As the flowers start to bloom, the birds start to sing and the temperatures start to rise, our noses start to run, eyes itch and all of a sudden—ACHOO. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, but 10% of dogs suffer from allergies, too. Similar to humans, the symptoms can include things like a runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes. Unlike humans, you may notice your dog rubbing their face on the floor or chewing their feet. Dogs rely heavily on their owners to help prevent and treat allergy symptoms. Here are five ways to keep pets sneeze-free this spring.
1. Pollen Police
Pay close attention to the daily pollen report. Pollen levels tend to be lower on cool days or after rain. Pollen levels are usually highest during the morning hours, between, 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. If you’re planning a lengthier walk, try and opt for the evening instead.
2. Splish Splash
Our pups enjoy the green grass and rising temps and show their appreciation by rolling in everything they can. Use dog-friendly wipes on your pup’s feet when they come inside. Not only will this remove allergens but it can help keep floors clean. This is a great time to inspect your dog’s skin, eyes, feet and ears for redness or irritation. Lather up some shampoo complete with moisturizer, rinse and shake-shake-shake. Use a clean towel to blot dry. Be prepared, many dogs follow bath time with “the zoomies.”
3. Spring Cleaning
As every good pet owner knows, cleaning the house is mandatory for sanitary and sanity purposes. We love our dogs, hate their shedding and live and die by our vacuum cleaners. Spring cleaning is a tradition in most homes. A time when homeowners remove the salt build-up from the mudroom, declutter the garage and pack away the coats and ghosts of winters past. Take the time to wash blankets, rugs, toys and beds to help remove as much dust and grime as possible. For further precaution, consider adding an air purifier to the room the family spends the most time in.
Be conscious of when and where you walk your dog. Stay clear of freshly trimmed grass which can not only dye their feet green but allow for allergens to pass through their paw pads. If possible, try to prevent your pup from frolicking in tall grasses or vegetation. Along with an increased risk of fleas and ticks, this would also expose your dog to excess pollen, ragweed and dust.
5. Visit the “Dogtor”
If your dog is presenting hot spots or symptoms are worsening, it may be time to talk to a veterinarian. A certified veterinarian can help develop a unique treatment plan for pet allergies that best suits their needs.