The Tell-Tale Signs That Your Pet Has Allergies

You might think that allergies are only for humans. But our beloved four-legged friends can get allergies too. A very common occurrence, pet allergies can affect dogs, cats and other animals. So how do you know that your pet has them? Well, there are certain symptoms that you should look out for. In this article, we’ll take you through the key signs of allergies in dogs and cats, along with the main types.

Dog Allergies

Any dog can get an allergy and the symptoms will vary depending on the cause. In general, however, the following symptoms could be a sign that they are allergic to food, have a skin allergy or are affected by something in their environment:

  • They are constantly scratching themselves.
  • They have hives.
  • You’ve noticed swelling on their face, ears, lips or eyelids.
  • They have red and inflamed skin.
  • They are continuously suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • They frequently sneeze.
  • They suffer from chronic ear infections.
  • They have watery eyes.
  • They are licking themselves constantly.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important that you make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. They will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis and will suggest methods/treatments to help them.

Why Do They Get Allergies?

You might be wondering, why do dogs get allergies? Well, the different types can be as a result of several causes. For example, a skin allergy can be the result of dermatitis (a flea allergy). A reaction to flea bites, it will make dogs very itchy and their skin inflamed. To stop this allergy, your vet will recommend trying flea treatments that will kill the fleas and stop the discomfort.

Similarly, an allergy to food can cause sensitive skin. When a dog is affected by a food they will itch at their paws and ears. Their gastrointestinal system will also be affected, resulting in vomiting or diarrhoea.

A veterinarian would treat this with an antihistamine or to put them on a different pet food uk that’s more sensitive for their tummy. By trying out different dog food, it will become clear as to what ingredients you should avoid.

Environmental allergens can also cause skin issues in dogs. From dust to mould, allergens can cause itching and sneezing. Although these are commonly seasonal, they can affect a dog’s ears, paws, underarms, eyes and other parts of their body.

It’s vital to know that all skin allergies can pose a risk of infection. As your dog scratches, licks at or bites their skin they can open up their skin to the dangerous bacteria. Therefore once you notice the above, it’s important that you take action and book a vet appointment.

How Common Are Dog Allergies?

Unfortunately, allergies are very common in dogs – no matter what their background or breed. Apparent after six months, it’s vital to make the appropriate lifestyle changes when you notice them.

Cat Allergies

Cat allergies are also incredibly common. When a cat has them, their immune system becomes sensitive to everyday substances. Once they notice that they are allergic to them, they will identify them as dangerous. But what are the main symptoms of allergies?

  • They are frequently sneezing, coughing or wheezing.
  • They are regularly scratching.
  • They have itchy and runny eyes.
  • They have an itchy tail or back (a sign of a flea allergy)
  • They have ear infections regularly.
  • They are continuously suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • They have swollen paws.

Why Do They Get Allergies?

Although cats can be allergic to a wide range of substances, the following are the most common:

  • Trees and grass
  • Food
  • Fleas
  • Cleaning products
  • Pollen
  • Fabrics

With fleas, a cat will become incredibly itchy. Although it’s hard to spot that your cat has fleas as they clean themselves everyday, regular licking or scratching around the neck or tail can be a sign of an allergy. Once you notice this, you can either take your cat to the vet or try a product to kill them. If your cat requires long-term flea control medication, your vet will recommend the appropriate ones for them.

An allergy to pollen, grass and trees is also very common. Causing itchy and sensitive skin, it can start out as a seasonal issue before becoming a continuous problem. A veterinary dermatologist will be able to determine exactly what they are allergic to and recommend ways in which to protect them.

When a cat has a food allergy, they will commonly scratch their necks, heads and have gastrointestinal problems. Showing up at any age, they can develop if you’ve recently changed their food. To diagnose these, you’ll have to identify the ingredient that they are allergic to.

To treat it, similarly to dogs, you’ll be recommended to switch their food back to a product that doesn’t cause any allergic reactions.

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About the Author: Mary Gates

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