On the first hot day of the year, Daisy can always be found lounging on the backyard bench. She is so reluctant to leave the toasty cushions that somebody usually has to go out there and make her come inside before she gets overheated. When she finally does come in, she is always so itchy that she would probably gnaw her paw right off if we let her.
Just like all the human members of my family, Daisy has received the Stringer Curse of agonizing seasonal allergies. While grass seems to be Daisy’s worst trigger, dust and pollen are also common irritants for many dogs. The types of reactions can vary depending on the individual, but many experience sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and obsessive licking and scratching. Sometimes Daisy’s obsessive licking and scratching leads to a skin infection which requires a vet visit for treatment and antibiotics.
To help ease Daisy’s discomfort, her veterinarian recommended we give her some over the counter Benadryl when her allergies begin to bother her. The Benadryl makes a significant difference, but sometimes her allergies get so out of control that the medication alone doesn’t completely solve her problem. Daisy’s vet explained allergies can be difficult to treat when there are lingering allergens in her fur or bedding, which will only continue to irritate her despite the medication. She recommended wiping Daisy down once daily before bedtime with a damp cloth to help keep her fur clean, which is especially important during the spring. In addition to wiping her down, she also recommended a bath with a gentle medicated shampoo once weekly and frequently washing her bedding.
Diligently following this routine has helped us more effectively manage Daisy’s allergies without her having to become too miserable with itching and skin infections. Now as long as we make sure to wipe Daisy down after any backyard snoozes, she is able to take full advantage of her favorite warm spring days.
Benadryl, daily wiping down, and baths can help manage seasonal allergies. Always check with a veterinarian before giving your dog an allergy medication. Some dogs with more severe allergies might require a different medication to help manage allergies. If an issue persists, veterinary attention might be needed.