Limiting exposure to an allergen can be difficult, especially if the offending element is an airborne pollen or spore. It’s not possible to cut down every blade of grass or tree in the neighbourhood, and nor would you want to.

However, there are a number of strategies which can help.

Allergic animals should be bathed in a gentle, soothing shampoo such as Aloveen, PAW Sensitive Skin or Ivory Coat Sensitive Shampoo to help remove excess allergens, and recent research has shown that wiping a dog’s paws with a low allergen wipe or a clean damp towel after a walk will help reduce allergic load.

Often, we will also try a specialised hypoallergenic diet such as Hills Z/D or Royal Canin Hypoallergenic for an affected animal to help reduce any exposure to food-borne allergens. If the pattern of allergy suggests that a contact allergen may be involved we may try changing bedding or avoiding pet clothing.

Allergy tests are available which can help determine the offending allergies. These are available as skin tests or blood tests. There is a great deal of debate amongst veterinary specialists about the overall accuracy of these tests, but in some cases they can be helpful.

The next step in dealing with an allergic animal is Reducing Skin Inflammation.