Did you know that your pets can suffer from allergies, just like humans can? True story. But although they may be allergic to the same things, they generally show different symptoms.
I honestly don't know if Maxi suffers from seasonal allergies, but I have noticed she's been scratching a lot more lately. And, for the record, she doesn't have fleas. She's also been sneezing a bit, but that's more likely due to an irritant getting into her nose than to a real allergic reaction. You see, while in humans we tend to react to seasonal allergens when we breathe them in, dogs tend to react due to skin contact.
“In dogs, allergens are mostly absorbed through the skin, not their respiratory system, so it’s veterinary dermatologists who are actually the allergists of the pet world,” says Dr. Alison Turcotte, a veterinarian with Royal Canin Canada. “In fact, skin issues are among the most common reasons dog owners seek support from their veterinarian.”
Royal Canin Canada has launched an awareness campaign to educate pet owners on seasonal allergies in their dogs. I found it interesting to learn that dogs can be allergic to exactly the same things as humans. Boo and I seem to have the most problems with pollens. He's definitely allergic to one of the trees in our neighbourhood, but we haven't determined which one. This is prime time for tree and grass allergies, as well as mould. The melting snow left lots of soggy ground, and all the organic and inorganic debris that was uncovered provided excellent conditions for mould growth. Doggies out snuffling through leftover fall leaves or digging in the dirt can stir up all kinds of mould spores to cause them problems.
So how can you tell if your dog has allergies? The key thing to look for is scratching, or even chewing on the paws or legs to relieve itch. Allergic dogs may be extra sensitive about having you touch their ears, and you may notice red skin patches where they've been fussing over an itch. An easy way to remember the signs is to think ESP: Ears, Skin, Paws. If your dog is displaying these symptoms, it's a good idea to bring them in for a check-up. You want to catch this before Fido chews to the point of tearing his skin and risking infection.
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Veterinarians have a number of treatment options to both alleviate discomfort of the symptoms as well as address the underlying issue of seasonal allergies. These options can include: topical therapies, oral medications, soothing shampoos and desensitization (immunotherapy or allergy shots/drops) as well as veterinary exclusive pet food specifically designed to address environmental allergies. Clinical research has shown that diets formulated specifically to address a dog’s environmental allergies play a key role in restoring the skin barrier.
More information can be found at or on Twitter by following @RoyalCaninCA or #ItchyPetSeeYourVet.
Royal Canin is holding a giveaway in support of this awareness campaign. One lucky winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card! Entries are via the widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EDT, May 27. Best of luck!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Contest open from 12:00:01 a.m. EDT May 13, 2015 to 11:59:59 p.m. EDT May 27, 2015. Must be legal resident of Canada who has reached age of majority in his/her province of residence. Prize: $100.00 (CDN) Visa Gift Card. Selected entrant must correctly answer skill-testing question. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. See Contest Rules in entry form.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Royal Canin. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.