Does My Pet Have Allergies? - Common Signs & Symptoms!

April 21, 2023
Amber LaRock - LVT & Vetted Vet Pro

If you are a proud pet parent, you know how important it is to take care of your little one’s health and happiness. Their overall comfort is a major factor in their quality of life, which is why itchy allergies can be such a big deal!

In order to help your little one with their irritating allergies, you must first understand the details of what pet allergies are, as well as the symptoms they can cause. Once you better understand these factors, you can jump into action and offer your little one the care they need moving forward!

Vetted wants to empower each pet parent with education on their little one’s care, so let’s discuss how you can know if your pet has allergies. We also suggest downloading the Vetted app and reaching out to our Vet Pros in the 24/7 pet parent guidance center for any additional help you may need!

What Are Allergies In Dogs & Cats?

Before we dive into the details on how to spot allergies in your pet, we should first answer two important questions - What are allergies in pets, and what causes them?

If your pet has allergies, then this means their immune system is sensitive to a particular substance, such as pollen, dust, plant material, and even certain foods. Environmental allergies are the most common in our furry friends, but pets can develop an allergy to anything in the world around them. 

Some pets may struggle more during certain times of the year when their allergen is most prevalent, but this will vary depending on the substance your pet is sensitive to. Your pet’s symptoms can vary based on how severe their allergy is, but any form of allergy can deeply impact their quality of life. 

If it seems like your pet only struggles with itchy skin and allergies during the warm summer months, then take a look at our blog on itchy skin in the summer! 

Does My Pet Have Allergies? Signs & Symptoms!

Now that you have a better understanding of allergies in pets, let’s dive into the signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for. Ranging from itchy skin to chronic ear infections, let’s discuss it all about allergy symptoms in pets!

1. Itching and Scratching

One of the most common symptoms of allergies in pets is excessive itching and scratching. This is because the allergen can cause significant skin irritation, causing your pet to feel itchy and uncomfortable all the time. You may notice that your pet is constantly scratching, licking, and chewing at their skin.

2. Red or Irritated Skin

Another sign of pet allergies is red or irritated skin. This can be a result of the inflammatory reaction the allergen causes, as well as your pet’s constant scratching at their skin. Not only can the allergy itself cause significant skin irritation, but the damage from the frequent biting and scratching can lead to inflamed skin infections. 

3. Paw Chewing and Licking

In addition to itchy skin, paw chewing and licking is one of the most common signs of allergies in pets. This will occur due to the paw discomfort the pet is experiencing, causing them to lick and bite their toes in search of relief. All this licking can also introduce bacteria to the damaged skin, causing a vicious cycle of discomfort for the pet. 

4. Sneezing and Runny Nose

Just like humans, pets can also experience sneezing and a runny nose due to allergies. You may also see slight crusting around the nose and eyes, and this is all due to the respiratory irritation the allergen can cause. Just be sure that your pet is not experiencing any coughing or lethargy, as this could point to other underlying conditions. 

5. Ear Infections

Pets with allergies often suffer from chronic ear infections. This is due to the skin inflammation the skin allergies cause, which ultimately leads to inflammation within the ears as well. This inflammation creates the perfect habitat for bacteria to brew, ultimately increasing the risk of painful ear infections. 

6. Vomiting and Diarrhea

In some cases, pets can develop gastrointestinal upset as a result of allergies. This is most common in pets with food allergies, but it can occur in other forms of allergies as well. Vomiting and diarrhea can also be a symptom of an acute allergic reaction, so be sure to look out for any facial swelling, hives, or breathing changes when you notice GI upset in your little one. 

I Think My Pet Has Allergies - What Should I Do Now?

If you think your little one could be struggling with itchy pet allergies, then we always suggest reaching out to your trusted vet team for guidance. Not only can your vet rule out any other potential causes of their symptoms, but they can develop an allergy game plan for your pet moving forward. An allergy management plan for pets can include everything from regular at home care to allergy medication, and we want your pet to have all the tools they need. 

Our Vet Pros at Vetted are also here to offer any guidance on your pet’s allergy symptoms! We can talk through your pet’s symptoms, what to expect at the vet, how to manage allergies long term, and so much more. Just download the Vetted app to gain access to our 24/7 pet parent guidance center!