How To Relieve Your Pet's Seasonal Allergies

| 6/23/2011 11:00:01 AM

J.PattonHumans aren’t the only ones affected by hay fever. It’s true—when allergy season rolls around, you may not be the only one sneezing and itching. Your pet may be too.

Pet allergies are usually caused by the same thing human allergies are: your pet’s immune system meets an allergen or antigen it doesn’t like and reacts the same way our bodies do. The allergens that set off allergic reactions in pets are often similar to ours as well, including pollen, mold and mildew, and dust mites.

The most common reactions among pets come in the form of dermatitis. Itchy skin, rash, and hair loss are all common signs. Pets can also suffer from the same hay fever we do, so coughing, sneezing and wheezing are also red flags your dog or cat may be suffering from allergies.

Hay fever is no fun, for you or your pet.
Photo by protographer23/Courtesy Flickr

The good news? There are quite a few ways to treat pet allergies, and they don’t have to come from your medicine cabinet. Here are a few ways you can treat your dog or cat at home:

• Monitor the pollen count. By monitoring the pollen count, just as you would for yourself, you can tell whether it’s safe to go on a long hike with Fido, or whether a quick trip outside is best that day.
• Wipe your pet’s paws when they enter your home. This will help your allergies as well as your pet’s, because it will prevent them from tracking pollen throughout your home. Taking your shoes off at the door will help as well.
• Dust and vacuum your house regularly. Dust mites may be to blame for your pet's allergy woes, so it's important to keep your house as spotless and dust-free as possible to help relieve symptoms.
• Give your pet a bath weekly. This may be a struggle, but a dip in the tub once a week will also help prevent home exposure to outdoor allergens.