Keeping Your Pets Safe Amidst Coronavirus

Keeping Your Pets Safe Amidst Coronavirus

Last month, we discussed some of the ways you can keep your pets busy while you are all home during a pandemic. Now, while maintaining the health and safety of yourself and those closest to you is of the utmost priority during this COVID-19 pandemic, you might also be thinking about how you can keep your pets safe and clear from the virus as well. The good news is that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that the disease is typically spread to humans through person-to-person contact. Here in the US, there have been very few reports of pets or livestock succumbing to the coronavirus.

Now, while there is little evidence that suggests that the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from animals, you can’t be too safe and should still practice best hygiene practices around your animals. For example, you should be washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day and especially before and after you have direct contact with your pets, their food or their supplies. Let’s take a look at a couple of other ways you can keep your pet safe during this pandemic.

Stock Up On Pet Supplies

You should also look to prepare a kit that includes any essential supplies you would need on hand in the event of an emergency. This emergency kit should have at least a month’s supply of your pet’s medications along with about two weeks worth of food.

Designate An Emergency Caregiver

You also want to identify someone who will be relied upon to help with your pet’s short-term or long-term care in the event that you are unable to do so. This can be a family member, a friend, your neighbor, or even your favorite boarding facility.

Create A Pet Dossier

Now, if assistance is required from your designated emergency caregiver, you should try to make things easier by having all of your pet’s information in one place. Some of the things you want to make available are their habits, food preferences, any medical conditions the caregiver should be aware of and the medications they take, your local veterinarian contact information, and also any behavioral tendencies that. This information will make things much smoother for the caregiver.

At the end of the day, we all want to make sure that we are putting in the proper safety precautions that will ensure the safety of not just ourselves but everyone we come in contact with and that includes our pets. So, these are some basic guidelines that people can follow. For more information on how you can keep your pet safe during this pandemic, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

How To Keep Your Pets Safe from Wildlife

How To Keep Pets Safe From Wildlife

Wildlife and pets don’t mix well most of the time and it is up to you as the owner to keep your pet safe in the event they encounter a wild animal. Now, due to the fact that this does not happen as often, it can be difficult to foresee these types of issues. However, with the spring and summer months approaching, you can expect more and more wild animals to be out and about, making their way into backyards. Therefore, it is critical to be aware of the potential dangers your pet might face.

Depending on where you live, you might deal with different threats to the safety of your pet. Some common animals that you will want to keep an eye out for are, especially in the Colorado area include: coyotes, deer, and moose. Coyotes can be particularly dangerous as they are a rabies reservoir species which means an attack from them can put your pet at risk for rabies.

As it pertains to pet safety around wild animals, you would most likely deal with two scenarios which are home safety and walking safety. So, let’s take a look at how you can keep your pet safe in both scenarios.

Home Safety

One of the main draws for wild animals is food. So one of the easiest things you can do to keep your pet safe is to make sure there is no trash in your yard and avoid leaving food outdoors. Also, if you have noticed a lot of rodents in your home or outside near your home, you will want to take care of the problem immediately, because they can lure in snakes and other predators to your yard. Now, while you may consider your yard as a safe place, it is important that keep eyes on your pet as they are outside, especially at dusk and dawn. It is during these times that wild animals can find their ways into fenced yards and cause trouble.

Another factor that can draw in wild animals is pet waste, so, be sure to regularly clean your yard for animal waste to prevent any wildlife from wandering into your yard.

Walking Safety

Now, when you are walking your pet, make sure you keep them on a leash and near you at all times. By allowing them to roam, it puts them at risk for animal attacks, especially in a wooded area. In the event a wild animal does approach you, avoid running away from the animal. Simply face them and slowly back away. You can also try to keep the animal from approaching by making a lot of noise and make yourself appear as big as possible. Stomping your feet, throwing rocks, and shouting are all methods that can help. Finally, never approach a wild animal if you see one. Instead, try to leave a path for them to escape while staying as far away as possible.

Cherrelyn Animal Hospital is available if you have additional questions about protecting your pet from wildlife. Also, if your pet has been involved in an attack with a wild animal, give us a call at (303) 532-1258!

How to Interpret Common Dog Behaviors

How To Interpret Common Dog Behaviors

The way your dog acts and reacts to certain things can be a clear indicator of their mood. While you may not because to speak the native canine tongue, it is still very important to be able to interpret dog behavior. For example, why is your dog licking certain textures or circling the same spot in front of you? There could be reasons within a dog’s state of mind or even health concerns that may cause them to do certain things and by learning how to understand their behaviors, you will be able to help them better. So, let’s take a look at some common dog behaviors and understand what could be behind them.

Bad Breath

As it pertains to bad breath, dogs are not known for having the best smelling breath, however, if you notice a specific change, you might want to take a trip to your veterinarian as it could be linked to their oral health. A change in your dog’s breath could be a cause for concern as it pertains to their gastrointestinal tract, liver, or, kidneys as well. For example, if their breath smells like urine, they could be having a kidney problem. If they start exhibiting sweet-smelling breath, it could be a sign to vets that they have diabetes. This is particularly true if they are drinking more water and urinating more often. So, while this may not directly link to their mood, it is still something that you should pay attention to and let your veterinarian know if any sudden changes occur.

Circling

When a dog cannot stop walking in circles, it could mean they have health issues. While it is fun for them to chase their tail if they cannot stop the compulsion, there might be a deeper problem beneath the surface, for example, it could be linked to an ear infection. Other reasons include idiopathic vestibular syndrome which is common in older dogs as well as poisoning or even a brain tumor. However, only your vet will be able to determine the exact cause of your dog’s circling, so if things become a problem, bring them in for a check-up.

Biting

Puppies, in the beginning, may nip at you as they are learning to communicate with their pet parents and this will usually happen while playing. This is because young dogs tend to communicate with their mouths when they interact. However, if your pup begins nipping regularly, you should look to stop it early as it can develop into a problematic behavior down the line. Dogs usually bite out of anxiety, fear, or aggression. If you are struggling to determine the cause or teaching them not to do so, you might want to consider working with a trainer.

Panting

Dogs usually expel their body heat from their mouths. So, when your dog begins to pant, it’s likely that they are too warm and are regulating their body temperature. Be sure to pay attention to this behavior as it could also be linked to pain. The best way to help is to ensure that they are well hydrated before any physical activity, especially during the warmer months.  

Regardless of the behavior your dog is exhibiting, if you feel that it could be linked to something related to their health, be sure to bring them into your veterinarian. At Cherrelyn Animal Hospital, we will be more than happy to take a look and give you the tips you need to keep your pup on the right track. Give us a call today at (303) 532-1258!

How to Use Positive Reinforcement To Train Your Dog

How to Use Positive Reinforcement To Train Your Dog

Positive reinforcement is a great method to manipulate the kind of behavior you expect from someone and it can be especially useful when training your dog. The idea of positive reinforcement means rewarding the behaviors that you like while ignoring the behaviors you do not like. There are various tactics to use such as praise, life rewards which include games, walks, and/or car rides, and also treats to rewards your dog’s good behavior. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that come with training your dog with positive reinforcement. 

Gets Everyone Involved

By implementing positive reinforcement, it allows the entire family to get involved in training the dog. You will not have to speak in a strong tone, use any strength, or put yourself or another family member in danger. For example, it may be a little dangerous to allow a child to use certain methods of dog training like leash corrections and other forms of punishment. So, with positive reinforcement, you can give your child a handful of dog treats while teaching them the commands you are using allowing them to train your dog the same way you do, while under your supervision.

Establishes Communication

Positive reinforcement also allows you to communicate with your dog. You simply decide what it is that you want your dog to do and then let them know by offering rewards when they do that desired action. As you continue to reward them for doing things correctly, they will be more likely to repeat these good behaviors. Using punishment is not always as clear, for example, when you punish a dog for housebreaking accidents. Say, you catch your dog urinating on the carpet and you scold them or even resort to smacking them with a rolled-up newspaper. Your intention is to let them know that it is not acceptable to eliminate in the house, however, your dog might interpret it as that they should not eliminate when you are around. This kind of confusion can be avoided through positive reinforcement. Using this same example, the goal is to teach your dog to eliminate outside rather than inside the house. So, rather than punishing them, you would just reward the behavior you are seeking which is using the bathroom outside. So, every time your dog eliminates outside, you would shower them with praise and treats.

You Can Use It For Various Behaviors

Training methods like leash corrections or other forms of punishment may not be effective for every dog. In fact, sometimes, the punishment can only make the behavior problem worse. Aggressive dogs are a great example of this because, in the face of punishment, they tend to become even more aggressive. Similarly, fearful dogs might not respond well to even the slightest punishment as they may become even more fearful when you use it as a training method. Clicker trainers, however, have noticed greater success through positive reinforcement when it came to training aggressive and fearful dogs.

Keeps It Fun

If you are someone who keeps training sessions short and upbeat, positive reinforcement training can keep things fun for you and your dog. Once your dog realizes that training will lead to a lot of good things for them, they will start to view them as playtime and will simply offer good behavior in hopes of getting the rewards.

If you are looking for additional ways to best train your dog or any pet, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258.

Cold Weather Safety Tips For Dogs

Throughout all the seasons, our dogs need love, support, protection, and care and, in the winter, when the weather is cold, they need extra help to stay warm.  What is a normal activity in the warmer months, can be devastating to your pet during the winter. Some of the dangers associated with dogs during winter range from ingesting anti-freeze to hypothermia that can lead to sickness and even death.  Here are a few tips that will keep your dog safe, warm and comfortable this winter.

Keep Your Pup Warm 

The first most important step to keeping your dog safe in winter is, of course, keeping them warm.  During winter, dogs are at risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Keep them warm by leaving them home rather than taking them out and leaving them in a car.  Your car acts as a refrigerator during winter and you don’t want your dog exposed to this cold that could get them sick. 

You’re still going to want to walk your dog during the winter but when it’s especially cold out, keep younger, older, and sick pets indoors.  If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for them too. Cute coats and dog boots are to help healthy, adult dogs stay warm in winter. You may want to invest in a cute dog coat or sweater to outfit your dog when you take them on a walk.  

On your walks, make sure your dog wears something reflective.  Because it gets darker earlier in winter, reflective gear will help your dog stay seen during your walk.  This might include wearing a reflector in their clothing, a reflecting leash, or a reflecting collar. You want to make sure your pets can be seen while walking on the street, protected from passing cars.  Avoid ice on your walks as well. Frozen lakes and ponds are dangerous because if the ice breaks, your pet could accidentally fall in.  

Protect Your Dog From Dangerous Situations

More pets become lost during the winter because snowfalls can disguise recognizable scents that normally help them find their way home.  Prevent your dogs from becoming lost by keeping them leashed on walks and just in case, make sure their collars have up-to-date contact information.  

When you finish your walk, wipe your dog’s paws.  Your dog’s paws can pick up all kinds of toxic chemicals like rock salt, antifreeze, and de-icers.  Wipe off their paws when you return home to prevent them from licking their paws and becoming sick. Also, purchase pet-safe de-icers for your home.  It goes without saying that your dog may or may not eat these de-icers so it’s best to have a pet-safe one.  

Remember to check your dog’s paws for bleeding and cracks.  This is a sign that they are damaging their paws while out walking and you’ll want to know why and if you need to take a break for a day or so until their paws heal.  Avoid spills of antifreeze as antifreeze attracts dogs and cats because it is very sweet to taste. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous and if a dog ingests it, this can lead to serious illness and even death.  

Blizzards can sometimes bring extreme cold that can cause power outages.  Make sure to have an emergency plan that includes your pets. Have an emergency kit with enough food, water, and medication to last your pets at least five days.  By thinking ahead, you are more likely to keep your pet safe.  While wintertime can be fun with snowfall walks, we want you to keep these safety tips in mind to protect your beloved pet.  Call Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258 with any of your pet health needs.

The Benefits of Walking Your Dog

The importance of walking your dog - dog holding leash.

Most of us don’t think about how important it is to give our pup a walk but truly, there is a wide range of much-needed health and social benefits in exercising our furry friend.  Not only does our dog get to explore the world and get out of being locked up in the house but also is activated and excited by the world giving them their dose of life. Walking shows your dog how much you care and love them every time and tires them out ridding boredom and destructive behaviors.  The more your dog is exposed to new situations, the smarter and more adaptable they become. Here’s a list of a few important reasons why walking your dog daily is essential to their health and well-being.    

Training Opportunity

Training is key to any well-behaved dog and walking your dog gives them the chance to obey commands during distractions.  You can test those basic commands that they easily obey in the house like sit, stay, or lie. This will improve your dog’s command retention and attention span.  It’s an opportunity for leash training as well so they know they must obey on the leash. You can teach them to heel and lead you along. For the best results, bring treats on your walk and reward your pup whenever they perform a command correctly further engraining good behavior and listening skills.  

Exercise

Walking your dog is perhaps the main way to give them exercise, which keeps them healthy.  Firstly, dogs that are sedentary have a greater chance of becoming obese and having irregular pooping and constipation.  By walking your dog, you are improving their stomach health and digestion. You’ll likely keep them thinner and healthier.  Walking has been known to help dogs avoid various diseases too. Dogs typically need between 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, which will improve their mood making your dog less bored, restless, and anxious.    Walking is healthy for the dog owner too. Research shows that walking 30 minutes per day decreases the risk of heart disease and other serious illnesses. Walking your dog will improve their overall mental and physical health.  

Fun, Exploration, and Gaining Self-Confidence

The experience of walking is one of exploration for your dog and keeps their minds and bodies active. Your furry friend will be excited by all the new sights, sounds, and smells.  When walking, you’re there to support your dog and they know this. They feel loved and because of this support, they can adapt to new scary situations. Being this leader and protector is crucial for the health of your dog and creates a stronger bond.  These walks boost the self-confidence of your pup. Your dog is likely to meet other canines on your walks together. This socializing is great for your dog to learn how to introduce themselves safely to a stranger under your protection.     

Set Up A Schedule for Walking Your Dog

To ensure you and your pup get your best exercise, set a schedule and make walking a part of your daily routine.  For example, set your alarm a half-hour earlier and use this time to go for a walk! Your dog will love you for it and be super excited!  You can pick a loop in your neighborhood to walk daily if it’s too tricky to keep changing your walking locations. A loop also means you’ll be able to properly time your walk and don’t have to walk the same way each time.  If you have children, you can take them with you. Children have boundless energy so your walk can give them the chance to stretch their legs too. Don’t worry if you miss a day as life can sometimes get hectic. Just get back on schedule the next day.  Trust us, your dog will thank you for it and you’ll have a much healthier dog when they get to exercise regularly.

We know that the happiness of your pup is important to you and walking them is one of the best ways to show them your love and boost their happiness.  If your dog is having any health issues, give the Cherrelyn Animal Hospital a call at (303) 532 1258 and set up an appointment today!

The Importance of Dental Health for Pets

Dental health for pets is super important!

Going to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning seems standard now for us but did you know that it is just as important for your dog or cat? Your pet may not be able to tell you that their mouth hurts so it’s up to you to advocate for your pet’s best health by having them go visit a dentist! Here is a list of some of the benefits of maintaining dental health for pets! 

Avoid Periodontal Disease

Plaque buildup, or calcified bacterial growth near the gums, is a frequent cause of periodontal disease. This is such a common problem that statistics show that 4 out of 5 adult dogs have periodontal disease. Some of the warning signs to watch for are red gums and uncommonly bad breath. In more advanced cases, the bacteria can affect the teeth’s roots as the gum recedes and leads to an abscess. Signs that this complication has occurred are swelling of the face, different chewing or eating patterns, pain, or even unexpected tooth loss. Proper dental health activities for your pets such as annual professional cleanings and regular at-home brushing are great ways to remove plaque and avoid periodontal pain. Periodontal disease is not reversible, so it’s best to catch it before it happens. 

Dental Health Can Help Avoid Heart, Kidney, and Liver Disease

Not only does periodontal disease affect the mouth, but the bacteria that builds of the teeth can, of course, get ingested. It then can infect your dog or cat’s heart, kidneys, and liver and cause other severe problems. 

Avoid Teeth Pain 

No pet owner ever wants to see their beloved animal in pain. There are many reasons why a pet may experience tooth pain. Some pets can retain their baby teeth which leads to gum irritation or stress related to overcrowding. In other cases, a lack of dental hygiene can cause teeth to painfully fall out or get worn down. This makes it difficult for them to do the activities that they love, such as playing fetch, nibbling on a favorite bone, or even eating. Cavities are often quite common. Unfortunately, tooth pain is often only noticed by owners when it’s severe and sometimes much more difficult to treat, so regular dental checkups are important! 

In addition, your pet can suffer from inflammation or ulcers. Some of the symptoms include bad breath, bloated gums, and of course, changes in eating habits. Good dental health for pets can help prevent some of these painful conditions! 

Better Breath

This may be more for you than your pet, but all owners know the struggle of wanting to be close to your dog or cat while their breath causes you to recoil. Regular dental cleanings can lead to fewer bacteria in their mouth and, as a result, better breath. A win-win situation, indeed! Taking your dog or cat to the dentist is an easy way to improve their quality of life and even prolong their life span. Though some pets may find a visit to the dentist stressful, in the right hands, it can be smooth and easy. With decades of experience and great care for our animal community, Cherrelyn Animal Hospital is dedicated to keeping your dog and cats happy and healthy. Call us or visit us online to schedule your pet’s dental visit!

Taking your dog or cat to the dentist is an easy way to improve their quality of life and even prolong their life span. Though some pets may find a visit to the dentist stressful, in the right hands, it can be smooth and easy. With decades of experience and great care for our animal community, Cherrelyn Animal Hospital is dedicated to keeping your dog and cats happy and healthy. Call us or visit us online to schedule your pet’s dental visit!

6 Important Questions To Ask At Your Pet’s Next Vet Checkup

cat at vet checkup

As the kids head back to school, they’re not the only ones that should have an annual checkup. To keep your pet in good health for years to come, he or she needs a vet checkup at least once a year. The financial benefits alone of yearly checkups are staggering. According to Petplan, the average cost of emergency medical care for a dog or cat is between $800 to $1500. We can’t stress the importance of annual checkups enough, but it’s important to know what to expect and also what questions to ask to make the most of your next checkup. We at Cherrelyn Animal Hospital have created a list of questions to keep in mind. 

1. Is His or Her Weight Healthy? 

The yearly vet checkup is a perfect time to discuss your pet’s weight. Whether your pet is on the slightly leaner or chubbier side, it’s important to consult a veterinarian’s perspective instead of eyeballing if your pet is in a healthy weight range. If your pet could benefit from a change in exercise or diet routine, your vet is the one to make the proper suggestions. Rather than rely on dog blogs that suggest trendy pet food swaps for information, your vet can answer definitively whether switching pet food brands will help. 

Also, it can be stressful to change your pet’s routine on both you and your beloved animal. Not only that, changing your pet’s food or treats many times can upset their digestive system and cause stomach upset so before you try a change, ask your vet first. They can give you the proper recommendations and also any potential behavior changes from your pet during the transition period to give you peace of mind. This question can significantly improve your pet’s quality of life for years to come and also prevent future more costly health problems, such as heart disease or joint stress from excess weight, from emerging later on. 

2. Is His or Her Behavior Normal? 

If your pet’s behavior has changed recently, even if it seems inconsequential, bring it up to your vet–and you definitely don’t have to wait for the annual checkup to do so. Sudden shifts in temperament, such as a social cat that becomes quite withdrawn, or unexpected repetitive actions, like a dog that behinds pawing their ear incessantly, can actually be a sign of an underlying health condition. On the flip side, a vet who has seen a vast array of other pets with different personalities can reassure you in the event it’s just a quirk. 

3. Is This Lump Okay? 

Similar to the behavior question, if you notice an unexpected mark on your pet’s skin that doesn’t seem to have an external cause, like a scratch, ask your vet to check it out. You never know when something that seems inconsequential to you might actually need attention.

4. Should My Pet Have Blood or Urine Tests Done at Their Vet Checkup? 

If your vet suspects cause for further internal medicine inspections, having blood and urine lab work done can tell you more concretely what the status of your pet’s health is. Behavior and appearance are good indicators of health but they aren’t definitive either. 

5. Can My Pet Have a Rectal Exam? 

Requesting a rectal exam for your pet during their vet checkup can be a good preventative measure against gastrointestinal illnesses or prostate cancers. 

6. Which Vaccines Does My Pet Need? 

Keep your pet’s vaccines up to date. In the event that you need to travel, this eases a lot of the headache when you need to do just that. Also, a vet will likely be up to date regarding any potential animal illness outbreaks in the area and can alert you to what protections your pet needs.

 
It’s important to remember that your pet can’t always tell you when they’re not feeling well so before they are in a painful or dangerous situation, keep them healthy with an annual vet checkup. Our trusted team at Cherrelyn Animal Hospital have been serving pets with top of the line care and exceptional equipment and training for over 60 years. We love to see the pets in our care happy and healthy and we go the extra mile to do just that. Contact us today to schedule a visit!

Summer Health for Pets: Top Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe This Summer

Our precious pets enjoy having fun in the sun as much as we do, which is why we have to take the summer health of our pets seriously. If you are fond of taking your dogs on walks or giving your cat more time to wander outdoors, their wagging tails are sure signs of their warm weather excitement! Here are some tips to make sure that your pets are as healthy as they are happy this summer. 

Familiarize Yourself With the Warning Symptoms of Overheating 

As temperatures soar, our pets risk overheating. Some of the symptoms to keep your eyes peeled for include dry or very red gums, heavy panting, increased heart rate, drooling, or seeming weak and fatigued. In the event that your pet faints, has a seizure, bloody diarrhea or vomit, or their body temperature is above 104 degrees (for dogs) or 102.5 degrees (for cats), they are having a heat stroke. Relocate them to a cooler area, put a damp towel over them (not cold water!), and bring them to an animal hospital ASAP!

Prevent Dehydration 

Part of being careful about your pet’s health this summer is making sure he drinks enough. Though your dog may seem ready for several rounds of fetch, when the weather is too hot or humid, carry a water bottle and prepare bowls of clean water for them so they can refresh when needed. 

Keep Your Pet’s Outdoor Environment Safe 

Consider walking your dog in the morning or evening when the asphalt is cooler and less likely to sting their paw pads. Purchasing some pet boots can offer additional paw protection. Keep your pet away from potential antifreeze car leaks, which can be fatal if ingested.

When playing outside, find a spot where there is some shade so you and your pet have a place to cool off. Though some dogs are avid swimmers, not all pets are so capable so supervise closely when around an outdoor pool. If you are fond of boating or other water activities, consider investing in an animal life vest.

Common summer celebrations like Fourth of July fireworks or barbecues have many potential dangers for pets, such as being scared off by loud sounds or ingesting something poisonous, so keep fire products and unsafe foods away. 

Keep Your Pet’s Indoor Environment Safe, As Well

Summer health and safety precautions for pets aren’t just relevant to time spent outdoors. When indoors, many cats and dogs enjoy perching on a windowsill to enjoy the sunlight. However, there’s a risk of injury if they accidentally fall! Check that your windows have their screens in or are properly secured. And as a rule of thumb, never leave your animal in a parked vehicle because scorching temperatures put them at high risk of heat stroke.

Take Care of Their Fur 

Some pet owners assume shaving their furry friends will help them cool off more easily. However, this actually increases the risk of overheating and sunburn so avoid the shears! Ask your vet to recommend an animal safe sunscreen to prevent burning. And as your pet is outside more, make sure to rinse off any possible chlorine or animal safe insect repellent they may be exposed to. 

Visit the Vet for a Check-Up: An Important Piece of Summer Health for Pets!

Schedule a visit to the vet so your pet can be protected against the risk of tapeworm and other illnesses, which are more easily transmittable in the summer as your pet is exposed to more ticks and mosquitoes in the outdoors. 


Dogs and cats can have a fun-filled summer but they can also experience a host of unwanted dangers or injuries. If you want to keep your pet healthy this summer, schedule a visit with Cherrelyn Animal Hospital today. We’ll make sure that they receive the most attentive and compassionate care, backed by over six decades of experience!

The Complete Guide to Seasonal Allergies in Pets

For those of us with seasonal allergies, spring means pollen, pollen, and more pollen. Runny noses, congestion, teary eyes, and constant sneezing are some of the things that we have to look forward to in the upcoming months. But did you know that pets exhibit different signs of allergies? If you notice any of the following signs in your dog or cat, it is likely that he or she may be suffering from seasonal allergies

Signs of an Allergic Reaction

Constant Scratching

In dogs and cats, allergy symptoms tend to take the form of skin irritation, otherwise known as allergic dermatitis. To relieve the itching, pets almost always resort to the most natural reaction: scratching. Excessive scratching or biting is a sign that you should easily notice. Pets may also rub their bodies against furniture or the floor in an effort to relieve the itching.

Inflamed Skin

As the scratching worsens, your pet’s skin will grow inflamed, red, and tender to the touch. Open sores and scabbing might result. Cats, in particular, tend to engage in vigorous scratching, which can lead to the development of tiny lesions on their skin.

Dandruff and Excessive Shedding

Because allergies can severely dry out the skin and cause it to flake, you may notice an increase of dandruff from your pet. Scratching can also result in hair loss and shedding, sometimes in patches.

Lesions on Paws

If an environmental allergen is the root cause of the problem, check your pet’s paws. If you notice lesions on the underside or top of their paws, the culprit is likely to be pollen or dust that is collected as they trot outdoors.

Ear Infection

Ear infections can be related to allergies, especially when it comes to dogs. As part of a generalized allergic response, ear canals may be itchy and inflamed. Alternatively, yeast or bacteria may grow. If you notice signs of scratching at the ears, head shaking, and red ears, take note. You may also see discharge or an odor coming from your pet’s ears.

Treatment of Seasonal Allergies in Pets

If you suspect that your pet has seasonal allergies, it’s important to bring him or her to see a medical professional. Allergies are usually multi-factorial, which means that diagnosis is not always easy. Even with treatment, it can take eight to twelve weeks to see improvement.

Veterinarians usually opt for an intradermal skin test, meaning that small amounts of test allergens are injected under your dog’s skin. This can help to pinpoint exact allergens, as well as the severity of the allergy. After identifying which injections cause redness or hives, an immunotherapy shot can be developed by your vet. The treatment requires injections over the course of about a year. Nearly 70% of dogs see improvement using this method.

Home Remedies

Home remedies are not meant to replace a visit to a veterinarian, which is absolutely necessary in the case of seasonal allergies in pets. However, if your visit is a few days away, there are some ways you can temporarily relieve symptoms until a thorough treatment plan is developed.

Frequent Baths

A simple bath using mild shampoo will provide your pet with immediate relief from itchiness. If your pet is allergic to pollen or dust, a bath will also wash away any allergens collected on skin and fur.

Foot Soaks

Washing your pet’s feet can drastically reduce the amount of the allergens carried into the home and spread about. After a walk outdoors, be sure to give your pet a simple foot bath.

Omega-3 Supplements

Adding omega-3 fatty acid supplements, like fish oil, can help to reduce inflammation and build up the skin’s barrier. This is beneficial to both the allergic reaction and the overall health of your pet.

For those of us who personally experience allergies, we can only imagine how difficult the experience is for pets who cannot communicate or understand what is going on. It is recommended that pet owners keep an eye out for symptoms of an allergic reaction and quickly contact a professional team, like the one at Cherrelyn Animal Hospital, if an allergy is suspected.