A dog named Fred comes over to do an investigation on a wall in Lincoln Memorial Square in Washington DC on Presidents Day, February 15, 2021. Like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies.
(Samuel Corum / Getty Images)
- Pollen and other irritants in spring can cause allergies in dogs.
- Symptoms are scratches and red skin.
- Medication and shots can help in some cases.
At this time of year, many of us sniff, sneeze, and itch due to seasonal allergies.
But did you know that your dog can also be affected?
“Seasonal allergies are caused by factors that only occur during certain times of the year. Think of tree and grass pollen, dust / dust mites, mold / mold mites, flea bites and fresh grass,” said Dr. Susan Bonilla, a veterinarian in Charlotte, North Carolina, wrote in the Mint Hill Times. “While people typically have sneezes and runny noses and eyes due to seasonal allergies, dogs are more likely to have itching and red skin – although they can also have symptoms similar to humans.”
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According to the American Kennel Club, the itching and red skin are most likely to appear on the paws and face.
In addition to itching, other signs that your furry friend has seasonal allergies are licking, biting the skin, and rubbing the face.
“If you notice your dog scratching, rubbing on carpets or furniture, chewing, or licking itself more than normal, it is worth seeing your vet,” said Bonilla. “If they continue to behave like this, raw spots can develop that can potentially lead to painful infections that require additional treatment.”
Recurring ear infections can also be a sign of seasonal allergies in dogs.
Dogs are generally exposed to allergy irritants just like humans.
“These allergens, like pollen, can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin when your dog touches them,” wrote Dr. Leigh Burkett, a veterinarian specializing in allergies and dermatology, on PetMD.
Testing for seasonal allergies can help determine the specific trigger after other causes are eliminated.
“Seasonal / environmental allergy tests can be done on dogs through either skin tests or blood tests,” said Burkett. “Skin tests are the most accurate type of allergy testing … The fur is cut off in a small area and a number of very small amounts of allergens are injected into your dog’s skin. The level of allergic reaction to each allergen will determine whether your dog is allergic to it. “
Medicines or shots can be used to treat some allergies. However, the best course of action is to avoid irritants whenever possible.
“If you think your dog has seasonal allergies, you should work with your veterinarian to determine the cause and find appropriate treatment early on to treat itching and other symptoms so your puppy doesn’t get slowed down,” Bonilla said.
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