Winter Allergies and Your Dog

Winter seems to be the time of year when your dog’s health issues can cause many concerned trips to the vet. Did you know that one in seven dogs is affected by winter allergies? And dog allergies are on the rise!

Many pet parents don’t realize that their dog could be simply suffering from winter allergies. Winter allergies can be worse than any other time of the year for a variety of reasons, but one key driver is the fact that pets spend more time inside. This results in an increase of allergies.

Being aware of the symptoms can easily prevent allergy severity from arising — saving both your dog pain and discomfort while keeping money in your pocket. So, what are the symptoms?

  • Face (muzzle, chin, and eyes): Red face with hair loss around the eyes and runny nose with heavy discharges. Sneezing may occur.
  • Ears: Red with a waxy drainage that has a bad or unpleasant odor.
  • Skin: Appears red with possible crusts and scales. Secondary skin infections may develop with strong odors and areas of the belly, groin and elbows may cause intense itching, resulting in excessive scratching.
  • Feet: May develop intense itching, redness and inflammation. Brown discoloration of areas that are continuously licked and scratched as a result of the itching and/or burning.
  • Fur: May develop bald spots and brown discoloration due to licking and scratching.

If left untreated, severe allergies may develop into anaphylactic shock with signs of diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, difficulty breathing and potential death. If your dog is suffering from any of these symptoms, call your vet right away.

How can you help decrease the chances for Fido to develop allergies? Things like cleaning out the furnace filter and keeping the humidity below 40 percent helps lower the breeding of allergens. In addition, humidifiers should be cleaned out at least once a week to prevent mold contamination in addition to gathering allergens. You can also give him allergy relief pills to help with itching skin, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.

You’ll benefit from these changes as well! Do you have any tips for helping dogs that suffer from winter allergies?

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