INDIANAPOLIS– It’s that time of year again and allergy season is upon us. Ragweed, mold and pollen are all expected at high levels this fall. something that will certainly be enough to give those who struggle with them fits.
Veterinarians are pointing out that your dog will likely have a bad allergy season as well.
Veterinarians like Dr. Mike Graves of Pet Wellness Clinics say September is usually the time of year when people start to bring in their dogs for allergy issues. Often, Graves says symptoms of allergies can be more difficult to spot since dogs don’t present allergy issues the same way humans do.
“Dogs tend to get it in their skin, they’ll get a little bit of a sinus issue occasionally, a little bit of a mucousy cough occasionally, but mostly it’s in the skin. Licking their feet, licking their belly, scratching their ears, shaking their head.” Graves said.
Because symptoms of dog allergies can easily be viewed or dismissed as “normal dog behavior,” they can often lead to bigger problems down the road if left unchecked.
“The most common thing we see with allergies are ear infections. Because they’ll keep scratching their ears and shake their head and get infections. Then the client will come in for an infection, which we have to treat, but the underlying causes often allergies. So, you’ll end up having to treat two problems. If you catch that early, you can ward off the ear infection in most cases,” he said.
Graves adds there’s a lot you can do at home to help mitigate some allergy symptoms in your animals. Fish oils help dogs with dry skin, there’s numerous supplements you can find in pet stores as well that contain nutrients and compounds such as quercetin and bromelain. Medicated shampoos can also help.
It’s also recommended you wipe off your dog’s paws and coat when they come in from outside to make sure they’re not carrying any allergens into your home or on their coats.
When in doubt, Graves recommends bringing your dog to the veterinarian’s office when any issues arise.