Pet Allergies Explained, Once and For All.

By: John R Taylor Naturopath and Author of “The Wonder of Probiotics”

pawWhy is my pet itching and scratching?           pawIs this an allergy problem?

pawWhy is my pet always scratching his ears?    pawWhat are those red spots?

pawWhy is my pet licking his paws?                      pawIs this the right pet food?

These questions deserve some straight, plain answers, and will be discussed over a series of short articles. An allergy is the body’s over-reaction or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Let’s start by looking at the difference between organic allergies and chemical sensitivities.

Chemical Sensitivities

chemical sensitivities in petsChemical sensitivities can react like organic allergies, but they are very different. Your pet can have a reaction to the chemicals in cleaning supplies, detergents, fabric softeners which can be liquids or dryer sheets, flea preparations, yard pesticides, or chemical fertilizers used in the garden. Even though you may not use detergents or fabric softeners on your pets bedding, when you wash your own cloths and your pet crawls up on your lap they can be exposed to those chemicals. These types of chemical allergies are called contact allergies or inhalant allergies, meaning that you either breathe the allergen into your nose or lungs or it touches your skin.

Chemical sensitivities are not the most common allergy type in animals and can generally be prevented. A contact allergy happens when an animal’s skin comes in contact with the material he’s allergic to. If he is bathed with a soap or shampoo containing a chemical that he is allergic to then a reaction can happen. Direct exposure to flea powder, flea collars or flea liquids can cause an allergic reaction. These types of allergens can be avoided once you know that they cause a problem with your particular pet. With a suspected chemical sensitivity allergy, contact a veterinarian for crisis care.

Probiotics for dogs“Stay tuned for Part 2 to learn more about organic allergens and how they have an effect on your pet.” -Paddy
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