Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Yesterday was a day for some "spring cleaning" of sorts. Annie, Orphée and I spent it sorting through news articles and old magazines.  More to the point, I sorted through news articles and old magazines while Annie and Orphée kept me company.

By the end of the day Orphée was coughing a bit. This morning I woke up with a bit of a headache because old magazines collect dust and I am allergic to dust. Orph must be sensitive to it as well.

Spring is a time of change and renewal; a time for coming out of winter hibernation and it is a time of increased activity for our furry friends. Annie has begun her usual "in again, out again Finnegan" ritual of going in and out to patrol, sit and sun herself on the back porch. This also means longer walks to make up for the restrictions of winter. Especially now, at Annie's age, she needs her exercise. Once summer is here, the schedule will have to change back to shorter, earlier walks to avoid the hottest part of the day.

And with spring come allergies. Annie, I believe, has food allergies but that is another issue entirely. Orphée may have dust allergies so what does that mean? It means a new diligence in keeping the house clean. Also, I will have to be very mindful of his reaction to the environment once the pollen count shows up in our daily weather reports.

What can you do for seasonal allergies? Brush your furry family members everyday to remove pollen, dust, dirt and grime from their coats. Licking and ingestion of pollutants goes hand-in-hand; you want to do whatever you can to prevent it. A bath for my canine sweetie is a good idea; I won't try that with Orphée since cats generally do not take to water. If your pet has real issues such as itching and watery eyes, a visit to the veterinarian is in order. Keep the house cleaner, keep the windows shut during the morning when the pollen count is highest, defer walks until later in the day, continue daily brushing and if the veterinarian prescribes medicine for your pet's allergies, make sure to administer it according to instructions. If you are inclined, checking holistic solutions might be a good course for you to take.

Spring brings the highest pollen levels as grasses start to grow and plants and trees start to flower. Rain drops the pollen levels - I always envision the rain washing the pollen from the air; dry, windy weather exacerbates the problem.  Remember there are plants that pollinate all year long so your pet (or you) might experience year-round allergy symptoms.

Follow some or all of these suggestions and I know you and your furry friends will enjoy an allergy-free spring! 

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