For many cat and dog owners, their pets are a source of joy. But what many owners fail to notice about them (especially with their first pet) is that like us, they are also prone to many illnesses and health issues. But while for people it is fairly easy to tell somebody else when you are sick or not feeling well, for a cat or a dog things are far more complicated than that. This is due to their playful and exploratory nature, which leads them to roam all around the house, the yard and many other places that owners might not even know about.
This fact, along with their physical distinctions (like their fur, their paws) and their instinctive behaviour, which causes them to continuously smell every corner they explore, exposes them to a lot of germs, bacteria, spores, dust and many other substances. These substances, while in many cases may not directly make them sick, they might very well cause them other afflictions, like allergies for example, which are among the most underestimated ailments any dog or cat can suffer from.
Yes, dogs and cats can also suffer from allergies, like people do, and when not taken care of, allergies can be extremely harmful for them. Thankfully, there are easy ways to detect when your cat or dog is suffering from allergies. In order to do so, just watch for any of the following symptoms:
- Compulsive scratching: If you see your dog or cat incessantly scratching its body parts (especially when it is not the same body part), it might be something more serious than just fleas.
- Rubbing and licking: Another clear sign of your dog or cat suffering from allergies is when they start licking their paws (on both sides, which is a clear sign of itching) or when they use them to rub their ears and faces.
- Inflammation and runny eyes: Hives and other types of swelling and inflammation (especially if they are red in color) are clear signs of allergies on pets. Owners also need to observe very carefully to see if their mascots start constantly showing running eyes.
- Sneezing: A more subtle, yet clear sign of a developing allergy is when your cat or dog starts sneezing or coughing for no apparent reason, which might indicate an allergy to dust.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that like it happens with humans, cat and dog allergies can be caused by many other elements as well, from flea collars and plastic toys to regular food and water.
The trick with allergies is that since their symptoms are so similar to pets’ regular behaviour, owners need to be very good observers and notice when their pets are doing something unusual. Otherwise, the allergies will start affecting them even more and might cause more drastic symptoms, like vomiting and asthma for example.
In any case, the moment you suspect your dog or cat suffers from allergy, you should give him/her a quick bath and immediately bring your pet to the veterinary for medical consultation. However, the best way to fight pet allergies is by preventing them, and the best prevention method is feeding your dog or cat with a balanced diet while at the same time providing them with all the vaccines they require.