Warm weather and fun is in the air! Unfortunately for many of us who are susceptible to seasonal allergies, so are pollen and mold spores. From mid-February through late April, allergy season is in full force in most areas of the US.
We know that seasonal allergens can cause problems for people, but did you know that your pet may be suffering because of seasonal allergies as well? You might even notice that this year, with the pollen count higher in many areas than usual, our pets are a little bit more miserable than usual. But what are the signs that your pets are suffering, and what can you do to help?
Signs a pet is suffering from seasonal allergies
Like humans, some dogs are more susceptible to pollen and mold spores than others. But unlike their human best friends, a pet’s allergy symptoms may be harder to spot. Some signs your dog or cat is suffering seasonal allergies include:
- Excessive itching or redness, specifically on the feet or areas that come into contact with grass or other allergens
- Inflamed or infected skin
- Excessive shedding or uncharacteristic hair loss
- Scooting rear on the carpet or biting and licking the anal area
- Licking of the paws or feet
- Respiratory problems including sneezing, coughing, or collapsed trachea
- Nasal discharge
- Bleeding from the nose and/or mouth
Pollen and mold spores may not be the only things causing your pet to have seasonal allergies. Common allergens can be lurking in your yard and even in your dog’s food. Some of the most common allergens for pets include:
- Pollen and other plant spores
- Dander and skin from other pets or people
- Dust or dust mites
- Cleaning products
- Ingredients in many common dry dog foods
How to treat allergies in pets
Just because it is allergy season doesn’t mean your pet has to suffer. With just a few small changes, your pet can become more comfortable year-round.
To start, make sure your pet’s diet isn’t the culprit of the allergies. Switch your dog to a natural dog food, and make sure their treats are all natural as well. I recommend feeding your pet only raw, dehydrated, or freeze dried foods. If you are interested in preparing your pet’s food at home, check out the Yin & Yang cookbook. Then, slowly reintroduce your pet’s usual food and treats into their diet and watch for changes. You should also introduce a pre and probiotic into your dog’s diet, which can help their gut health and reduce allergy symptoms.
Next, eliminate external allergens as much as possible. When your dog comes inside, wipe their paws with a wet cloth or dip them in water to rinse off their feet. This can remove common allergens found in grass. You should also take care to eliminate fleas in your yard and on your pet. We recommend Wondercide, which is an all-natural way to kill fleas and repel them from on your pet and in your yard.
You may also find it helpful to cover areas of your pet’s skin that are particularly susceptible to outdoor allergens. For example, a bandana or an adorable denim jacket can serve as more than just a fashion statement: it can protect your pets’ skin from falling pollen or dander.
If your pet has any hot spots or irritated areas on their skin, a great treatment option is CBD Dog Health’s SOOTHE Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Salve, which combines 150 mg of CBD with natural ingredients like honey, vitamin E, ginger essential oils, and aloe. This award-winning salve is used to heal hotspots, allergies, bug bites, and other common springtime issues. You can also give your dog CBD tinctures orally which can reduce inflammation and allergic reactions.
It is also important that you maintain proper grooming during allergy season for your pet. De-shedding is vital to prevent irritation, and as the weather warms up, your pet is likely to shed more than usual. Bring them to Beautify the Beast and add a routine de-shedding to your groom, which includes a de-shedding shampoo, conditioner, and brushing treatment.
To learn more about treating allergies, visit www.angelaardolino.com.
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm in Lutz, Florida. She also is the owner of Beautify the Beast a natural pet salon and shop, and the founder of CBD Dog Health. Angela is a holistic pet expert and has five dogs, and 4-10 at any time that she is fostering or boarding; visit www.angelaardolino.com.