Seasonal Allergies in Pets Posted on November 3, 2021 Spring has officially sprung. But for many of us and our pets, springtime also means allergies. To make this season a comfortable one, here are a few things you can do to help minimise any discomfort your pets are experiencing as a result of seasonal allergies. 1. Look out for the signs Dog and cats primarily experience symptoms of allergies through their skin- so the first symptoms are itchy, irritated skin. This can show up as your dog excessively licking their paws, tummies and legs particularly and scratching, chewing and biting at their skin. You may notice them shedding more hair than normal. Itchy ears (scratching and head shaking) are commonly seen in dogs with allergies which can progress to ear infections very readily. 2. Modify your walking routine You may want to avoid specific times of the day depending on your pet’s sensitivity. Pollen levels are highest in the morning and then again at night, so take your pets on their daily walks when pollen counts are low. Pollen counts tend to climb on dry, warm, and windy days, so remain indoors if it’s windy outside. Plan ahead and schedule your walks for later in the day when the levels are lower. 3. Regularly clean your pets’ coats and paws We know that convincing your pet to take a bath can be a difficult task, but a weekly bath in lukewarm water can help remove allergens. There are also soothing, moisturising shampoos available at your vet that can improve itchiness. 4. Make sure flea control is up to date Spring and summer are also the time that fleas can really begin to flourish. For a dog with itchy sensitive skin fleas make things a whole lot worse. Apply ongoing, veterinary recommended products to all dogs and cats in the household to make sure fleas don’t become part of the problem. 5. If your dog is itchy- speak to your vet Allergic skin disease is a complex disease with many causes – pollens are only one of the culprits with other dogs allergic to dust mites, certain dietary proteins or flea saliva. It is important to have a vet correctly diagnose the issue and provide the best treatment to provide relief to your pet. With a few lifestyle changes, you can ensure that this spring is comfortable for your pets to enjoy the arrival of blossoming flowers and warm sunshine.