The Itchy Truth About Pet Allergies

Beagle itching with hind leg while outsideIf your pet always seems to be itching or chewing on their paws, back, or ears, they probably have pet allergies. In fact, according to pet insurance companies, pet allergies are the number one reason that pet owners seek veterinary care. Luckily, pet allergies can be diagnosed and treated. Here’s what you need to know to help your pet find relief.

The Basics of Pet Allergies

There are three main allergies that pets experience, and some have a combination of one or more. Here are the basics of each:

Flea allergies – Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) occurs when a pet is allergic to flea saliva. Even one flea bite can trigger an allergic response that sends your pet’s immune system into chaos. Pets with this condition typically itch on the back half of their body, around the base of the tail.

Environmental pet allergies – Dust, pollen, dander and mold are environmental allergens. Allergies to these substances typically start occurring only during certain times of the year, depending on climate and what’s in bloom, but often progress into year-round symptoms. We sometimes refer to this type of allergy as Atopic Dermatitis.

Food-related pet allergies – Some pets are allergic to ingredients in pet food. Most of the allergens are protein-related, however, your pet can develop sensitivity to any of the ingredients in his or her food. Pets with food allergies typically experience itchiness all year long, and some may also show gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Continue…