AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many of us are familiar with how Oak and Cedar season hits us hard in Central Texas, yet we often forget about our pets and that they suffer from seasonal allergies, too.
Jessica Ray and her best friend, Chloe, love to spend time outdoors. Dog parks, the Greenbelt…just as most Austinites do! But they often find themselves at the vet at the same time, every year. Turns out, our pets are just as sensitive to pollen in the air, just like humans. Dogs can experience skin allergies associated with various springtime pollen.
“It’s about three to four times per year that she just starts itching and it’s constant,” Ray tells KXAN. “It’s all night, it’s all day, and I just feel so bad for her.”
Allergists say pecan and grass are the biggest culprits for humans during the month of May, but it’s grass pollen that actually stays in the air all summer long.
Dr. John Faught, the Chief Medical Officer at Firehouse Animal Health Center, says it’s common for our pets to react to these allergens the same way humans do. “This year and this last couple of weeks have actually been pretty bad,” says Dr. Faught. “I feel like yesterday, half of our appointments were at least related to some degree of seasonal allergens and flare ups that come along with that.”
It’s a trend Ray has noticed over the last 10 years that she has been with Chloe. Ray says, “I have allergies as well, I have mold and cedar, and usually, when my nose is itching and I have a headache, that’s usually when I’m seeing her itch as well.”
Veterinarians recommend pet owners pay attention to a seasonal trend in their pet’s allergies, especially when they’re itching or developing skin issues, in order to help doctors rule out allergies associated with other factors such as food or fleas. “Different times of year you may have different dogs responding different allergens that are in the environment,” says Dr. Faught.