Spring, summer, and fall bring many seasonal allergies for pets. We’ll take a closer look at signs of allergies in dogs, and offer some tips on their prevention and treatment. Many seasonal allergy symptoms are similar to those of other conditions, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and know what you can do to help your dog and when you should see your veterinarian.
Symptoms of Seasonal Dog Allergies
Sneezing is by far the most common symptom of seasonal allergies in dogs. However, dogs also sneeze for many other reasons—including part of their communication with each other and with humans—so sneezing alone isn’t necessarily indicative of allergies. Look for other symptoms along with sneezing to help you be sure.
Coughing can be a more noticeable symptom of allergies in dogs. However, coughing may also signify other respiratory illnesses, such as the dog flu or other serious health issues includin – heart failure, heartworms, and a wide variety of other problems. If your dog coughs repeatedly, please seek veterinary care.
Itchy Face and Snout
Dogs may rub their faces and snouts on furniture to try to scratch them. If you notice this behavior occurring frequently, it may mean your dog is dealing with seasonal allergies.
Watery or Red Eyes
Watery or red eyes are very common in dogs with allergies. These visible symptoms can also occur in dogs who have suffered eye trauma or who have an infection in the eye, however. If both eyes are red and watery, it’s more likely allergies than an injury or illness.
Wheezing or Congestion
Wheezing and congestion may be signs of seasonal allergies in dogs. However, they can also be signs of much more serious problems and should be handled accordingly. If your dog is wheezing along with other symptoms on this list, then the culprit is likely allergies. If you have any doubt, contact your veterinarian.
Seasonal allergies may also present as itchy skin in many dogs. This skin will usually be on their feet and legs, since these areas are exposed to pollen more than the rest of your dog’s body. Watch for chewing and licking the legs frequently. It can also be caused by food allergies, your veterinarian can guide you on next steps and how to test for this.
Reducing Seasonal Dog Allergy Symptoms
There are dog-safe wipes available for purchase that make it easy for you to wipe your dog’s legs and feet down after they have been outside. This will reduce the amount of time they are exposed to pollen and can help them feel better while they are inside. You may also simply use a towel and some water.
Limit Outdoor Time During High-Pollen Days
If you know the pollen count is high for your area on a given day, keep your dog inside unless it’s to relieve themselves. This will limit their exposure to the allergens in the air and can help reduce their symptoms.
Try a Humidifier or Air Purifier
Humidifiers and air purifiers work well for adults and babies who have seasonal allergies, and they can also help dogs with the same problem. Run the device close to where your dog sleeps so they can have the greatest benefits from it. Keep it on a high shelf, however, so they don’t get too curious or scared of it and potentially knock it over.
Remove Any Indoor Plants that Could Contribute
Most houseplants won’t contribute to seasonal allergies, but if you are bringing plants in and out from the outdoors, there is always a chance this could happen.
Talk to Your Vet About Allergy Medication
Your veterinarian may prescribe allergy medication for your dog when their allergies are at their worst.
Go to the Vet Immediately for Severe dog Allergies
Any signs of anaphylactic shock should be treated as an emergency. If your dog has swelling of the face or snout or if they are struggling to breathe, take them to receive emergency veterinary care.
Call West Loop Veterinary Care
Many signs and symptoms of seasonal allergies can mimic other dog health problems – some of which can be very serious. As with any health-related concerns for your pet, it’s important to take your dog to the veterinarian for a complete physical exam and accurate diagnosis. Your veterinarian will also be able to give you more suggestions and recommendations for how to treat your specific dog’s allergy problem based on their health record, their age, and more. Call West Loop Veterinary Care at 312-421-2275 or book an appointment online with one of our outstanding veterinarians!