Happy dog on the lawn

Many of us spend the springtime sniffling, sneezing and coughing because of allergies.  And, while we can complain of our symptoms to our doctor and take allergy medication to help relieve symptoms, what we may not realize is our dogs are also suffering.  Yes, while not all dogs are affected, some dogs do suffer from seasonal allergies.  What specific seasonal allergies your dog suffers from can be determined by a visit to your veterinarian.  Your veterinarian will perform what is commonly known as a “scratch test” in which your dog will be scratched with common allergens to look for reactions.  You can also watch for common allergy symptoms in your dog.  Common allergy symptoms in dogs have some similarities to human symptoms and include itchy/watery eyes, sneezing, snoring, scratching, paw chewing, hair loss, red & inflamed skin, and more.

One way to help relieve some allergy symptoms in your dog is to bathe them frequently.  By frequently washing their coat it will remove common allergens like pollen.  Additionally, wash your dog’s paws every time they come in from the outside and do not wear your shoes inside your home.  Both acts will help reduce the amount of allergens that are tracked inside your home that linger and irritate you and your dog.  Further, vacuum often to remove common allergens from your home.  In addition to making some environmental changes, you can also treat your dog’s allergies with antihistamines but not all dogs will get symptom relief with antihistamines.CNN describes how dogs can be safely treated with medications for allergies, “’Not all over-the-counter medications are safe for use of pets,’ Dunnings said, noting that many dog owners use Benadryl to help relieve some of the itching and scratching. The antihistamine “typically makes the pet kind of drowsy, reducing itching because they are sleepier,” she said.But it’s easy to miscalculate the appropriate dosage for Chihuahua versus a Great Dane.”At least call the clinic prior to dispensing,” Dunnings warned… Victoria Park, owner of Park Pet Supply, sees her share of frazzled dog owners in search of help this time of the year. She has found success with all-natural products that are free of parabens and phthalates.Creams that contain hydrocortisone and oatmeal-based shampoos also can help relieve itching, Dunnings said.”  If you are concerned your dog may be suffering from allergies, it is important to speak to your veterinarian who can offer personalized advice for your unique dog and help you find a path to allergy relief.