Spring in Central Texas brings bluebonnets, beautiful weather… and pollen that coats everything in a lovely shade of yellow and gives us all the sniffles–often, including our pets.
But, how do you know if your pet is suffering from a pollen allergy, and how do you help?
According to VCA Hospitals, an allergy is “a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen.”
In Spring, Central Texas experiences a spray of allergenic pollen from oak, hickory, and pecan trees, as well as some grasses and (obviously) flowers. In Fall, ragweed pollen abounds.
If you begin to notice the following symptoms when Spring arrives, pollen may be bothering your pet:
- Hair loss
- Eye discharge (conjunctivitis)
- Frequent scratching when no fleas are present
- Obsessive licking
- Snoring (caused by an inflamed throat)
- Biting and chewing of their paws and haunches
- Swollen paws
- Ear infections
- Redness of the skin
- Hot spots
- Yeast skin infections
Taking steps to reduce your pet’s exposure to pollen and control inflammation in general can help to alleviate symptoms:
Wipe ’em down: Wipe or brush your pet’s coat with a damp towel after a romp in the park. This will help remove pollen and other airborne allergens, while avoiding the dry skin that can accompany too frequent baths.
Allergy-Friendly ‘Poo: When bath time does roll around, reach for a hypoallergenic shampoo. We love the soothing oatmeal and honey formula from Petology.
Treat Symptoms: Even if you’re vigilant in preventative measures, your pet may still suffer from allergies. Try Wondercide’s Skin Tonic Spray on any hotspots that form from all that licking and scratching, and occasionally use their ear wash to ward off ear infections.
Anti-Inflammatory Supplements: We recommend Omega-3 fatty acids and coconut oil to help decrease inflammation and slow the production of yeast, respectively. You can add these to your pet’s regular diet in the form of treats or supplements, or switch to a food rich in these ingredients.
Tried all of the above and still no allergy relief for your pets? Here’s two things to consider:
- Consult your vet: Unfortunately, some pets have severe environmental allergies. If more natural remedies simply aren’t cutting it, your vet will be able to help.
- Check the food: While your pet may still have allergies, they may be internal. Food sensitivities may manifest with the same symptoms (frequent scratching, yeast in the ears, etc.), making them difficult to pinpoint. If this is something you want to explore, head on in to your favorite Tomlinson’s location and chat with a friendly team member about limited ingredient diets.
What did we forget? Tell us your favorite remedies in the comments below!