Sweater weather is officially here! The colors, scents, sounds, smells all bringing images of pumpkin pies and apple orchards. Unfortunately, for some, that’s not the only thing autumn weather brings- allergies!
It’s common to see people affected by seasonal allergies, but did you know your pet could be suffering, too? Fall pet allergies are more common than you might think.
So, how do you know if your cat or dog is suffering from a fall pet allergy? Unlike us, you usually won’t see them sneezing when affected by an allergen. Nor will their eyes be watery like ours.
The most common symptom to watch for is licking, scratching and/ or biting at their skin. This will often cause hair loss, hot spots and may lead to secondary skin infections.
Pollen can affect animals by being inhaled or from landing on their skin or fur. Itchy skin is a very common symptom of allergies. Other signs to look for are itchy ears and recurring ear infections.
Common allergens for pets in the fall come from several sources. Fall leaves are a given- they’re fun to play in, but may affect your pet. Also, look out for ragweed and other fall pollinating weeds such as plantain, sagebrush, cocklebur and tumbleweeds. These are the most common ones that may affect your dog or cat.
The best way to keep your dog or cat comfortable during allergy season is prevention. Cats will fare best indoors during the fall allergy season, where their environment can be controlled. If they insist on going out, a harness for your cat can keep them out of harm’s way and out of reach of pollinating weeds or fallen leaves.
For dogs, the best prevention is to be mindful of where they play and try to keep them in a safer area when given a choice. It’s also wise to bath them regularly to eliminate contact allergens. Talk to your vet about possible medications that can help, as well.
Your pet does not have to be hindered by fall pet allergies. With a knowledge of what causes the allergies and knowing what symptoms to look for, your dog or cat will be able to enjoy the fall season. Prevention is a major key to enjoying the beauty of Autumn with a happy, healthy, allergen-free pet.