Managing Environmental Allergies in Pets

It’s that time of year again! The sun is shining and your pets are probably excited to get outside. However, the 2018 State of Pet Health Report found that environmental allergies in pets have increased over the last 10 years with a 30.7% increase in dogs and an 11.5% increase in cats.

A dog outside in the grass

Common allergens that affect pets include pollen, dander, mold, feathers, insect bites, and bee stings - all of which can be found, or happen, outside.

Symptoms in pets include:

  • Redness
  • Facial swelling
  • Excessive licking
  • Itching and scratching
  • Hives


Luckily, you can better manage allergic reactions by:

1. Using your air conditioner

Nobody enjoys hanging out in their house when it’s sweltering but instead of opening your windows to cool down, invest in an air conditioner. When windows are left open, insects and pollen can get into your house. Although it may be more expensive, opting to use an air conditioner will be beneficial to any pets that have allergies.

2. Wiping down your pet

When your pet comes back inside after playing outside or roaming the yard, wipe them down using a washcloth soaked in warm water. Remove any visible pollen and dirt and focus on the areas around their paws and face. If you don’t want to get your washcloths and towels dirty, you can purchase hypoallergenic wipes at your local pet store.

3. Giving your pet a bath

Bathing your pets regularly keeps their coat free from dander, pollen, dust, and dirt that can irritate their skin and potentially set off their allergies. If your pet struggles with seasonal allergies, try bathing them once a week with hypoallergenic shampoo. Those types of shampoo use natural ingredients to moisturize sensitive skin.

4. Treating the affected areas

If you know your pet is struggling with an allergic reaction and they’re itching, scratching, or biting at their skin, apply a medicated spray or gel to the area. Many of those products contain natural ingredients, like aloe vera and oatmeal. Just be sure to verify that whatever product you’re using is safe for your type of pet.

Although many allergic reactions are mild, you should know the symptoms and keep an eye on your pet. If your pet’s allergic reaction worsens, seek treatment from a veterinarian.

Now get out there and enjoy the nice weather!