Get Allergy-Savvy! Here's All You Should Know About Pet Allergies

Understanding pet allergies is an important part of being a pet owner. Knowing what type of allergies your pet suffers from, how to prevent them, and how to treat them can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your beloved companion healthy and content. Read on to learn more about pet allergies, their symptoms, and treatments so you can care for your furry loved one in the best way possible!

What Kinds of Allergies Can Pets Have?

Animals can have a few types of allergies. Many of them can be the same allergies humans suffer from, but animals can also have food allergies that humans don't. Contact allergies are another type of allergies pets can have that occur when animals come into contact with substances like flea collars or shampoos that cause irritation or allergic reactions. Inhalant allergies are also common in animals. They include things like dust mites, pollen, and mold spores that cause respiratory problems and skin irritation.

Pets may acquire allergies to nearly anything, including medications, home cleansers, fragrances, and metals. As pets age, it's not uncommon for them to develop sensitivities to new items. Maintaining open lines of contact with your veterinarian is crucial since some of the allergies dogs and cats have must be addressed and treated for your pet's entire life.

What Are the Most Common Pet Allergies?

Many animals are allergic to fleas. To be exact, they are allergic to the proteins in flea saliva they're exposed to when bitten. If your pet is allergic to fleas, the bite of just one flea is enough to cause severe itching, hair loss, and skin sores.

Food Allergies
Food allergies are less common than fleas, pollen, mold, or house mite allergies, but they are nevertheless a significant source of persistent itching, as well as skin and ear issues in pets. Chicken, beef, dairy and grains are common culprits.

Pollen, Mold, and House Mites
By inhalation or skin contact, dogs and cats can be exposed to environmental triggers such as mold spores, house mites (like those connected to food and dust), and pollen from grass, weeds, and trees.

How To Treat the Most Common Pet Allergies

Fleas Treatment
The best method to handle flea allergies is to use a safe and efficient flea preventative year-round. Never treat cats with flea treatments used for dogs since they can make cats very ill. Your veterinarian can recommend options for your pet.

Food Allergies Treatment
A food trial lasting at least two months is a popular method to definitively confirm a food allergy. A food allergy diagnosis is obtained when your pet's symptoms improve dramatically when you change their diet and then return when they return to their old one.

Pollen, Mold, and House Mites Treatment
Intradermal skin testing is the most effective method for figuring out a pet's environmental triggers. Most treatments entail minimizing exposure to such triggers as much as possible.

More Prevention & Treatment Tips

The best way to manage allergies is through prevention. Making sure your home is clean is key. Vacuuming regularly (and using a vacuum designed for allergy sufferers if possible) will help you keep allergens at bay. Additionally, using natural products designed specifically for pets when bathing or grooming them helps reduce contact allergies.

When treating your pet's allergies, ask your veterinarian about medications that can help reduce inflammation and itching caused by allergens, as well as special shampoos or lotions you can use on your pet's skin if they experience any irritation or discomfort.

Keep in mind that having a pet means you could have to deal with allergies your furry friend may have. Knowing what kinds of allergies affect pets and how best to prevent them is key to keeping your pet safe from any associated dangerous symptoms. With proper preventive measures and treatment options recommended by your veterinarian at Onalaska Animal Hospital, you'll be able to keep your furry family member feeling great all year round, no matter their allergy.