There are two kinds of allergies in dogs, seasonal allergies and food allergies. If your dog gets itchy with certain seasons, then chances are it’s due to something environmental, while food allergies tend to occur year-round. Some common signs of seasonal allergies in dogs are hot spots, redness, dry flaky skin, constant scratching, or even biting and chewing the affected areas.
Usually, seasonal allergies in dogs affect their skin. Also known as allergic dermatitis, the itch-scratch cycle can make things pretty miserable for you poor pup. The more they itch, the more they tend to scratch, and the more they scratch, the more the skin will become irritated and inflamed. In the worst cases, hot spots can occur – which is bald spots where the dog’s skin is so irritated that their own natural bacteria overwhelms the skin and it becomes extremely red and often accompanied by hair loss and even some bleeding.
In addition to skin allergies on their legs and bodies, seasonal allergies in dogs can cause other symptoms, including itchy ears. This can be due to yeast or bacteria infections due to the seasonal allergens your pet has encountered.
Watch for scratching at the ears, head shaking, hair loss and/or small scabs around the ears (from repeated scratching or rubbing). If you notice any of these signs, your pet may be suffering from allergies that are affecting their ear canal. These can be incredibly uncomfortable for your pet, so it’s important to keep an eye out, especially if you have a very sensitive pooch!
Believe it or not, respiratory issues are not common in pets due to seasonal allergens, but they can occur. Dogs are much less susceptible to the issues we as humans experience when it comes to things like hay fever and pollen as the seasons change. However, it can happen, so it’s still important to keep alert for a runny nose, watery eyes, coughing, and/or sneezing.
Similarly to humans, dogs can be allergic to ragweed, grasses, pollens, mold spores, tree pollen, and so on. So while it is far less common in canines as compared to humans, your pup can become agitated from these seasonal irritants. The biggest challenge with dogs that show respiratory reactions to seasonal allergens is that they become even more susceptible to infection as a result. Respiratory allergies can lead to sinusitis and bronchitis, just like people get! And trust us when we say it’s no fun for your pet to be sick any more than it is when you’re under the weather.
What to Do About Seasonal Allergies in Dogs
If you suspect your dog has seasonal allergies, or you have observed any of the above symptoms, it’s best to bring your dog to see your vet sooner rather than later. Left untreated, or treated only once per year rather than working to correct the underlying cause, it’s possible for seasonal allergies to worsen over the years and become year-round! But by bringing your pet in at the earliest signs of seasonal allergies, you can help identify the issue and get them on the right track.
Seasonal allergies are common, but with the right time and attention from you and your vet, they can be treated to alleviate many of the symptoms that they cause in dogs. It’s always best to see your vet before the issue becomes more serious, and it’s all fun and games…until that hot spot is bright red and someone ends up in a cone!