Recognizing Spring Allergies in Your Pets

Dog in grassWarmer air, beautiful blooms, relaxing breezes…spring has a lot to offer for lovers of the outdoors. Yet this time of year can be tough for those of us with seasonal allergies. It’s hard to enjoy a cookout or a walk through the garden when you’re dealing with sneezing and watery eyes.

You might already be struggling with allergies here in North Carolina. Pollen has become an issue earlier than normal this year, according to recent news reports.

This isn’t just a problem affecting us. Springtime allergies can really impact the quality of day-to-day life for our furry friends, and they could even lead to serious issues in some cases.

There are different allergens that cause issues depending on geography and the time of year. As we go through March and April in NC, you can expect grass, tree pollen, fleas, and other insects to be major culprits.

So what are the signs and symptoms of allergies in dogs and cats?

Pay attention to things like excessive licking, frequent scratching, sneezing, sniffling, ear problems, irregular shedding, red or inflamed skin, and bumps. Pets may even bite themselves in an effort to stop the continual itching. Pets could develop skin infections as well.

Dog rolling in grassIt’s easy to see how miserable these issues could make your dog or cat, so it’s important to discuss them with your pet’s veterinarian in order to determine safe, appropriate treatments. There are a number of options, including antihistamines, allergy shots, baths, and steroids, according to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Allergy testing may be something your vet suggests too.

Regardless of whether your pets have seasonal allergies, it’s always important to protect your animals from fleas and mosquitoes. Mosquito bites can lead to the development of heartworms, and flea infestations can put your pets at risk for tapeworms and even anemia. Plus, those pesky creatures are just plain annoying to have in your house!

Hopefully, keeping these things in mind can help you and your pets have a much calmer spring season.

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