Consumer Tips

Yes — Pets Can Have Allergies, Too!

Did you know that pets can have allergies? As we enter springtime, the same seasonal allergies that affect you may also be affecting your four-legged family members as well!

 

Learn how you can identify allergies in your pet and help them cope with the symptoms.

Common Causes of Pet Allergies 

Pets are just like people in that they can have allergic reactions to a variety of common environmental and household substances. Common allergens include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Dust mites
  • Grass
  • Ragweed
  • Mold
  • Dander
  • Feathers
  • Flea bites

Look out for these common symptoms that may mean your pet has an allergy:

  • Itching (including excessive scratching, hair loss, red skin or skin irritation)
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Excessive paw licking
  • Ear infections (watch for excessive head shaking or scratching of ears)
  • Sneezing (and “reverse sneezing” in dogs, and rarely in cats, when air is inhaled rapidly through the nose)
How Can I Reduce My Pet's Allergies?

Reduce the chance of your pet having a spring allergy by keeping them indoors, particularly on dry, windy days. It's also important to keep pets inside after mowing the lawn, weed pulling, or gardening.

Use air conditioning instead of fans to reduce the amount and movement of pollen indoors, as well as dusting and vacuuming frequently.

Ways to Help Treat Your Pet's Allergies

Sometimes symptoms for seasonal allergies will overlap with food allergies or other environmental allergies, so diagnosis may be difficult and is best managed by a veterinarian who can prescribe medication if necessary. Diet can help treat allergies such as feeding your dog Omega 3 fatty acids, and yucca for cats and dogs.

To treat itching or skin conditions due to allergies, make sure to wipe your pet’s paws after walking outside, and use shampoos that contain pet friendly moisturizers or soothing emollients. Antihistamines are effective in only 20% of pets, and you should consult your veterinarian before administering any medication to your dog or cat. 

If your pet is showing any signs of allergy symptoms, consult your veterinarian.

Enjoy the spring with healthy pets, not sneezing pets.


With Union Plus Pet Health Insurance, you can consult a veterinary expert about your pet's allergies with the Pets Best 24/7 Pet Helpline! Accident Only1 plans are only $6/month for cats and $9/month for dogs. If you'd like to include illness coverage, there are comprehensive BestBenefit Accident and Illness plans2 available. 

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This adaptation of the original article was published by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC.

1Accident Only Plans are $9/mo for dogs and $6/mo for cats. In WA state: the Accident Plan is $10/mo for dogs and $7/mo for cats.

25% Group Discount plus 5% Weblink Discount applies to BestBenefit plans; Group Discount not available in AK, HI, or TN; Weblink Discount applies to first policy term only; not available in AK, FL, HI, or TN. Additional 5% discount applied if insuring more than one pet. Maximum allowable discount is 12%.

Pet insurance coverage is offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, a New York insurance company.