When your cat or dog has a sensitivity it most notably effects the skin. We physically see them itching, scratching, rubbing, and/or licking. This behavior can then become excessive, leading to rashes and bald patches, causing further discomfortable and accelerated irritation.When this happens most owners initially start an elimination diet, cutting out specific foods that may be the irritant. But what if food is not the culprit? What if your pet is suffering from outdoor sensitivities: grasses, weeds, trees, shrubs, pollen, or lawn chemicals? First, if you are suspicious of this, here are some things to look for:
Indications of Outdoor Sensitivities:
– For regions that experience a hard winter freeze, does your pet only seem to have reactions in the spring, summer, or fall? If so, that is a good indication that your pet’s sensitivity is outdoor related.
– Does the irritation seem to increase the more your pet is exposed to potential outdoor triggers? The more a pet is exposed, the more intense the reaction.
– For humans, outdoor (seasonal) sensitivities typically present themselves through the respiratory system: runny nose, eyes that water, sneezing, and coughing. Cats & dogs are different, while they can experience respiratory discomfort, it is less common. Skin irritation & inflammation is much more common for cats & dogs.
Why Do Cats & Dogs Have Outdoor Sensitivities?
Immune System Function: When a pet has a weak immune system, this can lead to a number of sensitivities.
More Exposure, More Intense: When a pet does have sensitivities, being exposed to these sensitivities can increase the intensity of the sensitivity and in turn, the reaction. This will also cause the reaction to be longer lasting.
What Can You Do?
Foot Soaks: When your dog or cat seems to be reacting to his/her outdoor environment, frequent foot soaks can help. It removes the irritants from the feet & reduces the amount being brought into the house.
Baths: Regular baths will also help remove irritants. Using a grain-free shampoo is your best option.
Vacuum & Clean: Vacuum carpeting and rugs, scrub floors, & clean your pet’s bedding often to remove any potential triggers from your pet’s indoor environment.
Avoid Vaccines & Medicine During the Sensitive Season: If your pet’s immune system is extra stressed due to seasonal triggers, avoid vaccines & medications at this time as it will make it more difficult for their bodies to handle them.
Diet: Make sure your pet is on an anti-inflammatory diet. Avoid all grains and dairy.
– Quercetin– nature’s Benedryl…a bioflavonoid that suppresses histamine, reducing inflammation.
– Bromelain & Papain– enzymes that help the body absorb Quercetin.
– Omega 3s– decreases inflammation. Some options are cod liver oil, krill oil, salmon oil.
– Coconut Oil– It contains lauric acid which helps keep yeast at bay & fights inflammation. *Combining a fish oil with coconut oil prior to any flare up can keep the inflammation down.
Phenolics: Homeopathic phenolics help desensitize the body to specific triggers. Are you concerned that your pet may have a sensitivity? PetMedella scans for close to 1000 different environmental & food sensitivities! For questions or to order a hair & saliva scan, please contact PetMedella at 612-812-9121.