By Erin Hassanzadeh

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the time of year many of us love to be outside — but it’s also tough on our allergies.

It turns out that you may not be the only one in your home with stuffy noses and itchy eyes.

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Leah Hiller of Maple Grove has a “very excited” one-year-old Beagle named Eva, who’s “always smelling everything.” But that’s recently changed.

“She does this like sneezing where [she goes] ‘snort-snort-snort,'” Hiller said.

Eva has been bogged down by the sniffles.

“She looks like she’s going to sneeze like we do as humans,” Hiller said.

And she’s not alone, according to veterinary dermatologist Melissa Eisenschenk with Pet Dermatology Clinic in Maple Grove.

“It’s just extra bad this year,” Eisenschenk said.

She says our dry summer and recent rains create a double-whammy effect.

(credit: CBS)

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“We saw grasses come out a lot later in the fall,” Eisenschenk said. “There’s a lot of molds present right now, probably because of all the rain we’re getting.”

Willow the rescue dog still bears scars from years of untreated allergies.

“You can see where she is scarred there from scratching around her eyes,” Eisenschenk said. “Most dogs with allergies are not going to look this bad.”

While untreated allergies can have long-term impacts and cause secondary infections, the signs are hard to miss and can generally be treated with injections, antibiotics or topical treatments.

“We’ll see dogs licking their feet more, chewing their feet, pulling hair out, and we’ll also see infections, like little crusty spots on the abdomen,” Eisenschenk said.

Other places you want to check for redness or irritation is inside their paws or on the insides of their ears, legs and abdomen.

“I would say anything above a three out of 10 you should definitely talk with your veterinarian about getting that itch under control,” she said.

Things like extra baths or wiping paws with baby wipes can help with minor cases. But when treatment is necessary, it can cost anywhere from $20 to hundreds every month.

Eisenschenk says it’s worth it, so dogs like Eva can get back to doing the thing they love — itch free

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Eisenschenk said she thinks this allergy season will also probably last longer. Some dogs may not see seasonal allergy relief until the first snowfall, though some dogs have year-round allergies.

Erin Hassanzadeh