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Allergies, Fleas, Ticks and Your Pet

Just like with humans, our four-legged friends can have serious reactions to a wide range of allergens in their food and environment. Keeping your pet away from these is the best way to prevent nasty allergic reactions, but there are a variety of things you can do to help reduce their discomfort and associated conditions.

What to Look For

Signs your pet may have an allergic reaction to fleas or ticks include:

  • Red, dry, or irritated skin
  • Excessive itching or scratching
  • Dermatitis
  • Hot spots

Adult ticks are often visible to the naked eye, so you may spot them on short-haired pets. But with longer-haired cats, it’s best to do a thorough inspection with a flea comb.

While allergies can be an uncomfortable result of flea or tick bites, both parasites can cause a host of other problems for your pet, including several fatal diseases. For more, see our flea and tick for cats and dogs section.

What Is It?

Pets are highly allergic to flea saliva. Just one bite can start your pet scratching. With exceptional jumping skills, these insects are capable of leaping vertically up to 7 inches to hop on a host to feed and lay their eggs. Females can lay up to 5,000 eggs (that’s a lot of fleas and lot of bites causing allergies) in a lifetime. For more on fleas, see our section on Fleas and Ticks.

While the tick bite can be relatively painless, as with fleas, your pet can have an intense allergy to tick saliva. And females can lay up to 1,000 eggs at a time. Adult ticks lay in wait in grass or bushes seeking to attach themselves to a new host. Like fleas, they prefer warmer climates. For more ticks, see our section on Fleas and Ticks.

What to Do

Taking steps to prevent your pet from getting fleas and ticks is the best thing you can do to avoid your pet suffering from severe discomfort and potentially serious illnesses from fleas and ticks. A regular monthly regimen using PetArmor® or PetArmor® Plus (for pets living in highly infested areas) is a great way to keep your pet free from flea and tick infestations.

Direct Contact Allergies

What to Look For

Signs that your pet has direct contact allergies include:

  • Hair loss
  • Excessive scratching
  • Redness of the skin
  • Hot spots
  • Restlessness
  • Head shaking
  • Ear infections

What Is It?

Your pet’s allergen receptors are located in his or her skin. So pets don’t get a bad runny nose or congestion from allergies like we do. Instead, they are more apt to develop skin conditions. Allergic reactions can occur when your pet comes into direct contact with mold spores, plant pollens, dust mites, lawn products, household cleaning products, certain fabrics and some materials such as rubber and plastics.

What it means for your pet

Just as it is for humans, your pet’s allergies can be uncomfortable. And allergic pets tend to scratch a lot, which can lead to infections, lesions, and hot spots or ear infections.

How You Can Help

Preventing your pet from coming into contact with allergens is the best thing you can do to avoid this uncomfortable condition. Should your pet become exposed, consult your veterinarian. However, you can ease your pet’s suffering by treating affected areas with topical solutions