For humans, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and many of us are all too familiar with the itchy, watery eyes and runny nose brought on by seasonal allergies. However, pets often display different allergic symptoms, so it’s helpful to know what to look for.
A dog or cat’s allergies will often present as a skin reaction, Falender explained, though sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, vomiting or diarrhea could also suggest a sensitivity to food or environment. “They can experience itchiness and inflammation of the skin, inflamed or infected ears, hair loss, open sores or scabbing, swollen paws, and itchy or runny eyes,” Falender said. “You’ll start to see your pet excessively scratch, lick, bite or chew on their skin, or they may continuously rub up against walls, furniture, carpet or other surfaces.”
Pet owners who notice any of these signs should bring their dog or cat to a veterinarian immediately. “Skin reactions can cause your pet a great amount of discomfort, and they can result in injuries and infections if not treated,” Falender added.