While warm weather typically causes allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and sneezing in humans, pets can also suffer. If your dog or cat is excessively grooming, licking or itching, they could be experiencing an allergic reaction to fleas, food or a transdermal or inhalant allergen. It’s important to know the signs of an allergic reaction and take the proper steps to diagnose and treat the allergy.

Flea Allergies
One of the most common skin diseases in dogs and cats is Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), which is an allergic reaction to flea saliva. If your pet is exposed to flea bites, it can lead to redness, bumps, scabs and even hair loss from excessive itching. To treat FAD, you first need to remove the fleas from your pet and home and then follow up with preventive flea control.

Food Allergies
Just like humans, pets can have adverse reactions to certain foods. Usually, the culprit is a protein found in dairy, beef, lamb, venison or wheat; however, animals could develop an allergic reaction to almost any ingredient. Excessive itching, recurrent skin conditions, chronic ear infections and vomiting or diarrhea are the tell-tale signs of a food allergy.

Determining a food allergy can be a long process because you need to remove all currently fed foods and start a strict elimination diet trial. Once the food allergy is identified, the only cure is the avoidance of that ingredient.

Transdermal or Inhalant Allergies
Often referred to as atopy, these are allergies that pets develop to environmental substances such as mould, dust or pollen. Symptoms of an atopy allergy include licking, chewing or biting their feet, muzzle, ears, armpits or groin which can lead to hair loss and skin irritations. Identifying the cause of these types of allergies can be extremely difficult and often the only remedy is the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and increased bathing.

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from an allergic reaction, it’s important to bring them to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible to prevent serious skin scarring and infections. With pet insurance through Hudson’s Bay Financial Services, you can be reimbursed up to 80% for veterinary costs, including X-rays, hospitalization, surgery, dental care and prescriptions. Additionally, you can earn up to 4,000 Hudson’s Bay Rewards points.1

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Hudson’s Bay Financial Services is happy to offer coverage for your pet through Petline Insurance — Canada’s largest pet insurance company.

1 Earn 2,000 Hudson’s Bay Rewards points when you purchase a Basic Care plan, 3,000 Rewards points for an Enhanced Care plan and 4,000 Rewards points for an Enhanced Care Plus plan. Rewards points will be issued in equal increments after every six months when you use a valid Canadian-issued credit card to pay for your premiums and will not be pro-rated. Offer valid in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.