How to spot pet allergies and prevent them

Relieve your pet from the constant scratching and itching with these tips.

More than 50% of allergies are caused by environmental factors such as fleas, insects, pollen from weeds, grass and house dust mites. In some cases the itching and scratching can also be due to food allergies against ingredients such as chicken or beef, although uncommon.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition shares signs to look out for when it comes to allergies and how to react to help prevent them.

Watch out for these common signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction:

  1. Coat: your dog’s coat should be smooth, soft and shiny with no areas of hair loss.
  2. Skin: There shouldn’t be any scabs, crusts, thickened skin, flaking or any signs of irritation or redness. The skin also shouldn’t have a bad odour.
  3. Behaviour signs: Itching, scratching, licking or rubbing. Head shaking is often a sign of chronic ear problems.
  4. Vomiting, diarrhoea or flatulence.
  5. Coughing, wheezing or sneezing.

If your pet is showing any of these signs, get advice from your vet and try the following:

  1. Clean your pet’s beds and blankets regularly. Ideally you want to wash your pet’s bedding every two weeks. If your pooch’s bedding can be washed in a washing machine, do so on the hottest programme. Alternatively, a thorough hand wash will also work. Make sure the bedding is completely dry before allowing your furbaby back on again. 
  2. Cold bath. Cold water helps calm itchy, irritated skin and can help reduce allergens in the coat. You can do this up to three times a week for serious cases.  Either wash with plain water or use a pet-friendly, hypoallergenic shampoo.  For acute cases this is recommended three times a week. Dog grooming wipes also help to remove loose hair, dirt and odour causing bacteria from your dog’s fur.
  3. Stay indoors on windy days. Wind increases the pollen count in the air, and just as humans who suffer from allergies are encouraged to stay indoors on windy days, keeping your affected pets sheltered will help reduce the pollen load on their skin.
  4. Feed the right food. Even if your dog doesn’t have a food allergy, feeding high-quality food formulated for skin sensitivity will make a big difference. Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete is clinically proven nutrition for both food and environmental allergies*.  The food helps address two primary causes of itching with a novel protein that avoids 96% of food allergies, a breakthrough formula with bioactives and phytonutrients to reduce the signs associated with environmental allergies. The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids also help support healthy skin to provide a barrier against potential environmental allergens.

*The only dietetic nutritional solution for both food and environmental allergies in dogs supported by three clinical studies.

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