The Showcase Magazine - Articles


By Mary Lou Hanlon

If you are like many people that suffer from seasonal allergies, springtime has you checking the pollen count daily! Should the pollen count be high, tissues and allergy medicine are must haves to get you thru the day!

Well did you know that your furry friends can also have seasonal allergies? Most of the time these allergies in our pets show up in the form of skin irritations or inflammations.

If your pet appears to get itchy during the spring it is probably reacting to some environmental, seasonal allergens. You may start to see your animal scratching or biting and chewing certain areas of its body. You may also see your animal rubbing its face on the rug or furniture. Your sweet animal is trying to relieve its discomfort by trying anything and everything to get it to go away.

Sadly, while your pet is trying to make itself feel better it is just making the situation worse. Your pets skin may become inflamed from the constant rubbing and scratching. This can worsen to hair loss, open sores and scabbing.

As this process continues, hot spots may develop. A hot spot is an angry patch of skin often accompanied by bleeding and hair loss.

Our pets ear canals can also be the source of some more discomfort. Take note if your pet starts to shake its head or scratch its ears frequently.

While less common, allergic respiratory symptoms can occur in our pets. Coughing, sneezing, running eyes all can be problematic for our pets.

So, what is a concerned pet parent to do? Bathing your pet in a grain free shampoo for sensitive skin can be the first step to getting some relief for your animal. Keep the areas of your home where your animal spends most of their time as allergen-free as possible. To accomplish this, vacuum and clean floors and pet bedding with non-toxic cleaners.

Supplements such as coconut oil and fish oil can help suppress the inflammation response. Adding a little into your pet’s diet can be beneficial and pets typically love the taste of it.

As with any health issue, consult immediately with your veterinarian. Addressing any issue at its onset will oftentimes make the recovery process much quicker and easier. Partnering with your veterinarian will ensure a correct diagnosis. There is also a good possibility that some prescribed medical treatment will provide your animal much needed relief and stop the issue from getting worse.

An itch free animal will be a much more contented one!

Enjoy your spring! Don’t forget the tissues!

Have fun with your animals. They are counting on you to provide them with a safe, loving and nurturing environment.

Mary Lou Hanlon is a longtime resident of Warren and is the owner of PetMinders, Inc, The Kennel Alternative. PetMinders has been providing professional pet sitting and dog training lessons in the privacy of clients homes for over 18 years. Mary Lou is one of the nation's top agility competitors. She has competed both nationally and internationally and has received numerous awards in both dog obedience and agility. She can be reached at 908-755-PETS (7387), via email at or visit the website