Living in North Carolina, you’re probably all too aware of how bad allergy symptoms can be. After all, we know spring has arrived when every surface is yellow.

Seasonal and chronic allergy issues can make us feel pretty terrible—and the same goes for your pets.  

Symptoms like excessive licking and scratching seem to be all too common among cats and dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, some of the leading health issues impacting pets—allergies, ear infections, and various skin conditions—cause itchiness.  

Itchiness is frustrating enough on its own for pets. If you throw in symptoms like inflamed skin, sneezing, watery eyes, excessive grooming, and hair loss? It’s easy to see why animals could become downright miserable due to allergies, food intolerance, or skin infections. 

Pets might even start behaving differently.

A study published in the journal Animals in October 2019 showed that chronic pruritis, or chronic itching, is associated with psychological stress in dogs. Researchers studied dogs who had a common skin condition called atopic dermatitis. They found that these pets were more likely to display a range of problematic behaviors, such as hyperactivity, chewing, and even stealing food.  

These kinds of issues can really impact your pet’s quality of life—as well as your own. No one wants to watch a cat or dog be in a constant state of pain or irritation.

If you notice any signs like those mentioned above, it’s important to have your pet checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible. There are a number of things that can lead to skin-related problems, including fleas, seasonal allergies, food sensitivities or allergies, dust mites, and mold. Items you use in your home, such as cleaning products, could even be the culprit.  

The key goal of treatment is to improve your pet’s quality of life. In some cases, particularly with allergies, managing symptoms will be a lifelong issue. Fortunately, there are a lot more options available for helping pets with allergies. These include shampoos and other topical products, antihistamines, dietary changes, steroids, and allergy shots (immunotherapy).  

It may take time to figure out what works, but stick with it. A happier, calmer pet—and owner—is worth it! 

Disclaimer: The contents of the Lazy Days Pet Sitting Service website and blog are for informational purposes only. None of the material is intended to serve as professional veterinary advice. The provided information cannot be used to diagnose or treat pet health issues.