Have you wondered why more dogs have allergies these days? If your canine starts scratching like crazy during the spring months, or you’ve noticed blemishes on his skin when the flowers start to bloom, you may have wondered about dog allergies.
Unfortunately, our pets are just as susceptible to allergies as we humans are. Many pet owners have noticed an increase in the number of dogs and cats that have allergies. What is causing this increase, and what can you do to prevent your pet from suffering from them? Keep reading to find out!
Wait, Dogs Have Allergies?
Before we dive too deeply into the increase in allergies, we want to stop and talk about the basics of allergic reactions in animals. Unlike in humans, dogs and cats do not typically display signs of watery eyes or stuffy noses. Instead, they will:
- Itch (either in one localized spot or all over the body)
- Have diarrhea
Pets develop allergies because an allergen triggers an immune response. Repeated exposure to this allergen triggers the immune system to overreact and produce symptoms like the ones mentioned above. Some allergies are seasonal, while some are caused by allergens your pet encounters on a daily basis.
Can Dog Allergies Be Prevented?
While there is no cure for allergies for our pets, there are certain ways to minimize their impact on your furry friend. Work with your veterinarian to try to determine the specific reason for your dog’s allergy troubles. Pay special attention when he or she starts to scratch in overtime or have some breathing issues. Sometimes you can narrow down the allergen source with some good observation, and other times you will need a little medical help to determine the allergens.
Common pet allergens include:
- Environmental sources (pollen, plants, etc.)
Once you find the source of the allergies, you can try to minimize your dog’s exposure to the allergen. Carefully wiping down her coat and paws after time outside helps to remove pollen or other potential allergens stuck to her coat. Flea preventives can help avoid issues with flea saliva causing an allergic reaction. Simple dietary changes can make a huge difference for a pet suffering from food allergies.
So, Why the Increase in Dog Allergies?
Why do dogs have allergies? There are many theories as to why there are more dogs who have allergies than there once were. One explanation is the increase in greenhouse gasses leading plants to create more pollen and allergy seasons that last longer than they once did. Another theory is the increase in processing for various kinds of pet food, which decreases the amount of nutrients and adds more fillers that could trigger allergic responses in pets. Although we may never truly know the reason that more pets are suffering, we want to do what we can to keep them as comfortable as possible.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from allergies, the team at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital can help. From wellness exams to diagnostics, we work hard to ensure that the pets of Waterford are happy and healthy. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (248) 363–1508.