Pet allergies are common in many households now because of the increasing number of pets. It is therefore important to know how to deal with pet allergens in your household to keep your family and pets safe. Symptoms of a pet suffering from allergy can vary from one individual to another. As a result, it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly triggers an allergic reaction in your pet.
However, there are some tell-tale signs or common symptoms that can indicate your pet has allergies, such as sneezing, itchy skin and runny nose. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it is best to get him checked as soon as possible by a vet.
What is a pet allergy?
Pet allergies are common reactions of the immune system against certain substances. While some allergies are mild, others can be severe and even life-threatening. Allergies in pets are generally caused by pollens, dust mites, fleas, and even medications and certain chemicals in food.
Some of the most common symptoms in pets with allergies can include sneezing, wheezing, coughing, itchy and watery eyes, and skin reactions. Though pet allergies can be unpleasant, they are manageable through a combination of medication and other treatments, as well as avoiding contact with the allergens in question.
Causes of pet allergies
Allergies in pets can be caused by a variety of factors, from environmental irritants to food, and even genetics. Some of the most common types are listed below:
• Infection: Allergic reactions in pets can be caused by infections, including bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. These infections can lead to an allergic reaction when your pet’s immune system senses the foreign material and goes on overdrive. The signs of an allergic reaction can include sneezing, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. If your pet is exhibiting signs of an allergic reaction, reach out to your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
• Parasites: Certain parasites, especially fleas, can cause allergies in pets. They can enter the body through a pet’s skin or through eating the pet’s food. For example, flea allergies are caused by an allergic reaction to flea saliva. Symptoms of flea allergies can include intense scratching, skin rashes and hair loss.
• Food allergies: Food allergies in pets are caused by a reaction to a certain food or ingredient. Common food allergies in pets can include poultry, beef, lamb, and fish. Symptoms of food allergies can include vomiting, diarrhoea and skin irritation.
• Environmental allergy: Environmental allergies, also called atopy, are caused by exposure to irritants such as certain plants, moulds, and dust which are present everywhere. Symptoms of environmental allergies can include intense itching, skin rashes, and hair loss. Treatment of environmental allergies typically involves eliminating the source of the allergen, such as cleaning carpets or keeping pets away from certain plants.
Tips to help manage a pet with allergies
The best way to manage allergies in pets is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Thorough cleaning and vacuuming are often recommended to remove allergens from your household. However, effectively managing pet allergies requires a comprehensive approach.
Firstly, identify the allergen and its severity, and consult your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. To minimise exposure, keep your pet away from the allergen as much as possible and clean the air in the environment regularly. Bathing your pet at least once a week can also help.
In addition, there are several over-the-counter and prescription medications available that can help manage allergic reactions in pets. Talk to your vet so they can prescribe antihistamines or allergen-specific immunotherapy to help manage the allergic reaction in your pet.
It is also important to clean your pet’s food and water bowls regularly to prevent your pet from ingesting insects or organic proteins that may cause an allergic response. Besides, pet allergies not only affect dogs or cats but their owners too. Even though allergies are not contagious, you should be cautious when your pet is suffering from allergies, since this may indicate that there are allergens around the house.
When it comes to allergies, it is important to be aware of the potential risks they can pose. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe, and, in some cases, be life-threatening. If you have a pet that has chronic allergies, consider getting pet insurance for pre-existing conditions to protect your cat or dog in the event of a severe allergic reaction. Doing so will provide you with peace of mind that your pet will always be taken care of, no matter the circumstances.
Pet allergies can be frustrating, but they don’t need to be a barrier to loving your pet. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can keep your pet allergy-free. From cleaning your home to limiting your pet’s exposure to certain allergens, it is possible to prevent pet allergies from ruining your life.