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How to Treat Pet Allergies

Do you have a pet that is suffering from allergies? If so, you’re not alone. Allergies are a common issue for cats and dogs, and depending on the severity, can even be quite uncomfortable for your pet. Fortunately, many natural remedies and medications can help alleviate pet allergies.

What Causes Pet Allergies?

First, let’s look at pet allergies and their causes. Allergies occur when an animal’s immune system mistakenly recognizes a harmless substance as a threat and triggers a response. The most common pet allergens are pollen, dust mites, and food ingredients.

Pet allergy symptoms vary depending on the specific allergy and pet. Typically, you will notice your pet licking, chewing, or scratching at his feet, muzzle, armpits, or ears. Sometimes, you may see them rubbing their face on the carpet or furniture or shaking their head more than usual because of itchiness.

Here are some of the best ways to help treat your pet’s allergy symptoms:

  1. Natural Remedies for Pet Allergies

Natural remedies are one of the best ways to treat pet allergies. A few of the most effective natural remedies include:

  • Environment: Ensure your pet’s environment is free of allergens. This includes dust, pollen, and other airborne irritants.
  • Regular Grooming: Keep your pet’s coat clean and allergens-free. Try using an oatmeal-based shampoo to help soothe inflamed skin.
  • Supplements: Add omega-3 fatty acids to your pet’s diet. This can help reduce inflammation and itching caused by pet allergies.
  • Diet: Offer your pet a diet with a high-quality protein source and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  1. Allergy Medication

If natural remedies aren’t helping your pet’s symptoms, it may be time to consider medication. Some of the best dog allergy medicine is as beneficial as cat allergy medication — many can be found over the counter at your local pharmacy. These include antihistamines such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin. For severe allergies, prescription medications like topical corticosteroids may be prescribed, which will help reduce inflammation and swelling. 

It’s essential to consult your veterinarian to learn the correct dosages and understand any side effects to look out for before giving your pet any medication. 

  1. Medicated Allergy Shampoo for Dogs

When your dog suffers from skin irritation due to allergies, medicated allergy shampoo can be a quick fix. These shampoos often contain hydrocortisone, oatmeal, or aloe vera, which can provide immediate relief. While effective for short-term relief, they are usually not a standalone solution and work best when used as part of a broader treatment plan.

  1. Allergy Testing

If medication and natural remedies do not relieve your pet’s allergies, the next step may be to consult your veterinarian about allergy testing. Allergy testing can pinpoint exactly which allergens are causing your pet discomfort. It involves a simple blood test that provides results within five to seven days. Once you have the results, your veterinarian can prescribe immunotherapy injections, gradually reducing your pet’s sensitivity to the offending allergens. These injections are usually well-tolerated and can even be administered at home with the help of your veterinarian. Oral treatment is also an option, though these must be distributed more often than injections.

Immunotherapy has proven effective in around 75% of allergy cases and can help remove the need for lifelong medications. If your pet is struggling to find relief from their allergies, it may be worth considering allergy testing and immunotherapy injections as an option.

Allergies can make life uncomfortable for you and your pets, but they are often manageable with the right treatment plan. Whether it’s natural remedies, medications, or immunotherapy, there are several options to help your pet find relief.

For expert advice about your pet’s needs, contact us today for an allergy consultation with our veterinary team.

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