Along with the warmer temperatures and pleasant weather that the summer months bring, they can also bring allergies. And just like people, pets can have allergic reactions to a variety of things in their environment. However, their allergic reactions can be decidedly different than those that people experience. By exploring three of the common kinds of allergies that pets face – and taking a closer look at pets’ allergic reactions – you may be able to tell if your pet is experiencing discomfort because of an allergy.

Allergies to Pollen, Dust and Mold

Three common allergies for pets are the same as those for us humans: pollen, dust and mold. These three environmental allergy triggers can cause sneezing, but most pets suffering from these allergies will scratch their skin or ears (in reaction to itching), and perhaps have itchy or watery eyes.

Pollen comes from a variety of blooming flowers, shrubs and trees. Dust, and dust mites, tend to collect in corners, under furniture and around pet beds. Mold can form in warm, dark and moist places indoors and out.

Regular vacuuming, baths/grooming, and clean, dry pet bedding should help to limit your pets’ exposure to pollen, dust and mold and help keep allergic reactions to these triggers at bay. Another way to reduce allergy symptoms is by changing your air conditioning filter once per month.

Allergy to Flea Saliva

The most common allergy among pets is an allergy to flea saliva. When fleas bite and leave behind a trace of saliva in the skin, your pets’ reaction will be to scratch or gnaw. On the skin, you will see a small, red raised area, much smaller than a mosquito bite. Besides regularly treating for fleas with an oral tablet or topical medicine, regular bathing and grooming should help to keep your pets flea-free, free of bites, and free of flea-based allergies.

Allergies to Foods

Although pets can have allergic reactions to a variety of different foods or ingredients, food allergies are among the least common forms of allergies. Signs of food allergies may include not only vomiting and diarrhea but also paw licking, ear flapping and scratching, just like those caused by other allergy triggers.

To determine whether your pet truly has a food allergy, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian first rather than to begin modifying or changing your pets’ diet. A veterinarian will be able to help you identify and confirm a food allergy and provide you with a regimen for clearing it up and getting your dog healthy again.

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