We think of people having allergies, but pets?! In truth, pet allergies can be quite similar to those of their owners’, and they certainly cause as much discomfort. If you have pets, then it’s important to know the kinds of allergies they are prone to and learn to recognize them.
1. Food Allergy
A food allergy is one of the most common pet allergies. It is caused by ingredients found in different dog and cat foods. Meat, dairy, soy, wheat, and preservatives can cause allergic reactions. Food allergy warning signs include vomiting, diarrhea, itching, hair loss and an unusually dry or greasy coat.
2. Flea Dermatitis
Another common allergy for pets, especially those with particularly sensitive skin, is flea dermatitis, a reaction caused by flea bites. It manifests through itching, hair loss, and hives that usually affect the whole body. Flea allergies can be diagnosed and treated with the help of a veterinarian.
3. Contact Allergies
As with humans, pets can suffer from contact allergies. Possible culprits that are commonly found in a household include carpet, pesticides, and topical shampoos. Treatment includes avoiding contact with triggers. If the pet’s environment doesn’t allow for avoiding contact, a veterinary dermatologist may prescribe medications.
4. Airborne Allergies (Atopy)
Cat and dog atopy is caused by inhaling certain substances such as molds, dust, or plant pollens. These allergens can elicit symptoms including sneezing, skin itching, hot spots, a runny nose, and itchy/runny eyes. Note that just as humans are prone to seasonal allergens from pollens, so, too, are animals.
How to treat pet allergies?
Allergy symptoms can be addressed in a number of ways ranging from topical ointments to antihistamines to steroids. These are not always effective, though, and can even do long-term damage to your pet’s health. For a more natural, long-term solution, consider sublingual immunotherapy for animals. Sublingual immunotherapy works like allergy
shots but is dosed as under-the-tongue drops (safer and easier to administer). Call PALLERGY at 1-800-568-1180 for more information.