Every year millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies caused by excessive pollen, flowering plants, or even high mold counts and sudden weather changes. When people think ofseasonal allergies, they might think of (and dread) thespring, summer and fall months when their sinuses become irritated, eyes watery and nose stuffy and sneezy. What many people don’t realize; however, is cats and dogs are affected by seasonal allergies as well.
“Unless your pet exhibits very obvious reactions, it’s one of those things pet owners may not think about,” said Katie Blakeley, CEO of PetFirst Pet Insurance. “For many pets, symptoms can be subtle, often unnoticed by owners.”
PetFirst, a pet insurance company which reimburses pet parents for veterinary expenses, reports 2.7% of all pet insurance claims are allergy-related, with the average vet bill costing pet owners around $235 for treatment.
Similar to humans, pets with allergies might exhibit any range of varying symptoms, including wheezing, rashes, sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose. However, unlike humans whose allergy symptoms usually involve the respiratory tract, pet symptoms are most likely to take the form of skin irritation or inflammation. Pets with allergies might scratch their skin repeatedly, or continuously rub their bodies against a rough surface to alleviate the itch.
PetFirst reports that the most common types of allergy-related claims are skin allergies, which make up 26.7% of all allergy claims.
Health concerns can arise due to excessive scratching, which can lead to inflamed and irritated skin, hot spots (for dogs) or even hair loss and bleeding in more severe cases. If untreated, the pet may be at a much higher risk of infection and/or other health issues.
PetFirst recommends pet owners keep an eye on their pet’s behavior during allergy season, noting any signs or symptoms that might indicate an allergy. If a dog or cat has allergies, owners should try to understand what is triggering the reaction so they can get proper treatment from their veterinarian.
“Just like humans, severity of symptoms is different for every pet,” said Blakeley. “Pets with more intense symptoms might receive annual or even monthly treatments, while minor allergy flare-ups might go untreated altogether. It all depends on the pet and their reaction to allergens.”
A health insurance plan for your dog or cat is one way that pet owners can avoid a costly vet visit, and PetFirst offers plans with options that will cover allergy-related vet visits. For more information on pet insurance, visit www.petfirst.com.
PetFirst is the fastest growing pet insurer in North America offering easy-to-understand lifelong coverage for dogs and cats. PetFirst’s comprehensive coverage is unique in the industry providing simplified policies with coverage for hereditary, chronic, and breed-specific conditions with no per-diagnosis limits and shortest waiting periods in the industry. PetFirst offers pet insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through animal welfare agencies, retailers, employers, as well as other partners. For more information about PetFirst pet insurance, visit www.petfirst.com or call 877-894-7387.