We all know that humans can be allergic to animals, but did you that pet allergies can be found in many dogs and cats?
I didn’t realize that animals could be allergic to so many things, but when my Pomeranian started loosing her fur and developing flaky bare spots, my vet suspected an allergy was to blame. In fact, animals can be allergic to a number of things including dust mites, fleas and even their food! About 15% of pets have allergies which are genetic.
Although an allergy manifests itself by disrupting the normal balance in the skin and causing hair loss, this can also be a sign of other disease so you should get your pet to a vet right away and have the appropriate tests done. For my dog, this consisted of some blood tests at a cost of about $150.00. When all other disease was ruled out, she was put on a strict diet to eliminate some of the types of food that typically cause allergies. Getting your pet to the vet right away is important as the earlier you start treatment, the better your results will be.
Ways To Control Allergies
- Control Fleas – Flea allergies are not uncommon in both dogs and cats. If your pet is itchy then this may be the cause. Make sure you use a flea collar and give periodic flea baths. Treat all household animals at the same time or the fleas will simply move from one pet to another.
- Bathing – Get medicated shampoo from you vet and bathe your pet once a week. One problem that results from these allergies is that the skin loses it’s defenses and bacterial and/or yeast infections can result. Bathing really helps – I saw a major change in the skin quality of my dog once I started to bathe her every week (even after just 2 weeks!)
- Clean Bedding – Wash your pets bedding once a week in hot water with a hypo allergenic detergent. This will not only kill the fleas and dust mites but will also keep your pet smelling nice.
- Switch Foods – If your vet suspects a food allergy, he or she will probably put your pet on a diet that will consist of feeding different foods to narrow down the particular thing he is allergic to. Allergies can be caused by beef, chicken, wheat, corn or eggs in the food. My dog is actually on a vegetarian food that has worked quite nicely for her. Of course, you’ll want to do this under the supervision of your vet.
- Vitamins – Some say fatty acids and vitamins A, E and D help with allergies. I know someone who swears that feeding sardines to their dog got rid of his allergies. Check with your vet as to the best way to treat your pet with vitamins or herbs.