The autumn season brings crisp weather, beautiful leaves and, unfortunately, a slew of allergies that affect people and dogs alike! If your dog is wheezing this fall, it could be a sign that they’re suffering from allergies, just like you.
However, wheezing could also be a sign of more serious ailments, so it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to learn more about the potential causes of wheezing and to have your dog carefully examined by a trained professional. Your veterinarian can always provide your dog with the best possible care.
If your dog suffers from allergies, there are a number of ways you can alleviate their discomfort and help them return to their easy-breathing, playful selves. Using naturally-occurring treatments, it’s possible to help dogs cope with their allergy symptoms and stave off secondary infections that may occur as a result of a compromised immune system.
Causes of wheezing
When dogs wheeze, sneeze or exhibit other cold and flu-like symptoms, it might a sign of allergies, or it might be just that—a cold or flu. Like people, dogs are subject to a range of contagious viruses and bacterial infections. In most cases, a cold or flu will leave your pup feeling under the weather for a short period of time, and then they’ll bounce back to their usually-chipper state.
Sometimes, however, flu-like symptoms in dogs could indicate more serious conditions. If your dog exhibits these symptoms for an extended period of time, it’s advisable to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Here are just some of the most common causes of wheezing in dogs:
- Allergies: Allergies to grass, pollen and dander are extremely common ailments in dogs of all shapes, ages and sizes. Dog allergies manifest in different ways, including skin irritation (called atopic dermatitis), sneezing and wheezing. Some dogs may exhibit allergic reactions throughout the year, while others only suffer from seasonal allergies.
- Heartworms: Heartworms are a deadly parasite that affect dogs of all ages but are especially common in older dogs and puppies. While some forms of heartworm treatments exist, options for dogs suffering from this condition are unfortunately limited. Regular annual check-ups can help you prevent a possible heartworm infection in your dog.
- Nasal mites: These parasites are relatively harmless compared to heartworms and are extremely common. Your dog may live with nasal mites for years before exhibiting any symptoms, which include wheezing, sneezing and more. If you suspect your dog is infected with nasal mites, consult with your veterinarian to learn more about treatment options.
Treating allergy symptoms
If your dog is suffering from allergies, there are a number of ways that you can relieve their discomfort and help them breathe a little easier. Here are just a few steps you can take to reduce the effects of allergies in dogs:
- Allergy relief supplements: There are a number of safe and effective dietary supplements you can use to reduce wheezing and other allergy symptoms in your dog, like Nettle-Eyebright Gold. Herbal antihistamines can help reduce swelling in the throat that causes wheezing and discomfort, as well as reducing eye leakages and more.
- Wipe down after walks: Dogs are typically exposed to allergens while they’re out in the great outdoors. If your dog suffers from allergies, you can alleviate their symptoms by wiping them down after they go outside. Wiping down your dog can help to remove any pollen or other debris that may be causing wheezing, sneezing or skin conditions and prevent it from infiltrating your home, prolonging symptoms.
- Frequent baths: During an allergic flair-up, you should bathe your dog frequently with an all-natural shampoo. This will help you reduce the amount of dander, pollen and dust that has worked its way into your dog’s fur. Frequently bathing your pet and using a high-quality shampoo can also soothe any skin irritation they may be experience as a result of their allergic reactions.
- Medicated sprays: Some dogs may develop so-called “hot spots�? during allergic flair-ups, where they lick an irritated area until it becomes raw and bald. Medicated sprays can soothe skin irritation on hot spots and other areas of your pet that may be showing signs of an allergic reaction. Medicated sprays can also be used during the wipe-down process to both remove potential allergens and soothe your dog’s skin.
Just as in humans, dogs can become sad, irritated and angry when they’re physically uncomfortable. Learning how to help your pet overcome allergy symptoms is a great way to improve the way that you interact with your furry friend and help them be as happy and healthy as possible.