It’s hard to watch your pet suffer with allergies and not know the root cause. Symptoms such as loose stools, profuse shedding, dry, itchy and/or red patches or hot spots on the skin, and gummy, itchy ears are all signs that your dog or cat could have an allergy. Here are some of the most common culprits for dog and cat allergies and some steps you can take to remedy them.
1. Detergents and Fabric Softeners
Environmental sensitivities to chemicals and irritants are the most common causes for allergy-like symptoms in pets. A common source of pet sensitivities is the bed they sleep in. If you suspect your pet may have an allergy, consider what you are laundering their bed or blankets in. Detergents and fabric softeners are some of the leading culprits. If your pet is experiencing allergic symptoms, switch to a hypoallergenic, natural detergent. Stay away from fabric softeners, at least when laundering things your pet will be in contact with.
2. Seasonal Allergies
Just like you, pets can suffer from seasonal allergies. A sudden onset of symptoms in the spring or fall can mean your pet has allergies to something in the air. Fortunately, for those pets with seasonal allergies, the proper supplement can help. Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Support specifically targets seasonal sensitivities by supporting your pet’s immune system. Natural supplements containing bee pollen, such as Holistic Blend, also work to rejuvenate the body.
3. Fleas & Ticks
Flea and tick dermatitis is a condition caused by a reaction to fleas and/or ticks in your dog or cat’s environment. To eliminate fleas from your pet's skin and coat, try an all natural alternative to chemical formulas in Wholistic Earth Diatomaceous Earth. Use a high quality cleaning product that kills ticks and fleas on all surfaces such as Hagen Flea & Tick Pump Spray and thoroughly launder all areas your pet comes in contact with to eliminate the fleas. For after-bite coat care, try a product such as EQyss Premier Flea Bite Shampoo or Flea Bite Spray for maximum itch relief. Get rid of the pest problem and restore your pet’s vitality.
4. Food and Treats
Occasionally, the allergies are sourced in your pet’s diet: however, you will want to rule out other causes before switching your pet’s food. Dog and cat foods have a myriad of ingredients and singling out the allergen can be very frustrating. Switching to a super-premium quality food with fewer ingredients, namely a single protein source, can aid in discovering your pet’s allergy (such as the limited-ingredient Natural Balance). Narrowing down the offending ingredient is done through a process of elimination. You can start with some known allergens: beef, dairy, chicken, and gluten (although chicken and beef fat are okay). When you switch foods, remember to also check your treats for offending ingredients! All natural treats such as Snack21’s Fish Snacks or Purebites make a great choice for pets with and without sensitivities.
***DISCLAIMER: Always mention any and all of your pet’s symptoms to your veterinarian. If your pet is experiencing lethargy or seems tired all the time, severe itching and open sores, swollen or smelly ears, has diarrhea or is vomiting, or has other worrying symptoms, please consult your veterinarian.