We love our fur-babies with all our hearts, and one of the ways we express that is by making sure they are safe and comfortable at all times, especially in the home. To do so, we need to be aware of what exactly we are bringing into our apartments and houses. Because our home is our safe-haven, it can be easy to overlook household items that may be presenting a threat to the physical well-being of our four-legged friends.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of what can pose a health risk in the home, apart from standard cleaning products. We are going to shed some light on the most common household items and tiny creatures that may be giving your pup the sniffles and itches and discuss what to do about it.
Humans are well-aware of the potential allergic reactions we may experience from exposure to hair and dander of our little furry friends, but we don’t often expect those reactions to be reversed. Of course, your dog may not be suffering from you shedding your hair in the shower or dandruff on your pillow. However, items that may slip right underneath your nose, such as mold spores, feathers of blankets and pillows, and even essential-oil air deodorizers can cause discomfort in your pup’s airways and lead to skin irritation.
This is one of the leading allergens for indoor dogs, most often causing skin irritation. You may wonder how mold spores get into your home. Mold infestation can range anywhere on the spectrum from the devastation of mold inside the walls to a little bit of mold that develops on your groceries in the pantry or fruit basket. Regularly checking your home for signs of mold growth is essential for not only your health, but your dog’s wellbeing. Spot clean if you do find signs of mold, and use dehumidifiers and effective air conditioning filters to prevent mold growth in the future.
Even if you don’t have a pet bird in the home, you may still have feathers that could be causing your dog’s allergies to flare up. Some may be surprised to learn that comforters and pillows, especially decorative couch pillows are made with down feathers. Your dog may have adverse reactions to these, so do your best to purchase decor and bedding without feathers, if possible.
Unfortunately, this is a factor that many dogs are exposed to on a regular basis, and often inside enclosed areas. Second-hand smoke affects dogs in the same way it affects us humans. Not only can the smell get stuck in their coat, but the residual toxins left on the hands of someone that smokes cigarettes can cause allergic reactions to dogs the person comes into contact with. They inhale smoke in the air that can cause asthmatic respiratory problems.
These little microscopic bugs are an inevitable part of any household, so there is not much you can do to eliminate them entirely. They live on furniture and carpets and may be a bit too much for some dogs to tolerate, especially those with sensitive skin. Dust mites are known to cause a skin disease in sensitive dogs called atopic dermatitis. Your best bet is to regularly clean your furniture and your dog’s bed at least once a week and vacuum according to the intensity with which your dog sheds.
If you are unsure of what exactly is causing any itching, redness, or inflammation of the skin, runny nose, coughing or allergy-related symptoms in your dog, bring them into Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital and Emergency clinic. Although these symptoms could be directly related to the household items and critters discussed above, they could also be indicative of further health conditions that need to be evaluated and treated to keep your beloved pet comfortable.
We can accurately diagnose your pup’s allergy issues and provide treatment along with developing a preventative action plan to ensure that both you and your dog can be comfortable in your home. Call today to schedule an appointment to address your dog’s health concerns, or drop by any of our offices serving the areas nearby Ventura County, including Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, and Chatsworth, CA.