Many people complain about seasonal allergies. Pollen is flying through the air, people are relying on allergy meds to get them through the day. The same scene plays over and over again, each spring, for those unfortunate enough to suffer from seasonal allergies I’m sure it does not surprise you that some dogs suffer from the same fate. However, we often don’t notice that our dogs have seasonal allergies.
No one’s puppy has hay fever, because these allergies develop later in life, typically between one and three years. All dogs can have allergies, but some breeds are predisposed to have allergies. It is common for terriers, retrievers, pugs, bulldogs, and setters to have allergies. I spoke with Jessica Kunz, whose seven year old terrier/setter/dalmatian mix, Chino, suffers from a myriad of allergies. She has tried many tactics, including “He’s allergic to everything.” Kunz jokes, “What kind of dog is allergic to cockroaches?” Dogs may be allergic to trees, grass, wheat, dander, dust, or household cleaning products.
Dog allergies also manifest in different ways than their human counterparts. While humans are sneezing and their noses are running, dogs are covered in hotspots and ear infections. Your dog may even start sneezing excessively which, while adorable, can cause irritation to their eyes and nose. Seasonal allergies affect your pet’s quality of life. Though your dog’s allergies may make them miserable, there are plenty of solutions worth a shot.
“He is constantly itchy. If he is not on meds, he’s an incessant paw licker and gets many paw and ear infections as a result of his allergies,” says Jessica Kunz, who is studying to be a biology teacher, about Chino (in picture).
If you see these symptoms, be sure to consult your vet. Some dogs benefit from small dosages of Benadryl. “I tried to give him regular Benadryl, but it did nothing to help,” says Kunz. This remedy is effective in only 40% of dogs. Other options include giving your dog frequent baths or anti-allergy supplements. Helpful supplements include Omega-3 fatty acids, coconut oils, Quercetin, and Cytopoint. These remedies should not be used until you consult your vet. Most supplements are not meant to be taken long term, because they can have bad effects on your pup’s kidney, so it’s good to have your vet in the loop.
There are many possible treatments, but most cannot be taken long-term or are quite expensive. For students like Kunz, getting her dog the relief from constant itching and infections is going to cost an arm and a leg. Jessica hopes to get Chino hyposensetization, once she raises the funds via other’s generosity. That would involve putting medicine under his tongue everyday that includes a little bit of what hes allergic to so that he can becomes tolerant. Seasonal allergies get worse with every passing year, so it is important to notice their symptoms and talk to a specialist to see what treatment is right for your little ball of joy.