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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

Sneezes, Itches, and Bites: How Seasonal Changes Affect Pets

A dog scratching itself

Has the changing weather had an impact on how you are feeling? Seasonal allergies are a common theme this time of year, along with more mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, and the like. 

This is true for our pet companions too. Like us, pets are making the shift into a new season, too. The great news is that this can be an amazing time of year for both exercise and activities in the great outdoors – if you keep your pet protected.

The team at Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic is here to explain how seasonal changes affect pets and what you can do to keep your pet safe and feeling their best.

So Much Scratching!

Seasonal allergies affect a large number of dogs and cats. This condition occurs when the body reacts to something in the air or environment. 

While your pet may not need Kleenex, they do have their own symptoms that coincide with allergic reactions. 

The most notable of these symptoms is scratching, biting, chewing, and licking.

The immune system is on high alert right now with grasses, pollens, dust, and other environmental substances that cause a pet to react. Some pets have allergies year-round, but many see a spike in their condition this time of the year.

Symptoms of allergies include:

  • Chronic itching (scratching, licking, chewing)
  • Biting at paws
  • Fur loss
  • Hot spots or other types of skin infection
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Ear infections (head shaking, scratching, increased wax)

Allergies can cause your pet to be uncomfortable and affect their immune system when not addressed. Our team can diagnose and treat these allergies through allergy testing and other procedures. Please call us for a consultation. 

Pesky Parasites

Mother Nature is full of great beauty, which is why recreating outside this season is a good choice for the entire family. Your furry one will also love backyard playtime, hiking, walking, and other activities. Unfortunately, the parasites are gearing up to attack all warm blooded hosts in droves. Your pet may be one of the targets.

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can carry diseases that range from mild to deadly. Fleas can cause an infestation that can be difficult to be rid of. Many of these parasites carry zoonotic illnesses, meaning they can be passed to humans. To keep your pet and entire family safe, use flea and tick preventives, along with one to protect against heartworms as needed per region. Depending on your pet’s exposure to the outdoors, your vet may recommend additional prevention for illnesses like leptospirosis.

Outdoor Toxins

If you are a green thumb, you may be gearing up for lawn and garden prep. This includes amending the soil, planting new veggies and flowers, and landscaping the yard. When it comes to lawn and garden care and your pet, the combination can be dangerous. There are several things that may look great in the yard, but they are also toxic to animals.

Steer clear of the following toxic plants:

  • Azalea
  • Sago Palm
  • Oleander
  • Crocus
  • Daffodil
  • Ivy
  • Lilies
  • Cyclamen
  • Dieffenbachia

Insecticide, pesticides, and fertilizers can be highly poisonous. Instead, use natural, pet friendly sprays for your blooms and veggies. It should also be noted that cocoa mulch is highly toxic to dogs.

Warm Weather

Hot weather may be on the horizon, and warmer weather may set a pet up for becoming dehydrated or overheated. 

When you are outside with your fur friend, remember to provide shade and plenty of water. Bring water with you when you go for a car ride together and never leave a pet unattended in the car, even if for a few minutes. Because of the seriousness of leaving pets in the car, 28 states have laws prohibiting this.

How Seasonal Changes Affect Pets

If you have noticed that your pet has been dealing with allergies or is generally impacted by the new season, please call us. We can also discuss additional tips on keeping your pet safe and healthy this spring, and all year long!