Humans are not the only ones affected by allergens in the air, in food and in the environment. In fact, it is quite common for dogs to suffer from allergies. Some of the symptoms in dogs include itchy paws, inflamed skin, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss and ear infections. Whether a dog suffers from a mild case of environmental allergies or a severe food allergy, it’s imperative that pet owners go the extra mile to care for their pet.
There are several steps that pet owners should take if their dog has been diagnosed with allergies by a veterinarian:
Wash Pet Bedding on a Regular Basis
After a dog has been playing outside or has been out for a walk, they drag in all of their environmental allergens back into the house. A dog paws and their fur may then be filled with dust, pollen and dander from the outdoors. This outdoor material may end up on or in their bedding.
Pets who suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies can experience more severe reactions because they are constantly being inadvertently exposed to allergens. To prevent this from happening, pet owners should wash all bedding, blankets and soft toys that the dogs use at least once every few days.
Purchase Allergy-Friendly Pet Food
Dogs who are experiencing digestive distress or difficulty breathing may have an allergy to an ingredient in their dog food. There are dogs that may be allergic to specific types of grains that are included in dry pet food. Other dogs may be allergic to the meat or fish ingredients. Pet owners can work with a veterinarian in order to isolate the ingredient that is causing the allergic reaction.
Once the pet owner understands what their dog is allergic to, they can find a pet food that is both safe and delicious for their pet. There are many different types of allergy-friendly pet foods on the market for dogs that are sensitive to common ingredients.
Avoid Walks During Peak Allergy Season
Dogs who are allergic to pollen and other environmental allergens may experience symptoms during specific seasons of the year. Spring and fall are common allergy seasons for dogs, and it may be best for pet owners to minimize the number of walks they take during the time of year that effects their pet’s allergies the most. However, there are some dogs that do require a daily walk. With that said, pet owners should consider walking their pets during the early morning or late evening hours. This is when the pollen levels are not as high.
Bathe the Dog Frequently
In order to eliminate as much contact as possible with pet dander, pollen, dust and other allergens, pet owners should bathe their pets as frequently as possible. A daily bath may be too often, as that could dry out the dog’s skin. Dog owners may want to consider bathing their dog at least three times per week. It is important to use gentle soap and pet shampoo to avoid aggravating the skin. This may further and possibly exacerbate the symptoms of the allergic reaction.
Pet owners who have dogs that suffer from allergies should work closely with their veterinarian in order to be sure that they are managing the allergies effectively. In addition to treating the symptoms, pet owners also should work to minimize the allergic reactions. In the event of a severe reaction, pet owners should contact an emergency veterinary facility.