Combatting Seasonal Allergies in Dogs and Cats

Combatting Seasonal Allergies in Dogs and Cats

Daisy A. May

Daisy A. May

Veterinary Surgeon

Daisy qualified with distinction from the University of Liverpool vet school in 2019, and has a particular interest in canine and feline nutrition and dentistry.

Her passion is in writing easy-to-follow pet care articles to ensure top quality advice is available to each and every pet parent at the touch of a screen.

What Causes Dog and Cat Seasonal Allergies? 

Seasonal allergies occur when your dog or cat’s immune system overreacts to the presence of harmless things in their environment. Whilst this can result in respiratory issues or sore, watery eyes, skin problems are far and away the most common indicator of canine and feline seasonal allergies.


Some of the most common causes of seasonal allergies in dogs and cats are pollen or fungal spores (typically causing allergy symptoms in spring, summer or autumn) and house dust mites (more likely to cause allergy signs in colder months when your pet spends more time indoors).


Genetics are very important in determining which dogs and cats will develop allergies. For example, we know that around 50% of dogs born to parents with environmental allergies will also develop these [2].

Of course, you can’t change your pet’s genetics, and realistically you’re unlikely to prevent your dog or cat from coming into contact with their triggers. You can’t keep them in a sanitized, air-filtered bubble their entire life, after all!

So instead, allergy management largely focuses on improving the health of the skin barrier and providing relief from symptoms through targeted products or, where necessary, veterinary intervention.

Let’s take a look at the most common allergy symptoms in pets, and how SensoVet’s products can help provide relief. 

Cat and Dog Seasonal Allergy Symptoms (and How to Help)

Symptom: compromised skin barrier

Dogs and cats who suffer with seasonal allergies have a skin barrier that is “leakier” than their unaffected counterparts, meaning allergens are more easily able to penetrate below the skin surface where cells of the immune system will be activated.

An excellent body of scientific research supports the notion that both omega-3 and vitamin E can be extremely helpful when it comes to improving skin barrier health, producing visible results in patients with seasonal allergies. 


What can help: Omega-3 Fish Oil with Vitamin E

The mechanisms through which omega-3 and vitamin E help provide allergy relief for dogs and cats are extremely complicated, and believe me, if I go into detail a high percentage of readers are likely to fall asleep!

However, it is worth knowing that both omega-3 and vitamin E help to reduce the inflammation and itch that go hand-in-hand with skin allergies in dogs and cats. They’ll also help modulate (have a calming effect on) your pet’s immune system if it’s starting to get a little too worked up over nothing.



Symptom: greasy, flaky skin

Greasy, flaky skin is often a result of what we medically call “seborrheic dermatitis”. It occurs far more commonly in dogs than cats, although Persian cats in particular may be affected. Environmental allergies are one of the most common causes of the condition.

So, once your vet has ruled out other possible causes (such as a hormone problem), you’ll need the help of a shampoo that targets both excess oils and dryness - a tough combination to address! 

What can help: Antiseborrheic Shampoo with Salicylic Acid 


At its root, flakiness happens due to a malfunction of normal skin turnover: basically, because your dog isn’t successfully shedding their old skin cells to make way for the new ones that are constantly being produced.

Containing 2% salicylic acid, SensoVet’s Anti-itch and Antiseborrheic shampoo helps break down the buildups of skin that result in flaking, allowing normal skin turnover to take place.

Salicylic acid also helps bind moisture to areas where dryness is an issue, whilst simultaneously dispersing and removing grease and oils to restore a more balanced skin surface. 

Symptom: itching and scratching

Itching is the most upsetting symptom of seasonal allergies for pets and their owners; left unchecked, it can keep you and your four-legged friend awake at night, and increase the chances of your pet developing hot spots or skin trauma due to excessive scratching.

Whilst severe cases of itching absolutely warrant a vet visit, milder cases can be managed at home with appropriate products and care. 

What can help: Medicated Spray with Pramoxine


This innovative anti-itch spray contains 1% pramoxine hydrochloride, a topical anesthetic that blocks the sensation of itchy skin, providing your pet with rapidly acting relief. Pramoxine is well tolerated and very safe when used appropriately [1].

It’s recommended to use this high-performing spray up to once daily (cats) or twice daily (dogs), for a maximum of 1-2 weeks at a time before taking a break. If symptoms persist after this, it’s best to consult a veterinarian. 

Symptom: rash

Rash is a common symptom seen in canine and feline allergic skin cases. A combination of skin barrier care, plus removal of allergens, bacteria and yeast from the affected area, will often resolve the issue.

What can help: Antifungal and Antibacterial Shampoo


Possibly my favorite dog shampoo for allergies, and one of my favorite home remedies for dog allergies generally is regular bathing using a bioactive shampoo with both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal actions.

Such shampoos can also provide excellent allergy relief for cats, but unless your cat is part of the tiny minority who readily accept bathtime I recommend selecting a spray product instead (such as SensoVet Antiseptic Hot Spot & Rash Spray), to avoid unnecessary stress.

SensoVet’s Anti-Fungal and Anti-Bacterial shampoo combines 2% chlorhexidine gluconate with 1% ketoconazole to help clear overgrowth of bacteria and yeast from the skin’s surface. This in turn helps to provide relief from rashes, itching, acne and lichenification (the development of thick, dark patches of skin due to chronically high levels of yeast on the skin). 

Symptom: pustules and acne 

Pustules and acne are a relatively common component of skin allergies in dogs and cats, and reflect the fact that bacteria have become involved. This happens more easily in pets with seasonal allergies due to the skin barrier compromise that we discussed earlier.

Because an overgrowth of bacteria is the root cause of pustules, we need to target the issue with a pet-safe product that provides an appropriately powerful antibacterial action.

What can help: Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo

Benzoyl peroxide has excellent antibacterial properties and this shampoo has a great shot at clearing up milder cases of acne (ie, those that don’t warrant a vet visit). SensoVet have combined 3% benzoyl peroxide with vitamin E to promote your pet’s skin barrier health and help prevent future flare ups, making this shampoo a multi-taking miracle worker.

[1] Drechsler, Y., Dong, C., Clark, D.E. and Kaur, G. (2024) ‘Canine Atopic Dermatitis: Prevalence, Impact and Management Strategies’, Veterinary Medicine (Auckland), 15, pp. 15-29. Available at: (Accessed 9 March 2024).
[2] Shaw, S.C., Wood, J.L.N., Freeman, J., Littlewood, J.D., Hannant, D.  (2004) ‘Estimation of heritability of atopic dermatitis in Labrador and Golden retrievers’, American Journal of Veterinary Research, 65, pp. 1014-1020. Available at: (Accessed 9 March 2024).
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