If you’re a responsible dog owner you already know that dogs can have allergies too. Many of them are allergic to different types of food, or things in the environment such as pollen or grass. It’s quite easy to control food allergies, as there are lots of alternatives out there. But what if the potential allergen is living in your house as another pet? Can dogs even be allergic to other animals? And can dogs be allergic to cats?
If your considering to bring a cat into your household, and you’re already the parent of an dog, there are a lot of things to consider. Is your specific breed of dogs even good with cats? Do you have enough space for both of them? What to do if they don’t like each other? Those are all valid questions, but one really important thing that you’ll also need to think about is – Is your dog allergic to cats?
Can dogs be allergic to cats?
Humans aren’t the only species that can be allergic to cat hair, some dogs can be too. Because they in fact can possibly be allergic to cats. If you want to learn more about how the allergy manifests in our canines, and what are the ways to help them – Keep on reading.
How to know if your dog is allergic to cats?
The main sign your dog may be having an allergic reaction to cats it itching. Most allergies that dogs experience have the tendency to manifest through strange skin defects that cause itchy skin. The skin barrier of dogs suffering from allergies allows the allergens to absorb through the outer layer. The immune system is then activated and the immune response is the one causing the irritation. But this doesn’t have to be the only symptom. Dogs can also have similar symptoms to humans. Therefore, even though watery eyes, respiratory signs, or an itchy nose aren’t that common, they are still possible symptoms.
The less hairy parts of your dog, such as his paws, mouth, abdomen or eyes are more exposed to the allergen. Therefore the itching will be stronger in these areas.
If you’re noticing these symptoms in your dog, the best possible thing would be to do an allergy test. That way you’ll exactly know what your dog is allergic to.
How to treat dogs that are allergic to cats?
If you already adopted a cat, and you’ve found out that your dog is allergic to it – know that there are ways to help. There are different types of immunotherapy that can help him with the symptoms. Immunotherapy involves daily exposure to the specific antigen, which by time decreases the severity of itchiness and inflammation. The method is individually tailored and you’ll always have to discuss it with a professional. So far it has been the most effective way of treating allergies in dogs. It’s definitely not perfect as your pup will still be experiencing itching, but it will be on a much lower level.
Another possible thing that you can do is to try your best to keep your house clean – that way you’ll decrease the amount of the allergen. And you can also try using air purifiers.
The worst possible thing that you could do when it comes to your dog and any allergies at all is to ignore the itching. If your dog is scratching himself constantly and you’re pretty certain that it’s not because of fleas, the next most likely thing would be allergies. If you keep on ignoring it, the itching may become so hard that your dog will have scratches all over his body. These scratches can then develop into skin infections, hot spots or even ear infections. You wouldn’t like to be itchy 24/7 either, so why would you let your dog be?
The earlier you address this problem and seek professional help, the less discomfort your dog will experience. Ask your vet about allergy tests and make an appointment for your dog as soon as possible after you’ve noticed constant itching.