5 Ways to Help Prevent Allergies in Pets
More Than Just Sniffles
Springtime is upon us! For many, it is a wonderful time of warming weather, melting snow, and planning the garden. For the unfortunate some, it marks the start of sneezing, itchy skin and watery eyes.
Did you know that dogs and cats suffer different allergy symptoms than people? Pollen often causes respiratory issues in people, but in pets the most common symptom is itchy skin that begs to be scratched. All that scratching with sharp nails leads to missing fur, open sores, and redness.
What Causes Allergies?
Allergies are an overactive response from the immune system to a substance that generally does the body no harm.
There are many factors that go into whether or not an animal will suffer from allergies during his or her lifetime. Determining the root cause of the allergy is no easy feat, and is a task best suited for your veterinarian specialist.
However, there are many things we can do to help prevent or reduce symptoms.
5 Ways to Help Prevent Allergies
1.) Bathe your Pet
You would be amazed at what frequent bathing can do for an animal with environmental allergies. If your pet has irritated skin, bathe her with a good hypoallergenic or medicated shampoo as soon as the beginning signs of itching occur. Bathing rinses away pollens, dirts and debris from the skin and will make your pet feel much better.
Don’t worry about how frequently you bathe your pet! As long as you are using a natural shampoo, there is no reason your pet cannot bathe as often as you do.
2.) Rotate Food
Not only is eating the same food for years boring, but it could be causing your pet to develop food allergies! It takes time to develop food allergies. Multiple exposures to common food allergens such as beef, dairy and wheat can develop enough antibodies to trigger an allergic reaction suddenly, even if the animal had been eating the food normally for years. 
A good way to help prevent this is to rotate protein sources. Feed a novel protein, something your pet has never tried before! Rotate to different flavours every time you buy a new bag of food. Just remember to transition your pet onto the new food slowly, and choose their foods wisely.
3.) Reduce Indoor Irritants
Pets are more sensitive to manmade irritants and lack of fresh air than we are. Clean up around the house using non toxic products. Open windows to allow fresh air to flow. Keep their water and food in stainless steel bowls that are washed frequently. Use an air filter to reduce dust mites.
4.) Give a Digestive Supplement
A quality enzyme and probiotic supplement can alter the way the body reacts to proteins. A lifetime of maldigestion has been linked to food intolerances in people, and it is likely that this applies to our pets as well. Enzyme and probiotic supplementation can also increase absorption of food nutrients, as an added bonus!
5.) Talk to your Vet about Vaccines
There is no argument that vaccines protect against life-threatening disease and have saved many of our beloved animal’s lives, but are we overdoing it? As Dr. Robert Schultz writes, “as many veterinarians are realizing, over-vaccination can actually jeopardize a dog’s health and even life. Side effects can cause skin problems, allergic reactions and autoimmune disease. Though the case in cats, not dogs, tumors have been reported at the site of vaccine injections.” 
Talk to your vet about antibody level tests, or titre tests. These simple blood tests can check for immunity in your pet, and then an educated decision on whether to vaccinate this year can be reached.
Epi Pet: Soothe those Itchies!
At Zoom Zoom Groom, we are so excited to announce that we will be carrying the wonderful Epi Pet line of coat products. These products offer long-term comfort that comes from constant itching, inflamed bodies, loss of hair, and sometimes, bacterial infections.
Itchy skin will be a thing of the past after your pets experience the three-step treatment developed by Dr. Michael Fleck.
Please Contact Us if you have any questions or concerns.
 Food Allergy Myths | Wendy C. Brooks DVM, DABVP
 Digestive enzymes for food allergy and intolerance | Dr. Devin Houston
 Schultz: Dog vaccines may not be necessary | Ronald Schultz