Is Your Dog Allergic to Your Cat?
If you've recently added a cat to your family, then your first concern may have been how your dog would react to having a cat around. If all goes well and your two pets get on with each other, then you'll have breathed a sigh of relief.
However, as time passes, you may have noticed that your dog is acting like its allergic to something. It may be sneezing a lot, its eyes may be red, and it may be scratching more than usual. Your dog has never had these problems before and, if they only started after your cat moved in, then you may worry that your dog is allergic to the cat.
How can you diagnose if your dog does have a cat allergy and what can you do about it?
Have an Allergy Test
While it's rare for dogs to be allergic to cats, some dogs do have this problem. Allergic reactions like skin irritations and sneezing are usually caused by cat dander rather than the cat itself.
Pets shed skin flakes, or dander, naturally. This dander sits in carpets and on furniture. So, if your dog lies on a carpet that contains dander shed by your cat, it may get a reaction if it is allergic.
If you suspect that your dog is allergic to your cat, then make an appointment with your vet for an allergy test. If your dog's problems aren't down to your cat, then your vet can work out what is wrong. If your dog is allergic to cat dander, your vet can recommend treatments to alleviate its symptoms.
Get an Allergy Treatment
Dogs with allergies can have various treatments. For example, your vet may prescribe medications to control your dog's itching and any skin irritations it develops from scratching. Allergy injections may also help control your dog's reactions.
Sometimes, vets use immunotherapy treatments to treat pet allergies. This involves giving your dog tiny amounts of the allergen that sets off their symptoms. The principle here is that small but regular exposure helps build an immunity to the allergen. This often reduces the severity of allergic reactions.
If you're determined to keep both your pets, then your vet may be able to make things more comfortable for your dog so that it doesn't react so badly to your cat being around. To find out more about mainstream and alternative treatments, talk to your vet.