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Common Allergies in Dogs & Cats & Symptoms at Home

Posted by Reedy Creek Vet on 18 May 2022
Common Allergies in Dogs & Cats & Symptoms at Home

Like us, many pets have allergies. And many things found in Australian homes can cause allergic reactions in both dogs and cats.

Figuring out the cause of allergic reactions in pets can be tricky - even more so if it's something in your house. 


Symptoms of allergic pets

Allergic reactions in pets can be diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian. If you think your pet may be reacting to something at home or from the environment, contact us at Reedy Creek Vets or book an appointment online.

Common allergic reactions in pets may have the following signs:

  • Redness and skin inflammation

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Licking and chewing at their body

  • A runny nose or eyes

  • Digestive issues like diarrhoea and vomiting

  • Constant scratching and itchiness

You should contact your local veterinarian any time your pet is exhibiting new and concerning behaviour. If it’s after hours and your pet’s behaviour is unusual, or if you are concerned about its immediate well-being, please visit your closest emergency vet.


Common household objects that can cause allergic reactions in pets

Cleaning products and other chemicals

While they might leave your home sparkling clean, harsh and abrasive cleaners are among the top offenders for risks to your pets' health. If you are cleaning your home and you have pets, you should steer clear of the following common cleaning products and chemicals:

  • Ammonia

  • Bleach

  • Benzalkonium chloride (commonly found in spray-and-wipes and glass cleaners)

You should also avoid many air fresheners and disinfectant sprays - these can contain chemicals that are harmful to your pet.

Gold Coast homeowners can keep their homes clean with all-natural cleaning alternatives, but make sure to read the labels carefully and avoid the above chemicals.

Even if your cleaning products claim to be pet-friendly, they may not be hypoallergenic. It might be safer to keep pets in the yard or to take them out on adventures on deep-clean days.

Dust (dust mites)

Similarly the bane of many human noses, dust mites can be incredibly annoying to pets and the cause of many allergic reactions. Dust mites, pollens, and moulds are the three most common allergens that pets are susceptible to.

Allergies to dust mites in pets may show symptoms like:

  • Excessive sneezing and laboured breathing

  • Redness and itchiness of the skin

Keeping dust away at home is nearly impossible. To help your pets cope with allergic reactions to dust mites you could often:

  • Vacuum

  • Wipe down surfaces (especially through spring)

Remember that pets are a lot lower to the ground than humans and will be in contact with surfaces close to the floor. So, when cleaning and dusting your home, remember to clean underneath furniture and at the base of fixtures.

Pet beds

Your pet’s bed could be harbouring a bunch of nasties causing or worsening its allergies. 

Because many pet beds are built to be soft and comfortable, the fabrics used as covers can hold onto dust, pet hair, and other irritants. 

To help reduce the number of potential irritants in your pet’s bed, you should wash it regularly using a pet-friendly, all-natural detergent. Check the label of your laundry liquid for the chemicals listed above before washing, and if symptoms persist or worsen, contact us. 

When washing the pet bed cover, give the bed itself a quick wipe down or dust off, too. If your pet bed isn't washing machine-friendly, you can give it a quick wipe down using a wet sponge or cloth and a mild pet-friendly detergent.  

Make sure it dries completely before putting a cover back on to avoid mould growth and other potential health risks.

Plants inside and outside

Plants are a lovely way to bring life into your home. Unfortunately, they can also be a common risk to your pets too. 

Some common plants found on the Gold Coast like Liliums and Sago Palms are toxic to pets, while others types can cause more mild allergic reactions.

Some common indoor plants that can affect your pet’s health include:

  • Liliums

  • Monstera Deliciosa (The Swiss Cheese Plant)

  • Sago Palms

  • Aloe Vera

  • Pothos (and subspecies)

  • Most members of the Ivy family

To help keep your pets safe, keep your indoor plants completely out of reach. And if the plant has airborne allergens, it’s safer to avoid having them in your home entirely. 

Unfortunately, many of the most common grasses found on the Gold Coast (including Varsity Lakes and Reedy Creek) can cause allergic reactions to pets. The most common families of grasses that can be an irritant to your pets include:

  • Buffalo 

  • Couch

  • Kikuyu


How to know the cause of a pet’s allergies

Before you rip up your perfectly maintained lawn and throw out all your cleaning supplies, get an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s allergies from a local veterinarian by calling Reedy Creek Vet at (07) 5593 8395 to book an appointment. 

Reedy Creek Vet is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5:30 pm and on Saturday mornings until midday. 

Author:Reedy Creek Vet