It is very common in spring and fall for our cats and dogs to suffer from respiratory ailments like asthma and allergies. Learn how to prevent and reduce these common health issues here.
It is very common in spring and fall for our cats and dogs to suffer from respiratory ailments like asthma and allergies. Deciphering symptoms can be difficult as asthma and allergies can mimic one another. What we have found is that asthma tends to be more common in cats where allergies are more common in dogs. That isn’t a hard and fast rule as both cats and dogs can suffer from either respiratory condition.
Asthma Vs. Allergies In Cats & Dogs
Asthma and allergies in our pets are much more common than expected. Cats and dogs can suffer from respiratory allergies or food allergies. Symptoms that are most noticeable with a respiratory allergy are sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, hay fever, and coughing. It looks much like what ails humans when dealing with pollen, grasses, and ragweed irritations. Although asthma is more common in cats, it occurs in dogs as well — especially flat-faced (brachycephalic) breeds (pugs, bulldogs, etc). But how can you tell the difference between the two?
Dog & Cat Allergies Are They Environmental Or Food Related?
If you have suffered from allergies, you know what it is like to have itching eyes, sneezing, and feeling miserable as the cottonwood floats around and the pollen is in full bloom. Life can seem miserable. Dogs and cats can have the same symptoms but not be able to express with words how they feel. As a caregiver, you will have to pay attention to their symptomatology and you might even take notes to see if there is a correlation between what is blooming in your yard or area to how your pet is feeling when they are exposed to the outdoors. The good news is that there are dog and cat-safe herbs and supplements to support your pet's respiratory allergies to help reduce symptoms. Seasonal environmental allergy symptoms, on the other hand, flare intermittently depending on the time of year.
Allergies happen when your dog’s immune system overreacts to something in its environment. This can be known as a “trigger.” That trigger could be:
- new flower, tree blooms,
- or trees.
The antibodies in your dog’s immune system identify these substances as dangerous although inherently they are not.
- biting on paws,
- excessive licking of paws or feet,
- inflamed ears,
- ear infections,
- or skin infections can also be part of the allergic response.
Food allergies often display a different set of symptoms than airborne allergens. Food sensitivities create year-round symptoms; allergies to dust mites or fleas are environmental triggers that can also be year-round, depending on your pet's exposure.
Dog & Cat Asthma
Common triggers for asthma in dogs include inhaled substances such as grasses, pollens, aerosol sprays, and any type of smoke. With our feline friends, asthma is often seen as a long-term chronic or lingering cough and often not responsive to allergy medications. From a natural health standpoint, asthma is often associated with parasites.
Classic symptoms of canine asthma include coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. These can be very similar symptoms to allergies. However, asthma symptoms that can help you distinguish between the two would be weight loss, lack of appetite, labored breathing, open mouth breathing, and bluish-colored gums.
Asthma & Allergy Relief For Cats & Dogs
You have to take all symptoms into consideration to decipher if your pet is dealing with allergies or asthma. You may have already had a diagnosis given by your veterinarian as well. Our natural health stance is often one of nourishing and supporting the body in order for your pet to have a natural and healthy immune response. It’s when the body gets too far out of balance that you see more severe side effects. The external symptoms are a good indication of what is happening on the inside. Below are several natural dog and cat supplements that can be used to support your pet's immune system and overall well-being. If you have multiple pets at home, remember to look at their symptoms individually as one supplement might not be the right one for everyone in the house.
- Bee Pollen: A mix of pollen collected by bees and enzymes from bees themselves can help to desensitize your dog or cat to the pollen being collected by the bees.
- Probiotics: Probiotics help generate good bacteria into your pet’s microbiome (gut), thus helping create a healthy immune system. A healthy gut can assist with fewer respiratory and skin allergies.
- Raw Goat’s Milk: Assists with balancing the histamine levels in the body.
- Ester-C: a body-ready form of vitamin c that boosts the immune system in order to assist with allergy relief.
- Herbsmith’s Clear AllerQi: a blend of heat-draining herbs to help cool the skin and cope with allergic reactions.
- Nature’s Sunshine Supplements:
- Earth Animal Allergy & Skin: a relieving, organic herbal blend that helps maintain healthy skin and soothes skin-related issues associated with seasonal allergies. It also aids in calming irritations of the skin caused by insect bites. Flower essences are also added to aid the emotional component and counterpart of allergies.
- Earth Animal Cough, Wheeze & Sneeze: an organic herbal blend that supports respiratory function and healthy circulation during seasons of change.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from asthma it is recommended to schedule an evaluation with your veterinarian. Our raw certified team members are happy to do a nutrition consult to help reduce allergens from food and reduce any inflammatory response that may be happening from food or treats. Visit us at our retail store in Metro Detroit or via our natural online pet food, treat, and supply store.