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For some people, seasonal allergies are a pain in the butt! Whether you’re bothered by a runny nose, itchy eyes, or endless sneezing, it can be a tough time of year to endure. Just like their human pawrents, some dogs and cats suffer from the same effects of seasonal allergies. Besides chemicals like the ones found in household cleaning products, cigarette smoke and certain perfumes, they can also be allergic to natural, seasonal substances. This can include plant and tree pollens, mold spores, dust, feathers and fleas.
A pet's allergy symptoms are generally similar to those experienced by us humans- the immune system overreacts to one or more offending substances, which leads to itchiness and irritation. Your pet might lick or scratch themselves, develop irritated eyes, or sneeze repeatedly. Some experience itchy, swollen skin, while others suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. In certain cases, a secondary infection may develop.
Here are a few things you can do to help control any discomfort your dog may be dealing with due to seasonal allergies.
Change your daily walking routine.
If possible, avoid walking your dog in the early morning or late afternoon, when pollen levels are typically highest. Steer clear of fields and parks where offending plants are common, and consider an indoor, open play setting like during the high allergy months. If it's a cat, then keeping them inside for a while, won't hurt :)
When you return home, wipe your pets body and paws with a moist cloth or a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free grooming wipe from your local pet store. This will remove excess pollen and other allergens from your dog and cat's fur and skin without the hassle of a full bath. Pay special attention to the paws, as the sensitive skin here is often affected by allergens.
Don’t sleep on it.
The surfaces your pet comes in contact with at bedtime can become covered in allergens, so make sure they’re kept clean by being washed in hot water every week. Also, make sure any soft toys your dog plays with get washed regularly.
Jump in the bath.
When in doubt, jump in the bath! You can prevent dry, itchy skin by giving your pet (cat's may not like this part so much! LOL) a bath more often with veterinarian advice. Wash their fur with a gentle, hypoallergenic anti-itch shampoo that contains a soothing ingredient such as oatmeal, aloe, or evening primrose oil.