How to Deal with Dog Seasonal Allergies in Rutland, VT
If you’ve ever experienced seasonal allergies yourself, you know how miserable they can be. After a long, dark, dreary winter all you want to do is get outside and experience the fresh air that spring brings.
That’s when your symptoms start. Congestion, watery eyes, watery nose, sore throat. The whole nine yards. Well, guess what? Dogs can get seasonal allergies too!
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about seasonal dog allergies in Rutland, VT and what to do as a pet owner.
What Are Seasonal Dog Allergies?
For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of either your spring, summer, or fall being ruined by allergies, here’s a little more about what they are. The symptoms of allergies are caused by your body’s immune system having a hyper reaction to a specific allergen.
Examples of seasonal allergens are tree pollen, grass pollen, ragweed, mold, and mildew. So, if your dog is allergic to ragweed, he will sneeze, cough, and show symptoms during the fall.
Dogs can get all sorts of allergies including food, inhalant, and contact allergies. The inhalant variety are the ones that are usually considered seasonal. If you live somewhere that doesn’t have a hard freeze, your dog may experience these seasonal allergies year-round.
The tricky thing with allergies is deciphering exactly what your dog is allergic to. Work with your vet when you start to see symptoms. Some of the symptoms for a dog experiencing allergies is coughing, sneezing, runny nose or eyes, itchy skin, redness or swelling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
How to Deal with Dog Seasonal Allergies in Rutland, VT
It’s key to treat your dog’s allergies as quickly as possible so that an infection doesn’t set in. When your dog is constantly scratching and biting at one site, they can create a hot spot. Essentially this means that the skin has no time to heal and is full of moisture, so bacteria develop and spread. The hot spot will become an open wound that won’t be easy to treat.
Adjust Your Daily Walking Routines
One way to deal with seasonal allergies in your dog is to adjust your walking and outside routines. Try to go for walks when the pollen count is at its lowest and choose locations that aren’t as allergen filled.
For example, try a dog park with artificial grass or a city route rather than a big field. Then, when your dog comes in, wipe her down with a wet cloth. You can also use a fragrance-free grooming wipe from your local pet store. Focus on her undercarriage and paws, but wipe all of the body.
This will help remove pollen or any allergen from her fur. Another natural remedy is to soak your dog’s paws in 2 parts of water and 1 part of apple cider vinegar. This helps draw out the allergens from the paws.
Keep Your Dog Clean During Allergy Season
Wiping down is a good preventative for in between baths, but you should also regularly bathe your dog during allergy season. There is a fine line between under-bathing and over-bathing so tread carefully.
Over-bathing your dog leads to dry, itchy skin and we don’t want that either. Start with weekly baths and see how your dog reacts since each one is different and adjust accordingly.
Use lukewarm water with either oatmeal shampoo or a medicated one. This should help ease itchy and irritated skin. If you feel like you need something a little extra, there are medicated lotions and sprays available that can alleviate allergy symptoms.
Eliminating Allergens in Your Home
Keeping your dog’s fur clear of allergens is only half the battle. You also need to keep the allergens off of the surfaces and out of the air in your home.
Change your air filters regularly and use a dehumidifier to pull moisture from the air. This will help your air quality inside the home.
Vacuum weekly and include drapes and fabric furniture in your vacuuming routine. If your dog is allowed in your bed, it’s important to wash your bedding weekly with warm water.
If he always lays in the same spot, put a towel or different blanket down to contain what surfaces he’s touching. Same goes for the couch. Try and put towels on anything he lays on to prevent allergens from spreading to your furniture.
Then you only have to wash the towels. Finally, wash his soft toys every week too. The whole point of this cleaning frenzy is to eliminate as many allergens in your home as possible.
Dieting Can Help with Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies
It’s possible for some dogs to manage their seasonal allergies with a change in diet. Some dog foods have special formulas to combat skin allergies and can be used to replace your regular food or added in as a supplemental food.
It’s best to talk to your vet before starting a new diet, though. They can recommend good options that fit your dog’s breed and lifestyle so that she doesn’t miss a beat.
In the End, Medication Will Help Treat Your Dog’s Allergies
A final option to alleviate the symptoms and pain of seasonal allergies is to visit your vet and start using medication. There are oral medications and injections, and each has their own pros and cons.
For dogs with mild allergies, oral medication may be the better route. You can use over-the-counter antihistamines with the approval of your vet. There are also prescription oral medications. Some of these treat only specific symptoms, though, so make sure you discuss the details with your vet.
There are options to reduce the itchy sensation or to assist your dog’s immune system’s response to the allergies. Injection style medication is often the better option for dogs with severe seasonal allergies. These can actually be given at home by you and have very few side-effects.
Your vet can train you to give them properly and they tend to be very successful in treating seasonal allergies.
Stay On Top of Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies in Rutland, VT
While seasonal allergies are a nuisance for you and require additional care, attention, and cleaning, think about how painful they are for your pup.
By working with your vet to determine what kind allergies your dog has and what the exact allergen is, you can create a management plan that works best for you and your dog.
Without treatment, they can be harmful to your pet’s overall health, so it is crucial to treat the symptoms and keep your pup happy and healthy.
At Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center, we’re here to help with all your pet care needs including allergies! If you think your pet is having allergy problems, don’t hesitate to call us to see what the best plan of action will be moving forward so your pup can go back to being happy and healthy!
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About Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center
Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center provides top-quality veterinary care to the Rutland, VT pet community.