What Is An Allergy?

Allergies In Pets, Scratching The SurfaceAn allergy is an immune response to a substance that causes hypersensitivity in the body. Pets have the potential to react to substances such as pollen, foods, chemicals etc. While allergic reactions in humans are rather noticeable, the presence of an allergy in your pet may differ considerably.

Symptoms of pet allergies

The symptoms of pet allergies vary greatly with the type of allergy. However, if you notice persistent or unusual scratching in your pets, you should suspect an allergy. Persistent scratching may lead to open sores, loss of hair, and increase the risk of infection. Pet allergies may also present symptoms such as sneezing or watery eyes.

Sources of pet allergens

Your pet may be allergic to a variety of different substances. Pets commonly come into contact with these allergens in the environment. The exposure could be via contact or inhalation. Examples of such allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold etc. Pets may also be allergic to the chemicals present in household items such as plastics, carpet fibers or rugs. Other common sources of allergens in pets are flea-bites and food.

Types of allergens and specific symptoms:

Flea allergy dermatitis

This is the most common skin condition in pets and is believed to originate from the saliva of fleas. As long you can take proper preventative measures to prevent your pets from obtaining fleas, they should be safe from acquiring flea allergy dermatitis.
Below is a list of symptoms associated with flea allergic dermatitis:

✔ Severe itching and scratching

✔ Hair loss

✔ Scabs and lesions on the body


Atopy arises when the pet comes in contact with or inhales certain substances in the environment. It is the most common allergic reaction in pets and is usually seasonal in nature. The seasonality can be used to recognize what the pet is allergic to.
Below is a list of symptoms associated with Atopy:

✔ Recurrent ear infections

✔ Persistent chewing at the feet

✔ Licking of the groin area

✔ Difficulty in breathing (more common in cats)

✔ Face rubbing (more common in dogs)

Food allergies

Food allergies are fairly common among pets. If your pet has multiple food allergies, we recommend coming up with strict dietary restrictions.
Below is a list of symptoms associated with food allergies:

✔ Recurrent skin infections

✔ Itching

✔ Recurrent ear infections

✔ Diarrhea

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis occurs as a result of contact with chemicals present in plastic, carpet fiber, cleaners etc. it is the least common allergy in pets.
Below is a list of symptoms associated with contact dermatitis:

✔ Intense and persistent scratching

✔ Blisters on the exposed areas

✔ Loss of hair in the affected region

Allergies may make your pets uncomfortable and irritable. Do not hesitate to contact Sage Centers For Veterinary Specialty And Emergency Care if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned in the post or any unusual behavior in your pets. Although some allergies are not curable, they can be quite manageable with proper care and diligence!

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