Consumer Tips

Spring Pet Allergies

Did you know that pets can have allergies? As we enter springtime, the same seasonal allergies that affect you may also be affecting your four-legged family members as well!

 

Learn which breeds can be the most impacted and how you can identify allergies in your pet, and help them cope with the symptoms.


"My Dog Has Allergies!"

Dogs can have allergic reactions to a variety of common environmental and household substances but are prone to spring allergies. This is due to the extra pollen in the grass and air. Other common causes of pet allergies include:

  • Dust
  • Dust mites
  • Grass
  • Ragweed
  • Mold
  • Dander
  • Feathers
  • Flea bites

Allergies are more common in Terriers, Retrievers, Setters, and dogs with short snouts including Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers.

Can Cats Have Allergies?

Cats can also develop seasonal allergies, especially those that spend time outdoors. Like dogs, cats can have allergic reactions to pollen and other allergens that are more active in the spring. Reduce the chance of your cat having a spring allergy by keeping them indoors, particularly on dry, windy days. Also, keep kitty inside after mowing the lawn, weed pulling, or gardening. Using the air conditioning instead of fans will also reduce the pollen in the air indoors, as well as dusting and vacuuming frequently.

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms that may indicate your pet has an allergy:

  • Itching (including excessive scratching, hair loss, red skin or skin irritation)
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Excessive paw licking
  • Ear infections (watch for excessive head shaking or scratching of ears)
  • Sneezing (and “reverse sneezing” in dogs, and rarely in cats, when air is inhaled rapidly through the nose)

If your pet is showing any of these five common signs of allergies you should consult your veterinarian.

Ways to Help Your Pet’s Allergies

Sometimes symptoms for seasonal allergies will overlap with food allergies or other environmental allergies so diagnosis may be difficult and is best managed by a veterinarian who can prescribe medication if necessary. Diet can help treat allergies such as feeding your dog Omega 3 fatty acids, and yucca for cats and dogs. To treat itching or skin conditions due to allergies, make sure to wipe your pet’s paws after walking outside, and use shampoos that contain pet friendly moisturizers or soothing emollients. Antihistamines are effective in only 20% of pets, and you should consult your veterinarian before administering any medication to your dog or cat. Enjoy the spring with healthy pets, not sneezing pets.

Consult a veterinary expert about your pet's allergies with the Pets Best 24/7 Pet Helpline


With Union Plus Pet Health Insurance, Accident Only1 plans are only $6/month for cats and $9/month for dogs. If you'd like to include illness coverage, there are comprehensive BestBenefit Accident and Illness plans2 available.

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This original article was published by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC.

1Accident Only Plans are $9/mo for dogs and $6/mo for cats. In WA state: the Accident Plan is $10/mo for dogs and $7/mo for cats.

25% Group Discount plus 5% Weblink Discount applies to BestBenefit plans; Group Discount not available in AK, HI, or TN; Weblink Discount applies to first policy term only; not available in AK, FL, HI, or TN. Additional 5% discount applied if insuring more than one pet. Maximum allowable discount is 12%.

Pet insurance coverage is offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, a New York insurance company.