Do Pets Have Allergies?
Our pets are a huge part of our lives. They’re our best friends, our family members, our babies. Some of us even like them more that people, but that’s a different story. The point is, they’re important to us. And if you don’t believe me, I have numbers. In 2015, the pet industry (live animals, food, supplies, health care, and other services) brought in more than $60 billion. That’s billion. With a B. People love their pets. So it should come as no surprise that we don’t like to see them sick. But is every single illness something we need to call the vet for? What if it’s not actually too serious? What if I can fix the problem myself? What if it’s just allergies? Do pets even have allergies? Well, as it turns out, yes. Pet allergies are a thing.
So what are some things that our pets are allergic to? Well pretty much all the same things that humans can be allergic to. They can be allergic to mold, pollen, ragweed, dust mites, and foods. They can even suffer from seasonal allergies. And these allergies can affect most common, household pets. Human allergies, dog allergies, cat allergies… They’re all pretty much the same, except in the way the symptoms present themselves. Our four-legged children can’t exactly tell us when they are suffering, so we need to know what to look for.
While your pet may react to excess histamine with itchy, watery eyes and sneezing just like you and I, they may also just begin to scratch incessantly. Another thing to watch for is biting and chewing, specifically on the feet, but anywhere on the body is a possibility. Sometimes, when relief is not forthcoming, pets will scratch, bite, lick and chew until they have bald spots or even sores. Occasionally you’ll see respiratory symptoms like wheezing with some allergies. Another red flag is rubbing the face or ears against things like carpet and furniture.
So what do you do if you notice some of the aforementioned behaviors in your pet? If you catch it early enough, a little trial and error can solve your problem. If you suspect a food allergy, try another food. If you suspect a specific environmental factor that you can control, try eliminating it and see what happens. However, it’s important to be aware that left untreated, pet allergies tend to get more severe over time. So if you can’t pinpoint the problem and take care of it quickly, it’s important to get to the vet and find a solution. Not only will you feel better, but your fur babies will thank you.