Fall Allergy Season

Submitted by Bethany Elliott, RVT

Now that summertime is coming to an end many people think that their dog’s allergies are coming to an end as well.  But fall season brings about allergies also.  From late August to late October (until it turns cold and stays cold) our furry companions can be just as bad with allergies as in the early spring and summer.

This time of year is the peak for ragweed, goldenrod, and mold spores of many kinds.  Some common sign of allergies in dogs can be itching/scratching, redness of skin, hair loss, ear infections, inflamed feet, hot spots (areas of moist, painful skin infection), etc.

Here are some tips in keeping your animals comfortable when it comes to allergies:

1.  Keep your pets away from un-mowed grass.

2.  Clean up leaves when raked into a pile.  Don’t leave them sitting around to mold.

3.  Try to avoid outdoor playtime in the morning hours.  Between 5am-10am is when the pollen is the most airborne.  A good time to have outside acitvities is after a rain as this keeps the pollen from spreading.

4.  Wash your dog’s feet when he/she comes in from outside.  Additionally frequent bathing once or twice a week helps remove allergins from your pets skin thus reducing the amount that irritates your dog.

5.  If your dog is still uncomfortable, bring him/her to your veterinarian.  In extreme cases there are allergy tests that can be performed ( a simple blood test) to help pinpoint what allergins are affecting your dog.  Once this is determined then a program of desensitization injections (think of it as an allergy vaccine) can be designed for you to administer at home.  In most cases these greatly reduce the suffering your pet endures during allergy season.

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