It can be tricky for pet owners to figure out what's wrong with their pets. In order to help keep your pets safe and healthy, ManyPets compiled information about five common allergic reactions that can be triggered in pets.
In the world of domestic animals, allergies work differently; for example, while humans with allergies tend to sneeze, dogs itch. Although similar factors trigger allergies, most pet allergies fall under the "skin allergy" umbrella and manifest as irritations on the animal's skin in the form of dry, itchy, or flaky spots.
At any age, a pet's immune system can create antibodies that recognize and react to specific allergens. These reactions can be sudden and severe. In other cases, particularly with food allergies, the pet's immune system gradually reacts to the allergen after being exposed for some time. This gradual exposure is referred to as sensitization. Subsequent exposure to the same or a related allergen triggers an overreaction. Usually, the immune system defends the pet from infection and sickness, but in the case of allergies, the immune reaction can damage the body. Many everyday or commonplace items can cause problems for your pet, resulting in anything from minor irritation to life-threatening reactions.
Aside from food allergies and flea bites, some of the most common allergen-causing elements in a home include cleaning products, fabrics, petroleum-based products such as certain rubbers and plastics, perfumes and air fresheners, and even cigarette smoke. Allergies change and develop throughout your pet's life, so things that may have once been OK can suddenly cause allergic reactions. To figure out what might be triggering your pet's allergies, pet owners have to keep an eye out for patterns that can help—keeping track of whether your pet has seasonal or year-round itching or if your pet's allergies worsen after certain treats or after you change their diet. These pointers can help pet owners identify allergy triggers.