What Causes Allergies in Dogs and Cats?
Is it us, or are little cat sneezes kind of cute? We know; we hear them a lot at our vet clinic. But, they may be a sign of something more serious. Allergies.
Allergies in dogs and cats aren’t uncommon and can be caused by various factors. In this post, we’re detailing the most common reasons your pet may have allergies and what you can do to help.
Symptoms of Dog and Cat Allergies
When we think about dog and cat allergies, we typically refer to the human reaction; however, your pets can also suffer from allergic responses, which range in severity.
Common symptoms associated with cat and dog allergies include:
- Itchy skin or rashes
- Itchy and runny eyes
- Sneezing, coughing, and wheezing
- Diarrhea and upset stomach
- Swollen paws
Whether your dog is regularly licking one area of her body or your cat has been coughing up more than the usual furballs, allergies may be the culprit. The good news: you’ve got options.
Causes of Dog and Cat Allergies
Before determining how best to support your pet through their allergy dilemma, you’ll want to learn what’s causing the symptoms.
Some of the most common causes of cat and dog allergies include:
- Environmental allergens: Dogs and cats can develop allergies to environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and mold. These allergens can cause skin irritation, itching, and respiratory symptoms.
- Food allergies: Some dogs and cats can develop allergies to certain foods or ingredients in their diet. Common allergens include beef, chicken, wheat, soy, and dairy.
- Flea allergies: Some dogs and cats are allergic to flea saliva, which can cause intense itching and discomfort.
- Contact allergies: Dogs and cats can develop allergies to certain materials or substances they come into contact with, such as cleaning products, shampoos, or fabrics.
- Genetics: Certain breeds of dogs and cats may be more prone to developing allergies than others.
- Autoimmune disorders: In some cases, allergies can be a symptom of an underlying autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues.
If you suspect your dog or cat has allergies, you should consult your local veterinarian, who can perform tests to determine the cause. Armed with this information, the appropriate treatment options can be implemented.
Common treatments for cat and dog allergies include:
- Dietary changes
- Lifestyle changes
One or more of these solutions may be combined for more successful results.
Edgewater Animal Hospital for Your Pet’s Health
Don’t let your pet’s allergies get in the way of their health (or playtime). Our Alpharetta vet is prepared to help you find the reason for their allergic reaction, so they can return to enjoying themselves in comfort.
If you have questions regarding your pet’s symptoms, allergies, or ways to control their allergies, we’re here to help.