Luckily, a trip to your local pharmacy for an antihistimine or two does the trick. If only it were that easy for your pet. Learning how to diagnose your pets' unusual behaviors is the first step toward a quick fix. Read on to find out how to determine if your pet is suffering from allergies.
Atopy vs. food allergies
Just like humans, your pets' allergies can be attributed to two common causes.
Atopy means allergies caused by inhalation of everyday substances in the environment, including tree and grass pollen and house dust mites. Your pet can experience an outburst of symptoms that happen periodically during the same time each year (what we experience as allergy season) or year-round if the allergens present themselves as a daily part of their living environment.
Food allergies can be more challenging to diagnose. Allergies to an ingested item can occur at any stage in your pets' life. Pets can also develop an allergy to a food item they have not been allergic to in the past.
Antihistamine Dosing Guidlines*
Claritin (Dogs Only)
Benedryl (Dogs Only)
*Always consult with your vet prior to administering medications.
Does your pet suddenly use your pants leg as an eye-rubbing station? Have his paws become finger-licking good? Keep an eye out for unusual behaviors as well as surface imperfections. As a quick guide, the ASPCA determines the follow symptoms as common allergy-related side effects.
At home remedies
Households with lush grass, weeds and trees should limit the amount of time each allergy-prone pet spends outside. Paws and skin should be wiped down regularly to prevent constant licking and reduce scratching. Regular baths with an oatmeal-based pet shampoo can help soothe itchy skin.
If you suspect a food allergy, you'll want to discuss options with your vet. Your vet can help you rule out a food allergy by suggesting a diet consisting of foods your pet does not ingest on a regular basis. Fido will have to stick to this diet, and only this diet, for 4-12 weeks. After this time period, you can slowly re-introduce food items to your pets' diet and closely monitor his reactions.
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