With Spring Comes Allergies: How to Help Your Pet

With Spring Comes Allergies: How to Help Your Pet

As we stow away our heavy coats and cozy blankets, we anticipate the end of the cold winter season with excitement for sunshine, warmth and blooming flowers. Spring time is finally here and everyone is undoubtedly preparing for the change in season, but have you prepared your furry family members, as well?


Just like in humans, our pets can suffer from seasonal changes in the form of allergies, and many of us can empathize with this agonizing discomfort. While some pets are unaffected by the change of season, many are still often left in distress due to allergies. We at Wellnergy Pets want to help you spring forward into action by explaining what happens in allergic reactions, why it happens and how you can provide relief for your pet.


What happens in the body when an allergic reactions occur? What are the signs?

Just like in our bodies, our pets contain white blood cells called mast cells that, in short, contribute to immune responses (in this case, allergic reactions). When the body is exposed to an allergen, the body's antibodies - or, more specifically, IgE antibodies - bind to them, causing the release of histamine into the bloodstream and activating the inflammatory response. This may often result in atopic dermatitis atopy for short - characterized by extreme pruritus, or itchiness.


Following the inflammatory response are the clinical signs of allergies and atopy that you may have already observed in your pets, such as hives, redness of the skin or eyes, and local inflammation of a body part. You may also observe distress characterized by certain abnormal behaviors. For example, your pet may try to relieve its itch by rubbing its body against the ground or furniture. Licking of the paws and scratching of the ears are also commonly associated with allergies because these parts of the body are usually affected by allergies. In fact, ear infections are a prevalent secondary disease of allergies, and may worsen if not promptly addressed by a veterinarian.


Some pets may even exhibit signs of an upset stomach and / or difficulty breathing. If you notice these more severe clinical signs, bring your pet to a veterinarian for medical attention right away.


What causes allergies in pets? How do we treat them?

Allergies in pets can be maintained and even prevented if owners are proactive in identifying what causes their reaction. There are many things that can be classified as an allergen, and can affect your pet by inhalation, skin contact or ingestion.


Pollen, dust mites, spores, medications, and material in bedding or carpets are all known allergens that cause allergic reactions in pets. Minimizing exposure to such objects can help subdue reactions. For example, allergens associated with seasonal allergies, - such as pollen and spores, - will be most prevalent in spring, summer and autumn. Knowing this ahead of time can give owners a chance to better equip themselves to minimizing exposure for their furry friends.


On the other hand, many allergens are not associated with a specific season but are instead harbored by the environment. Dust mites can be a year-round culprit to your pet's allergies; therefore, it is important to maintain a clean environment. Your pet may benefit from spring cleaning, but instead of waiting for spring to come around, try to make cleaning sprees a regular part of your routine.


Consulting a veterinarian for medications that have been formulated to combat pruritus can also provide tremendous relief. Apoquel and Cytopoint, for example, have been prescribed to many pets to help with the management of seasonal allergies in pets. Dr. Z's unique and integrative recommendation is our powerful Wellnergy Pets Skin & Coat Support. Rich in skin-loving ingredients such as Biotin, Omega fatty acids, DHA, EPA and EFA, as well as Vitamins E and C, our nutritional supplement has been proven to help the itchiest of pets - and the best part is, there is no prescription needed.



An unhealthy gut can also contribute largely to allergies in pets. In other words, even food can be the cause of allergic reactions. More specifically, most diet-related allergies in dogs are caused by beef and chicken proteins. There are other proteins alternatives that are less often associated with food allergies, such as fish, lamb, rabbit, and venison, among others. Food trials involving a strict feeding regiment can be utilized to identify what foods your pet may be allergic to. Consult your veterinarian for tips on implementing a food trial.


If changing the protein in your pet's diet does not result in improvement, your veterinarian may recommend a hydrolyzed protein. These alternatives are great for pets with food allergies because the proteins, as the name suggests, are already broken down prior to ingestion, essentially making them able to bypass the usual allergic reaction. There are plenty of prescription and over-the-counter food options available if your pet is allergic to a specific protein in their current diet; however, it is important to transition your pet into any new dietary changes by slowly adding its new food to the old one, until you have completely switched over to the new food. 


Allergies can also be caused by insect bites or stings.  Spiders and bees are some of the most common insects that cause allergic reactions in pets. These types of allergies are usually characterized by local inflammation or redness. In more severe cases, your pet may break out in hives or have increased inflammation in the affected body part. If you observe hives or inflammation (especially in body parts that may affect breathing, such as the muzzle or neck), bring your pet to a veterinarian for medical attention immediately.


Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Fleas are another type of insect that causes allergies in pets. While many pets exhibit localized reactions where the flea bites occur, some may have a more extreme reaction and can suffer from flea allergy dermatitis. This occurs when the pet's immune system has a severe reaction to the saliva of the fleas, resulting in irritation, pruritus, inflammation, loss of fur and purulent lesions. Secondary bacterial infections can follow FAD is not addressed soon after symptoms begin.


It is important to bring your pet to a veterinarian for treatment of infections and flea infestations. Just as important is keeping all of your pets on regular flea prevention; while there are many over-the-counter options that may work for your pet, there are also many effective prescriptions that your veterinarian can provide. Lastly, make sure to adequately clean your pet's environment, as the life cycle of a flea will often times outlast your pet's treatment, leaving them predisposed to another infestation if their environment is not properly taken care of.


Veterinary specialists that practice dermatology are also available for a more comprehensive approach to your pet's allergies. This may be especially helpful when all of the approaches mentioned above have not yielded positive results, and your pet may need a little more investigating for alleviate its allergies.


While allergies can be frustrating for both you and your pet, there are many accessible ways that we can combat symptoms. As previously mentioned, our Skin and Coat Support is a great and effective starting point to address your furry friend's allergies. Take charge as a proactive pet parent and get your pet ready for the start of spring!

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