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Can Dogs Have Seasonal Allergies?


The most common allergens for dogs fall into three general categories: 


  • Environmental (also known as Atopy). This often includes the same things that make humans sniffle and sneeze that your dog inhales, such as plant pollens, mold spores, dust mites—and even cats


  • External parasites. Uncontrolled fleas can pose a big problem. However, some dogs might also be overly sensitive to ticks and ear mites


  • Food. Yes, your fur baby can be allergic to certain foods, including gluten, soy, dairy, and various proteins.


'Seasonal' allergies in dogs can be somewhat misleading, as some pets might be affected by environmental irritants all year long. Because plants vary by season and environment, symptom severity is often seasonal in nature. A change of geographical location can sometimes exhibit or resolve allergic reactions. This allergic response is known as canine atopic dermatitis or atopy skin disease.


Most dogs that suffer from atopy begin to show signs in young adulthood, typically between 1–3 years old, but this varies depending on the dog.


This disease is thought to be hereditary and thus, purebred dogs are commonly affected, although it's important to note that any dog, including mixed breed dogs, can suffer from atopic skin disease.


Breeds such as various types of retrieversterriers (particularly West Highland terriers), and bulldogs are more prone to environmental allergens.

Dog Seasonal Allergy Symptoms


Signs of allergies in dogs differ from those in humans.  A dog's seasonal allergy symptoms frequently appear around the ears, underarms, front legs, and feet. You might notice signs of atopic dermatitis such as:



If your dog is scratching, head shaking, rubbing, or licking excessively, they're uncomfortable, and it's time to take them to your veterinarian. These behaviors can cause or aggravate secondary ear and skin infections by further damaging the skin's protective barriers. So, the sooner the better!


How to Help Dogs with Seasonal Allergies


If your fur baby is having chronic bouts of scratching, itching, paw licking, ear and or skin infections you may want to have an allergy test done. You can talk to your vet about it and what steps to take after your get the results back. The tests will tell you what foods and environmental elements your pooch is allergic to or are sensitive to.

The best home remedy for easing discomfort and maintaining a healthy skin barrier is to bathe your dog with a gentle veterinarian-approved shampoo. There are some on the market that don't strip away their natural oils (which causes more dry skin and itching!) and often contain Omega–3 fatty acid supplements for healthy coats. Ask your vet for product recommendations — for both your dog's health and to get the most value for your money. "There are a lot of gimmicky products which may not only be ineffective but also worsen your dog's condition, so watch out!"


You can give your dog Benadryl or some other type of over-the-counter allergy medicine but consult your veterinarian first to make sure it's ok and what the dosage should be.


Some Tips That Should Help Ease Your Pup's Discomfort


Like us, dogs who are atopic can react to numerous things. For example, if you've heard of hay fever in dogs, this is technically a pollen allergy or seasonal allergic rhinitis. It's actually a response to various types of fine pollen grains released by trees, grasses, and weeds to fertilize within their species.


But remember, environmental allergens such as dust mites and mold spores (and possibly the cat!) can also cause an allergic reaction for your dog. So after allergy testing, your vet will provide some additional tips for minimizing the effects of their specific irritant, such as:


  1. Wipe off their paws and coat after being outside with clean, wet cloths.

  2. Don't spend a lot of time outdoors when the pollen count is high (this varies by area and season).

  3. Steer clear of areas with diverse vegetation.

  4. Mow the lawn shorter.

  5. Clean bedding once a week in hot water. 

  6. Use a dehumidifier to reduce dampness.

  7. Invest in a quality air purifier

  8. Vacuum often and use wet cleaners on hardwood floors. 

  9. Don't keep your pet in a damp garage or basement.

  10. Provide separate areas for your pooch and kitty to sleep and eat to reduce dander and saliva exposure.

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