains omega 3 and omega 6 can significantly reduce itchiness.
- Rub coconut oil directly onto your dog’s coat to promote healthier skin and reduce the dog’s allergic reaction to the allergens. Commercial dog shampoos that contain coconut oil might also help.
- Keep your dog hydrated which will help flush toxins from his system. Your pooch should always have access to fresh, clean water.
Seeking Help for Allergies
If your dog has persistent or severe allergies, then it's time to seek the help of your veterinarian who might refer you to a specialist known as a veterinarian dermatologist. They will perform tests to help identify the allergen causing your dog’s reaction. Once you have an idea of the agent then you can try to reduce exposure by removing the weeds from your yard or avoiding trees. Also, your dog’s veterinarian will lay out a treatment plan to help your dog feel better during allergy season.