Dogs and cats can suffer from waves of seasonal allergies just as humans do.
CONNECTICUT, USA – Many of us deal with seasonal allergies, especially this time of year. Southern New England is at the height of tree pollen season right now.
But it’s not just a problem for humans. Your cat or dog may battle seasonal allergies too.
RELATED: These Connecticut organizations are helping students find a dress for prom
According to Dr. Sarah Wooten, a veterinary expert with Pumpkin Pet Insurance, seasonal allergies are one of the three most common allergies seen in dogs and cats.
“It’s an inherited condition that caused by dogs and cats that have an immune system that’s hypersensitive to allergens,” Dr. Wooten said.
Animals come into contact with the allergens when they land on their skin. It’s not necessarily inhaled through the nose.
Pets affected tend to have an abnormal skin barrier, which becomes a problem, not protecting them as well from the allergens. As a result, they get seasonally itchy and some can develop skin infections.
“Some of the most common signs of seasonal allergies in both dogs and cats are an itchy face, itchy feet, itchy belly, itchy leg pits, also itchy ears … and then recurrent skin and ear infections,” Dr. Wooten adds.
Staying out of the pollen when it’s at its peak, early in the morning and late in the day, can help. In some cases with an active pet though, that’s impossible.
“The most important thing you can do is go visit your vet, and make sure it’s not something else,” Dr. Wooten suggests, as issues with dust mites or even food allergies should be ruled out.
Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines
There are ways to treat or suppress the symptoms. In mild to moderate cases, omega three fatty acids, such as fish oil, can reduce inflammation. An over-the-counter antihistamine, with suggestions from your vet, can reduce the allergen load.
An easy solution? Wiping down your pet after time spent. “Even just wiping them with a baby wipe, you don’t even need fancy dog wipes,” can help, according to Dr. Wooten.
RELATED: Connecticut food truck, trailer are ‘beyond repair’ after overnight fire, restaurant says
Much like humans, different kinds of pollen can trigger reactions in different pets. After tree pollen season comes to the grasses, usually early to mid-summer. From late summer until the first freeze in the fall, ragweed can be a trigger.
Ryan Breton is a meteorologist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
HERE ARE MORE WAYS TO GET FOX61 NEWS
Download the FOX61 News APP
iTunes: Click here to download
Google Play: Click here to download
Stream Live on YEAR: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.
Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.