Humans aren't the only animal that can suffer from seasonal allergies. House pets, like dogs and cats, can also be affected by the seasonal waves of pollen that cause hay fever in their human counterparts. However, many pet owners are woefully unaware of the discomfort allergies can cause in domestic animals. According to a recent survey from Novartis Animal Health, more than half of pet owners aren't aware that pets can also experience seasonal allergy symptoms.
Dogs and cats do experience sneezing and coughing when they're allergic, but the primary reaction is usually itchy skin. If you notice that your pet is scratching excessively, rubbing against rough surfaces like carpeted floors and chewing or biting certain areas of skin, it could be a sign that seasonal allergies are to blame. If not recognized and treated soon, these itchy spots can lose their hair and become scabbed and inflamed. Allergic pets, especially dogs, also tend to develop inflamed or infected ears.
To help out a pet with seasonal allergies, first visit a vet to see if there are any medications or supplements that might help with the allergic symptoms. Giving your pet baths more often than usual helps to remove allergens that stick to the skin and fur and cause irritation. You can also wipe down your pet's feet before coming inside after a walk to avoid tracking allergens into the home. If your pet has moist, itchy "hot spots" of dermatitis on the skin, applying witch hazel to the areas two to three times daily can help them to dry out and recover.