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Allergies in Pets: Symptoms and Causes at Home
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18 May 2022

Allergies in Pets: Symptoms and Causes at Home

Pets can have allergies just like us. And also just like us, common household objects could cause allergic reactions.

Figuring out what's causing allergies in your dog or cat can be tricky, and a lengthy process of elimination to figure out if it's something in your own home.


Symptoms of pet allergies

Allergies in dogs and cats are easy to diagnose, but not at home. If you suspect that your pet is experiencing allergic reactions, contact your local vet or book an appointment online.

Common symptoms of allergies in pets include:

  • Itchiness

  • Redness and inflammation of the skin

  • Breathing issues

  • Constant licking or chewing (commonly on the legs and feet)

  • Runny eyes

  • Digestive issues, persistent vomiting, and diarrhoea

If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it could be allergies or other health issues. Contact us for an accurate diagnosis and treatment advice.


Common triggers in your home of pet allergies


Fleas are a common enemy to those of us who embrace animals as a part of the family and they pose a great annoyance to both us and our furry friends. While some animals may only have a mild reaction to a small flea burden, others may suffer from flea bite dermatitis. 

Flea bite dermatitis signs and symptoms include:

  • Itchiness

  • Hair loss

  • Excessive scratching, chewing or hair pulling

  • Fleas or flea dirt on the animal or in the environment

  • Skin lesions

You can ensure your pet is protected from fleas and other external parasites by ensuring they are on the correct parasite prevention and making sure your home environment and yard are free from parasites and pests.

Please call our friendly staff on (07) 4630 8399 to help you find the right prevention for your pet.

Dust mites

A common nemesis of the human nose, dust mites can cause problems for your pet’s allergies. Along with pollens and moulds, these are three major allergens pets are susceptible to. And being airborne, the threat to your pets is multiplied.

Dust mite allergies in pets typically show symptoms like:

  • Itchiness

  • Red or inflamed skin

  • Dermatitis 

  • Excessive sneezing or discomfort breathing

You can help your pet deal with its allergies at home by keeping dust levels low and with consistent cleaning and wipe downs of furniture. 

Remember that your pet is much lower to the ground than you: on top of wiping down ceiling fans and countertops, try minimising dust levels beneath furniture and fixtures. 

Pet Beds

Pet beds can hold a bundle of potential irritants that could aggravate both human and pet allergies. Without often washing or dusting, pet beds can hold:

  • Pet hair

  • Dust

  • Dirt and other nasties from outside

And in addition to your pet’s bed cover, the stuffing within could be causing irritation or allergic reactions to your dog or cat. 

Pet beds in Australia are commonly filled with wool, foam, cotton, and feather-based materials, like down.

Some of these materials have been known to irritate pet noses and skin (more commonly wool and feather-based materials). And on the same page, if your pet is known to nap on the couch or carpet in your home, the materials could be irritating their skin.

To help your pets deal with irritants in their bed, clean it often and give it quick dust off or brush in-between washes. Often Australian made bedding products will be superior in quality and have been endorsed for use as pet bedding.


Speaking of washing pet beds, the chemicals you use to clean your home, clothes, and sheets, could be causing your pet’s allergies. 

In addition to harsh, abrasive cleaners, pet owners should exercise caution when choosing shampoos, soaps, detergents and sprays in their homes. Fragrance-free and all-natural options are usually safer alternatives for cleaning homes with pets.

On top of your cleaning products, many household fixtures hold chemicals that could be harmful to pets. If you have a pool in your Highfields or Toowoomba home, it might be causing allergic reactions through exposure to chlorine. Chlorine and other pool chemicals can be strong enough to cause allergic reactions just by proximity.

Indoor plants and your garden

Plants look great, but some of the most common plants in Australian homes can be harmful to both dogs and cats. 

And while keeping plants out of reach from adventurous plants can work, many indoor plants have airborne allergens that can cause reactions from pets. 

Some common toxic or allergenic household plants include:

  • Lilies

  • Sago Palms

  • Aloe Vera

  • Pothos (and ivy varieties)

  • Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)

As well as plants in your home and garden, many common weeds and grasses found in Toowomba and Highfields, like Buffalo, Couch, and Kikuyu, can cause dermatitis and similar allergic reactions from cats and dogs. 


Determining the cause of your pet’s allergies

While the process of elimination can usually work in determining your pet’s allergies, it can take a long time and your pet’s health will be affected until you find a solution.

Your pet’s symptoms could be minor, however, it’s usually safer to contact your local veterinarian expert for assistance in diagnosing your pet’s allergies and helping you find a solution sooner.

Highfields Veterinary Surgery is your local vet clinic for Toowoomba and Highfields pet owners. Call us at (07) 4630 8399 to book an appointment or make an appointment online

Contact Highfields Vet for bookings Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 8:30 am until 1 pm.


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Address22 Highfields Rd, Highfields QLD 4352