Guide to Seasonal Allergies

Here’s how to tell if dog or cat has seasonal allergies, and what you can do about it

No items found.
Mar 11, 2024

As pet owners, we want our furry companions to enjoy life to the fullest, but sometimes, that is interrupted by seasonal allergies. Similar to their human counterpart, seasonal allergies in pets can cause discomfort and distress. That’s why it's important to identify the signs of allergies in your pet and provide them with the appropriate care. 

What are seasonal allergies?

Also known as atopic dermatitis, seasonal allergies are just another way of describing environmental allergies, which are essentially a reaction to something in the immediate environment. They are commonly triggered by pollen, ragweed, mold, and dust. While both cats and dogs can develop seasonal allergies, it is generally believed that dogs are more prone to allergies than cats. However, it's important to note that individual susceptibility can vary, and some cats may indeed suffer from seasonal allergies.

What are common signs of seasonal allergies

Dogs often manifest allergic reactions through skin-related symptoms, such as itching, rashes, and hot spots. These symptoms make allergies more noticeable in dogs. Cats, on the other hand, may exhibit more subtle signs of allergies, such as excessive grooming, hair loss, or gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea.

While the signs may vary between species, here are some common things to look out for:

  • Persistent Itching and Scratching: One of the most prominent signs of allergies is excessive itching, often accompanied by scratching, biting, or licking certain body parts.
  • Red, Irritated Skin: You may notice patches of irritated skin, especially in areas that are exposed to allergens such as grass or plants. If left untreated, these areas can develop into "hot spots," which are raw, infection-prone sores. Check for any signs of rashes, hot spots, or areas with hair loss.
  • Sneezing and Runny Nose: If your pet experiences frequent sneezing—particularly after coming into direct contact with allergens outdoors or in a dusty environment— or if they have a runny nose, this could be a result of seasonal allergies.
  • Watery or Puffy Eyes: Just like humans, allergies can cause your pet's eyes to become watery, itchy, or red. Look for swelling, excessive tearing or discharge from the eyes.
  • Inflamed Ears: Seasonal allergies can also manifest as ear infections. Watch for signs such as head shaking, ear scratching, or a foul odor emanating from their ears.
  • Licking or Face Rubbing: Pets with itchy skin will try anything to soothe the sensation, including licking, chewing, rubbing, or shaking their heads violently from side-to-side. If you notice any of this behavior, try to get to the bottom of the issue by bringing your pet to Parker & Ace.
  • Respiratory Issues: In some cases, pets may exhibit difficulty breathing, wheezing, or coughing due to allergic reactions.

What you can do about it

  • Observe patterns: If you suspect your pet has seasonal allergies, pay attention to the timing and frequency of their symptoms. Seasonal allergies often follow specific patterns, occurring during particular times of the year when allergens such as pollen, grass, or mold spores are prevalent. If your pet's symptoms consistently occur during certain seasons, it is likely that they are experiencing seasonal allergies.
  • Consult with your Parker & Ace vet team: If you suspect your pet has seasonal allergies, it’s important to contact your Parker & Ace vet team, who will perform a thorough examination, review your pet's medical history, and may recommend additional tests to rule out other possible causes. Based on the diagnosis, your Parker & Ace veterinarian will develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your pet's needs.

What to do if your pet is diagnosed with seasonal allergies

If your pet has been diagnosed with seasonal allergies, several strategies can help manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life:

  • Allergen Avoidance: Regularly clean their bedding, vacuum your home, and avoid environments known to trigger allergies—especially when pollen counts are high.
  • Medications and Therapies: Your Parker & Ace vet team may prescribe antihistamines, steroids, or immunotherapy (allergy shots) to alleviate your pet's symptoms. 
  • Bathing and Grooming: Frequent bathing with a hypoallergenic shampoo can help remove allergens from your pet's skin and coat. Talk to your Parker & Ace vet team about which shampoos to use.
  • Nutritional Support: Some specialized diets rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants can support your pet's immune system and help alleviate allergy symptoms. Make sure to talk to your Parker & Ace vet team about diet recommendations.

By recognizing the common symptoms, observing seasonal patterns, and consulting with your Parker & Ace vet team, we can figure out how best to treat your pet’s seasonal allergies and keep them happy and healthy. Worried about allergies? Make an appointment today.

Want to understand your pet better? Send in your questions to