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Shoreview, MN

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Email: mvhteam@mnvet.com

Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Pet Allergies

2021-04-18

Pet Allergies

Are you wondering what is wrong with your pet? You may notice that they are scratching a lot and their skin looks irritated. Maybe he or she is biting her feet or scratching uncontrollably. If this sounds like your pet, there could be many different causes for the discomfort. As we will discuss in this blog post, there are allergies that can cause these symptoms in pets. The sooner we get to the bottom of this issue, the more likely it is to be treated successfully!
 

Environmental Allergens

Allergies can be a common cause of itching and discomfort in your pet. This is especially true if you have a pet that frequently goes outside. Right now, there are plenty of spring pollen in the air. The allergens in the air and on your pet's fur can easily cause itching, inflammation, and irritation throughout their body. 

Pets with allergies tend to do best when they are not exposed to allergen triggers at home - such as dust mites, pollen, or chemicals often found in carpets and upholstery materials). Think about any new scents you may have introduced such as candles or air fresheners that may be causing a new reaction in your pet. Consider limiting your dog or cat's contact with these substances. Allergy symptoms may be exacerbated by many factors: dry climate conditions or high humidity levels(especially indoors). Consider using a medicated shampoo to help calm your pet's itch and soothe sensitive areas. Our team would be happy to make a recommendation, and many of these products can be found right in our online store.
 

Food Allergens

Another source of allergies to your pet may come from their food or treats. Many commercial foods contain ingredients that your pet may be sensitive to. Identifying the specific food which is causing the issue may be difficult, so it’s a good idea to limit the options of food types that your pet is receiving. This way, it’s easier to identify the culprit. 

If you do decide to make a change in diet for your dog or cat, it's best not to switch food brands quickly as this can lead to stomach upset and loss of appetite. Rather, try switching one thing at a time: first the type of protein, then the brand of dry kibble/wet canned food or treats if applicable - slowly adding new things over weeks before making another change. These changes should happen gradually so that no single meal contains more than one ingredient from the previous diet.  Our online store is stocked with high-quality diets to help with sensitive stomachs or skin issues, and our team is here to help guide you to what the best nutritional products may work for your pet. 

Since dermatologic issues are quite common in pets, it's important to get to the root cause of what the allergen is that is triggering the issue. If avoiding the allergen isn't resolving the discomfort, it's time to come see us. By making an appointment with our MVH team, we can help isolate the specific allergen that is triggering your pet's discomfort and skin issue and help your pet live his or her best, and most comfortable, life!

Image credit: Bill Stephan / Unsplash