About this time of year, many of you pet parents may be experiencing itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing fits that never seems to end. Just like you, your dogs may be experiencing similar symptoms. One question we hear a lot here at Eagle Animal Hospital and Pet Resort is “Do dogs have seasonal allergies?” And the simple answer is yes.
Do Dogs Have Seasonal Allergies?
Dogs of all breeds can have sensitivities to an array of things that can trigger an allergic response similar to that experienced by humans. From plants, tree pollens, dust, mold spores, and grass to cleaning products, air pollutants in the home, dirty air filters in an HVAC system, and even carpet materials can cause the immune system to overreact.
Allergic reactions in dogs often appear in the form of constant itching and scratching, irritated eyes, runny nose, repeated sneezing, dry skin, and excessive licking. The initial allergic reaction can also trigger secondary reactions to occur, such as skin irritation, dry skin, flaking, swelling, inflammation, ulcers, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms, contact your trusted animal hospital in Kansas City to schedule a veterinary exam. In the meantime, let’s explore the most common types of seasonal allergies in dogs, and be sure to tune in for our upcoming article to learn how to manage your pet’s seasonal allergies.
Signs Your Dog Has Seasonal Allergies
#1. Scratching, Itching, and Biting
One of the most noticeable signs your pet has seasonal allergies is if they are constantly scratching and biting themselves to relieve an itch. Coming into contact with environmental allergens like grass, pollen, and trees can trigger itchy skin. You might notice your dog excessively scratching their shoulders, neck, chest, paws, legs, and face, which is a sure sign of allergies. They may even try to relieve itchiness by rubbing against furniture, walls, the ground, and other objects.
#2. Excessive Shedding
Along with constant itching comes the shedding, which is caused by skin irritations, infections, and itching. You might also notice dry skin and dandruff as a result of the allergies. If the hair loss appears in noticeable patches or comes out in clumps, it’s time for a trip to the vet.
Tip: Bathing them in lukewarm water with a soothing anti-itch shampoo can help relieve the itch. If these actions and symptoms become moderate to severe, give your vet a call.
#3. Constant Licking — Especially on the Paws
Your dog might also be licking their extremities and paws frequently. This is a sure sign of seasonal allergies, as it is a natural reaction to push the histamines out, which means towards their legs and paws.
Tip: Keep an eye out for excessive licking that can cause sores and hair loss to occur.
#4. Face Rubbing
If you notice your pup rubbing their face vigorously against the edges of stairs, walls, and other objects, this is a similar behavior to them licking their paws. Plus, if their eyes, nose, and face are irritated from allergens, these areas are probably quite itchy.
Tip: Use a gentle spray-on conditioner that you can spritz onto your hand to gently rub on their face for relief.
#5. Irritated Skin
If they are displaying any of the signs we’ve mentioned, they are probably dealing with irritated skin as a result of the allergens. This can appear as red, dry, flaky skin, dandruff, hive-like welts, inflammation, bumps (like pimples), ulcers around their pads and between their toes, or a more serious skin infection.
Tip: Talk to your vet right away to get their recommendations on treating these and other allergy-triggered skin irritations.
If your dog suffers from seasonal allergies, our compassionate veterinary team can examine them, their symptoms, and recommend a customized course of action. Whether they need something as simple as fish oil and a hypo-allergenic shampoo to relieve the itching, they need a prescription of diphenhydramine or Apoquel, or they could benefit from an allergy test, our vets can help. Contact Eagle Animal Hospital and Pet Resort today to set up an appointment. You can also contact our veterinarians and access prescriptions through our Virtual Vet program — simply follow the link to learn more!