Dogs can be allergic to many things, including their food. However, plenty of dog allergies can come from the environment.
This is especially worrying in the summer when we love to take our dogs outside to enjoy the warm weather. So what should you watch out for to avoid an allergic reaction?
Common Summer Allergies
Seasonal allergies in dogs are typically caused by allergens they inhale or come in contact with their skin.
Summer season allergies are probably the most annoying and cause various types of inflammatory responses. Here are a few of the most common culprits to look out for if you have a sensitive pup:
We know how annoying fleas can be. And they thrive in warmer weather. Unfortunately, it's also during summer that your dog will be out and about, playing in the park or running in the field, exposed to some of the most common allergens.
So summer months can be extremely overwhelming for your poor pup.
Common symptoms include itchy and irritated skin, scratching, biting, or chewing at affected areas, and in extreme cases even hair loss or thinning.
Because grass releases its pollen during the summer season, allergies become more regular during these months.
And dogs don't even need to be in contact with grass to experience an allergic reaction. The pollen travels through the air, so simply being near an open field could trigger a reaction, making it near impossible to avoid allergens completely.
Allergy symptoms include itchy, red, and watery eyes, sneezing, and nasal congestion - a runny nose. The worst-case scenario would be respiratory issues, like coughing and wheezing.
Mold & Mold Mites
This is probably one of the more severe and serious summer season allergies that you might encounter as inhaling mold in any form is incredibly unhealthy.
Warm, humid climates promote mold growth, so keep a close eye on your dog's environment, regularly cleaning its bedding and crate.
Common symptoms include skin inflammation, itchy eyes, and a wet nose.
Dust & Dust Mites
Dust allergies are not specific to summer but can still affect dogs during this season.
These mites thrive in humid environments, so their populations may increase during summer in certain regions.
Allergy symptoms to look out for include Itchy skin, particularly on the belly, paws, and face, sneezing, and coughing, and red, inflamed skin, sometimes accompanied by hair loss.
Weeds & Fungi
Weeds and fungi release pollen and spores during the summer. It is worth noting though that not all dogs react to all weeds and fungi. Meaning that the chances of your dog living in a area where a specific fungus or weed grows is pretty slim.
Nonetheless, these seasonal allergies are still a worry for dog owners.
The most common symptom of this allergy would be sneezing and nasal congestion, while other symptoms include watery red eyes and irritated, red skin.
Identifying Allergy Symptoms
Summer allergies in dogs most commonly manifest in the skin.
You’ll notice that your dog is scratching excessively and might even be licking and nipping on their skin. You might also notice rashes or redness, especially along the belly and groin area.
Seasonal allergies in dogs might also cause redness and swelling in your dog’s eyes, paws, and muzzle. In some cases, allergens could cause difficulty breathing, which may look like heavy panting or even wheezing.
In very acute cases, allergy triggers can cause anaphylactic shock.
Combating your Dog's Seasonal Allergies
Allergic reactions in dogs are generally treated with antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medication. The type and strength will depend on the symptoms involved.
Depending on your dog’s condition, your vet might also prescribe some creams to apply on inflamed areas or recommend medicated baths. During these wash sessions, use a medicated shampoo to combat flea bites and skin infection.
Also, make sure you only use soft, cushioned harnesses to keep the skin from further irritation.
If you have a dog that’s prone to allergies, you should also try to prevent reactions. It’s not always easy to avoid summer allergies since irritants are typically environmental. Nevertheless, you can select activities that lower your dog's risk of exposure.
For example, you can opt to swim at a pool rather than hike through a meadow. But the best thing you can do to avoid severe reactions is to bathe your dog after spending time outside to minimize prolonged exposure to its environmental allergens.
If you have a dog that spends most of its time indoors, you could invest in air filters that will cycle and purify the air inside your home. Controlling the air quality in your home is a great idea as it picks up different allergens and cleans the air for both pets and humans.
You could also make a weekly bath part of your treatment plan, especially during allergy season.
Dog Breeds That Are Prone To Develop Seasonal Allergies
While any dog breed can develop seasonal allergies or ear infections, certain breeds are more prone to these conditions.
Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Pit Bulls are commonly associated with both seasonal allergies and recurring ear and bacterial infections.
So pet owners to be vigilant for signs of chronic infections in these breeds, such as recurrent ear irritation, discharge, or discomfort.
If your dog experiences seasonal allergies or chronic infections, seeking veterinary care is recommended.
Veterinarians can provide appropriate treatment options, including allergy shots or medications, to alleviate symptoms and effectively manage your dog's allergies
My Dog Constantly Has A Runny Nose - Is It Serious?
Allergic reactions in dogs can be anything from mildly uncomfortable to life-threatening. For most dogs, summer allergies manifest in the skin while others simply get a runny nose.
Although this might not seem serious, your pup’s insistent scratching, licking, and nipping could easily lead to secondary skin infections. It’s always better to get your dog to the vet immediately to seek relief and keep your dog from scratching altogether.
On the other hand, summer allergies that manifest as respiratory symptoms can be much more serious.
This is especially true for flat-faced breeds like pugs, French and English bulldogs since they are prone to breathing difficulties. If your dog has an acute allergic reaction that affects its ability to breathe, treat it as an emergency and get to a vet right away.
Just make sure you keep an eye out and take extra steps to make sure your pup is safe a healthy. And, don’t hesitate to head to the vet if your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction.
Finally then, being aware of your dog's seasonal allergies is super important.
By closely monitoring our dog's skin condition and promptly identifying any signs of seasonal allergies, we can take proactive measures to address their discomfort.
Whether it's through allergy shots, skin testing, or medications, we can provide the necessary support to alleviate symptoms and improve our dog's quality of life during summertime.
Remember, our furry companions rely on us to care for their well-being.
With good communication with your veterinarian, and implementing appropriate allergy management strategies, you can ensure our dogs enjoy a happy and allergy-free summer, allowing them to thrive and make the most of the season while supporting their immune systems.