Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.


Five Common Pet Allergens

Image: amidala76 / via Shutterstock
Image: Gunnar Pippel / via Shutterstock
Image: PardoY / via Shutterstock
Image: ggw1962 / via Shutterstock
Image: Francisco Javier Ballester Calonge / via Shutterstock
Image: Henrik Larsson / via Shutterstock

Advertisement

Your slideshow will start shortly.


What are Dogs and Cats Allergic To?

No one enjoys allergies; least of all the person who is suffering from them. But did you know that your pets suffer from allergies too? In fact, according to Dr. Joel Griffies, a board certified veterinary dermatologist in Marietta, Georgia, dogs and cats are affected by many of the same allergens that affect people. Often dogs and cats with allergies succumb to the allergens found in their region, but there are some common ones that are found almost anywhere in the country. Here are five common allergens that may be affecting your dog or cat.

1. House Dust Mites

It should come as no surprise that the #1 cause of allergy and asthma in people affects our pets, too. Feeding off the shed skin of humans and dander of pets, dust mites are very small in size (250 to 300 microns in length). Despite their size, house dust mites can wreak havoc on your dog or cat's immune system, causing an allergic reaction that often displays as atopic dermatitis.

2. Pollens

Dogs and cats can be allergic to all types of pollens — pollens from trees, weeds, plants, or grasses. You can limit your pets' exposure to the pollens in your area by keeping them indoors during peak seasons, especially when there are reports of a high pollen count, which tends to be during the fall and spring.

3. Molds

Molds are somewhat regional, but if they are in your area, watch out! Some molds cause just mild allergic reactions in dogs and cats, while others like Stachybotros and Blastomyces dermatitidis can be deadly for your pet. Mold grows wherever and whenever there is moisture, so keep the humidity in your home low, fix any leaks, and pay attention if your pet frequents dark and/or damp areas — either indoors or outdoors.

4. Fleas

Flea bite hypersensitivity and flea allergic dermatitis is the most common skin disease in pets. Flea allergies usually develop when the dog or cat is young (less than one and up to five years of age), but it can begin at any age. Frequent and severe itching and scratching, hair loss, and scabs are telltale signs of flea allergies in pets.

5. Insects

While fleas are the common culprit when it comes to allergies involving insects, some pets also develop allergic reactions to other insects, including mosquitoes, ants, and cockroaches. And just like people, it is the proteins contained in the saliva or venom of the biting insects that causes the allergic reaction. A reaction may display itself as inflamed skin, vomiting, and breathing difficulties.

1/6
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»


Comments  1

Leave Comment
  • Pet Allergies
    06/16/2014 12:48am

    Pets allergies can cause serious headache to the owners as they are hard to treat. It is difficult to find out what causes them the allergic reaction. Even if the cause is discovered, mostly they are even difficult to separate them from that cause. Like some pets are allergic to house dust. But there is not much to do to help him there as dust can be anywhere. The most we can do is to have him live in the most dust free area of the house. My cat had a pollen allergy. It is not much of issue when he stays indoor. But sometimes I use the [url=http://www.loveyourpet.ca/cat-and-small-animal-sitting-airdrie/]services of a local pet sitter[/url]. They usually take the pets for outing occasionally. I warned them about his conditions. But they are of opinion every pets needs fresh air occasionally. So once in a while they take him outside and he seems to be happy about it . But the problem is sometimes the allergic reactions kicks in and he seems uncomfortable for some time. No big issues so far as most times he seems settled in a couple of hours and vet also said he is not having a big reaction but a mild reaction only. But issue is it can’t be treated and solved completely.

 
MORE FROM PETMD.COM