Autumn is here, with an abundance of colorful leaves, festive activities, and crisp weather. The season also provides an ample opportunity for allergens to pollute our home and workplace, where our furry family members live, work, and play. Fall allergies can be just as disruptive as their flower-filled counterpart in the spring season.
No one wants their pet to be under the weather while you’re out enjoying everything the season has to offer. If you think your pet might be experiencing symptoms of fall allergies, here are some key indicators and best practices for alleviating symptoms.
The truth about fall allergies and your pet
Signs and symptoms of fall allergies
It could be hard to know exactly what to look for if your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction. Every pet reacts differently contaminants in any given environment. “The main symptom that could suggest your pet is suffering from fall allergies, is being itchy (scratching, licking, and/or chewing) or having worsening itchiness in the fall. Also, other symptoms include red skin, hair loss, runny eyes and skin/ear infections in the fall,” states Trupanion on-site Veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Nold. If your pet is experiencing a number of these symptoms, it is best to take note of which symptoms and make an appointment with their veterinarian as soon as possible.
Common fall allergies for your pet
Various plants, trees, and grasses grow and bloom at various times of the year. Just because your pet is not reactive to common allergens in the spring, it does not mean they aren’t prone to allergies in another season. “Ragweed, Sagebrush, and Juniper are some examples of fall allergens,” says Dr. Nold. Also, mold and dust mites typically make quite an appearance during the autumn months with the transition to cooler weather.
Location is a key indicator
Location is a key indicator of what fall allergies affect your pet. “Fall allergies are very dependent on the region you live, as the region determines which plants are pollinating and how they are pollinating. This is why it may appear that your pet’s allergies go away or improve (at least initially) if you move to a different region, “emphasizes Dr. Nold. You could be living in a region that instigates your furry friend’s allergies. It is useful to look into seasonal allergens for your region seasonally, and discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.
The connection between fall allergies and dogs
Although there is no indication that cats do not have seasonal fall allergies, pups are prone to autumn allergies according to our in-house expert, Dr. Nold. “Atopic dermatitis (or environmental allergies, which includes fall allergies) is the most common cause of chronic itching in dogs. It is estimated to affect 3-15% of dogs. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis is thought to be higher in dogs versus cats.”
Time is a factor
Your pets allergy issues could change from year to year. Due to environmental issues, pollutants may become more or less aggressive over time. Also, as your pet gets older, it could determine how they are influenced by fall allergies, specifically skin allergies. “Keep in mind that skin allergies typically worsen with time. This means that while symptoms may initially only be in the fall, they can become year-round as your pet gets older,” observes Dr. Nold.
If your pet is diagnosed with allergies, it is helpful to keep a journal of symptoms as your pet ages. So you can check in with your pet’s veterinarian if something seems abnormal.
How to help alleviate pain for your pet
You want to provide the best care for your best mate, especially if they are feeling under the weather. Alleviate the discomfort by watching for symptoms and seek care as soon as they appear. “If you take your pet to your veterinarian as soon as you start to notice they are itchy, you may be able to avoid also treating a skin and/or ear infections. Your veterinarian may also be able to give you a dose of an OTC antihistamine or recommend an oatmeal shampoo to help with itching,” cites Dr. Nold.
Fall allergies can affect pets young and old, across all regions. The best way to help your pet is to be aware of their symptoms, provide love and care needed. And always keep your veterinarian up to date with your concerns.
Once diagnosed, your trusted veterinarian can provide you with a treatment plan. Once your pet’s health improves, there’s no stopping you from enjoying the fun fall has to offer.