Ahh, Ahhhhhh, Aaahh-CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

It happens every time, this time of year. They come down for breakfast or come in from outside and you can see it clear as day – The runny nose, watery, itching eyes, the sneezing….. Oh wait…. Did you think I was talking about my kids? Nooooo! I’m talking about my DOGS!!!

Every Spring it begins – The Allergy Season….. And it doesn’t just affect us as people. My Bloodhound has itchy, watery eyes. The get puffy and she starts to rub up against everything. My Shepherd starts to itch and scratch and my Lab, well, he just gets more grumpy.

Pets, much like people, suffer from allergies. Whether it’s from the tree pollen, the flowers, the emerging grass or even from the insecticides and fertilizers used on lawns, they become just as susceptible as we do. (I know a Yorkie who is allergic to grass – Gotta say, THAT has got to be an issue for such a tiny dog!!!).

Allergies can come in the form of inhaled or contact – Inhaled is obviously going to affect eyes (puffy, watery), and nasal passages (sneezing, runny nose)….Contact allergies show more in itching (or reddish, hot skin) or constant licking of pads or feet. We can’t really do much for inhalant allergies but we can do something about contact allergies.

When you do take your dog for a walk, please make sure to keep him / her off lawns. With all the spray on applications out there, chances are better than none that your dog’s feet will be affected (plus there is nothing more rude than letting your dog go poop on someone else’s lawn!). So when you do get back home, take a baby wipe or wash cloth with a mild detergent on it and wipe down feet and legs. Make sure to dry those toes well or you might end up with a fungal issue (much like Athlete’s Foot)…

You might also try giving the complete dog a quick wipe-down to get surface dust off. This will help with inhaled allergens as well.

For those with inhaled allergies, taking a walk on a dry, breezy day might stir up a lot of pollens so be aware of the weather forecast!

Your veterinarian can run a battery of tests to find out exactly what your dog is allergic to. As a result, they can prescribe what is needed to keep your pet more comfortable during this time of year.

Oh – one other thing….. Fleas!!! They’re baaaaaaaack! Don’t think that just because your dog is itching it must be fleas! It might actually be a flea allergy! Some dogs literally break into welts over one flea bite. So, again check with your vet over what to do to help keep your buddy comfortable.

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