environmental allergies; prepare your pet for summer!
Although allergies can be a year-round problem, animals can suffer from hay fever-like symptoms (just like us), which are more common during the summer months when pollens are reaching higher levels.
The krill in the Arden Grange dry food is an especially useful ingredient for sensitive animals because it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty EPA and DHA essential fatty acids, which may help reduce symptoms of allergies due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Over time, an omega-3 enhanced diet may even increase allergy thresholds, which can be useful if the allergens the dog or cat is reactive to cannot be completely avoided (e.g. grass pollens).
Reactions to insect bites and stings can be very severe if your dog or cat has an allergy to the enzymes released by the insect. External parasite control is therefore especially important for animals who are allergic to flea or tick saliva, but be sure to use safe, species appropriate products. A good environmental spray is advisable for bedding, carpets and soft furnishings if your pet has fleas because they are prolific breeders and for every flea you find on your dog or cat, there will likely be numerous others at various stages of dormancy just waiting to hatch and leap onto your pet for a feed in the house.
Other insects such as ants and midges can also be a problem for some sensitive pets, so be careful where you’re walking. If your dog or cat has had a past anaphylactic reaction as a result of a bee or wasp sting, your vet may provide you with an EpiPen containing epinephrine in case of a future reaction.
Take care to ensure that your cat or dog doesn’t over-heat in the summer. Our pets love to bask in the sunshine but they can suffer from sun-burn just like we do, especially if they are white or have any white markings. The ears are especially at risk, so apply a safe, species appropriate sun-screen if your cat or dog enjoys sunbathing. Preparations for people are unsuitable due to fragrances/tan intensifiers etc and could be harmful if licked off. Monitor the time your pet is allowed out in the sun, and make sure there is free access to shade or a cooler area indoors and plenty of cool fresh water.
We hope you all enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!
By Ness Bird – Nutrition Adviser and RVN CertCFVHNut