Like humans, dogs can be allergic to pretty much anything. Since they spend so much time napping, rolling, and lounging on the floor, carpeting is something that may trigger allergies in dogs. A dog carpet allergy can be caused by the material itself or by a substance either on or in the carpet.
Sometimes, dogs are allergic to fibers. They may also develop a rash from dust that can't be removed with a vacuum or cleaners that aren't fully removed. There are products that can help reduce your dog's itchiness, but you should visit your veterinarian to figure out the exact source of your dog's carpet allergies.
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Dog carpet allergy
In some instances, dogs may be allergic to the synthetic and natural fiber of which your carpet is made, which varies widely from wool to polyester and even coconut. If you notice itchiness or a rash, the material may be the cause, and though hard flooring could help eliminate the issue, ripping out your carpeting is not always practical.
Also note that different types of carpeting contain different levels of volatile organic compounds, which can cause allergic reactions. When these compounds are off-gassed, respiratory and dog carpet allergy can occur.
Dust and allergens in carpeting
While it's not unheard of for humans and animals to be allergic to fibers and other materials, when it comes to carpeting, sometimes it's substances that have accumulated within the flooring that are the cause of allergies and reactions. Carpeting tends to hold a lot of dust, and large amounts of dust mites thrive in the strands. It can also hold fragments of insects and can grow moldy if moisture accumulates on it. All of these things can cause allergy symptoms.
Longer-strand carpet can exacerbate allergies for anyone, including your pet. If possible, avoid use of shag rugs and carpets or other flooring made from thick, fluffy material and seek low-pile carpet to lower the risk of dog carpet allergy. You should brush your pets outdoors and vacuum your carpeting daily to help decrease dust mite levels, though it is not possible to remove all irritants from carpeting.
Dog allergies to cleaners
It may seem ironic that the substances we use to clean our homes of dust and dirt can be the cause of dog allergies, but everyday household products can be the cause of a pet's discomfort. Things we use often without thinking maybe be irritating our canine companions. If your dog is having a reaction to your carpet and you use a steamer or carpet refreshing powder, that may be the culprit behind his allergy.
Strong smells are a sign that cleaners are not safe for pets. Pay attention to your pet's behavior when you use certain products to see if they seem uncomfortable. Avoid bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol. Always keep pets out of the room when using strong disinfecting cleaners and be mindful that anything you use to clean the carpeting can be a potential allergen to your pet.
How to relieve dog itchiness
Once your dog's veterinarian determines the specific cause of your pet's allergies, she can help you figure out the best way to relieve your dog. In cases of allergies, removing the cause is the easiest way to stop the problem, but this is not always practical or possible. Medication may be necessary to reduce your pet's symptoms. If your dog is allergic to the fiber itself, allergy medication that your veterinarian prescribes or recommends can help. This may be an over-the-counter, low-dose antihistamine. Note that these drugs can make your pet drowsy.
Shampoos and sprays are available for sensitive dogs. You can find options at your local pet supply store, or your veterinarian can give recommendations. Home remedies could also help your pet find relief from allergy-related itching. Ask your vet about using vitamin E and fish oil topically or giving your pet an Epsom salt bath.
- Healthline: Carpet Allergies: What’s Really Causing Your Symptoms?
- MedVet: House Dust Mite Allergies: 8 Steps to Control Exposure in Dogs and Cats
- Veterinary Partner: Dust Mites: Minimizing Exposure in Dogs and Cats
- The Humane Society of the United States: How to Keep Your Pets Safe Around Cleaning Products
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications That Can be Safe for Dogs