Buddy Knows: Fall Pet Allergies

Fall is arguably the best season of the year, for people and pets alike. The crisp, cool weather is perfect for taking long walks, and you might notice that your pet has more energy than usual as he/she takes in all the fresh earthy smells. And of course there is Halloween, which gives us all the opportunity to make our pets look absolutely adorable in creative costumes (keep them away from the candy!).

Just make sure that while you are enjoying the season, you continue to monitor your pet’s health for concerns that are frequently brought on by the weather change. Remember those long walks we mentioned earlier? Your dog is going to have his/her nose to the ground almost constantly to get a whiff of those delightful fall fragrances. Most of what he/she will be snuffling is decomposing leaves and other plant matter that harbor mold and mildew. Mold and mildew, in turn, lead to allergies. To make matters worse, on a blustery day the mold and other allergens get picked up and and blown around, making it easier for your dog to come in contact with them.

Many symptoms of pet allergies are similar to allergy symptoms in humans. Your pet might sound “stuffed up” or have sneezing fits. He/she might cough or experience nasal discharge. Almost without exception, though, your pet will be itchy and have some skin irritation. Dogs with allergies will scratch constantly, often chewing at their feet and legs. The skin might even appear visibly irritated, especially as too much scratching leads to red, inflamed hot spots.

If you think your pet has allergies, don’t panic. There are some home remedies you can try to alleviate your pet’s symptoms. Just remember that if symptoms persist or get worse, consult your veterinarian for treatment options. Do not medicate your pet with Benadryl unless directed by a vet, as it is often difficult to determine the correct dosage on your own.

For itchy, irritated skin, nothing is better than an oatmeal bath. There are a slew of product options out there, so pick a brand you like and suds it up. Oatmeal shampoos are famous for their soothing properties, and your pet will be grateful for the relief it provides.

If your pet has developed hot spots, you might need a little bit more than an oatmeal shampoo bath to ease symptoms. The issue with hot spots is that not only are they itchy, but they are also a spot your pet frequently targets with chewing. So not only do you need to stop the itching, you mainly need to convince your pet to leave the area alone to heal. Try applying aloe vera or Bactine spray to the hot spot – these products soothe and reduce pain, and also taste rather unpleasant, so your pet will not want to chew the area anymore.

Don’t let allergies stop your pet from having fun this fall. Get out there and enjoy the weather while it lasts – winter is just around the corner!

The Yappie Cuttery Team