allergies in dogs

There’s no doubt that your dog is a part of the family and likely your best friend to boot. Dogs have a variety of needs like ensuring that they get the right food, good exercise, and proper flea and heartworm protection.

But did you know that allergies in dogs are also quite common? If you’ve noticed your pooch isn’t feeling tip-top, allergies are a distinct possibility.

Here are some of the most common symptoms that dogs demonstrate if they have allergies along with what you can do to treat them.

Skin Allergies in Dogs

When it comes to allergies that affect your pooch, those that irritate the skin are some of the most common. The most common causes of these types of allergies include flea bites and various environmental factors.

If your dog has flea allergies, it’s due to the saliva in the fleas when they bite. This can cause severe irritation of the skin and make your dog scratch like crazy. You’ll notice that they’re most commonly irritated at the base of the tail.

If it’s food allergies, your dog will most likely bite and scratch around their ears and paws and may also present stomach problems. When it comes to environmental allergies, your furry friend will be irritated at the paws, ears, ankles, and between the toes.

The common symptoms of skin allergies in dogs include biting, licking, and scratching much more frequently than normal. They may also present fur loss, redness of the skin, and even inflammation, scabs, and infection.

Some causes of environmental allergies include dust, pollen, and mold.

Food Allergies

Diagnosing food allergies in dogs can be difficult. For most dogs, they will have an immune response that includes facial swelling, hives, and itchiness. They’ll also likely suffer from vomiting and diarrhea, or both.

It’s important to note that there is a difference between actual food allergies and food sensitivities. If your best friend has a food sensitivity, he won’t experience the same severity of an immune response.

Talk to your veterinarian if your pooch is displaying any adverse reactions after eating. It could be an allergy to beef, eggs, corn, wheat, chicken, milk, or soy and you might have to use the process of elimination.

Your vet can recommend healthy foods that are gentle on your dog’s stomach and their digestive system. By slowly ruling different ingredients out, you should be able to pinpoint which things are causing your dog distress.

Common Symptoms

While no two dogs are alike and might not present the same symptoms, here are some of the most common things you’ll notice if your dog has allergies:

Itching that seems more frequent and more severe than normal
Swelling of your dog’s face, earflaps, lips, or eyelid area
The presence of hives or really red, inflamed skin
Vomiting and/or diarrhea
Sneezing and itchy, watery eyes
Itchy ears or an ear infection that won’t go away
Constant licking of specific areas

Not all of these symptoms mean that your dog has allergies, but they are the most common that will present themselves if they’re experiencing an adverse reaction to food, fleas, or the environment.

If you notice any of these things, monitor your dog carefully. If the symptoms are persistent, it’s time to take your beloved pooch to the veterinarian. They can perform several tests to help determine what the cause is.

Treatment for Your Dog

Once your veterinarian has narrowed down the type of allergy your dog has, they’ll recommend a specific course of treatment. For food-related allergies, they’ll most likely first have you eliminate various things from the dog’s diet.

Through an elimination diet, you can determine exactly what it is that’s causing your dog to suffer. Then, change their food to products that do not contain the known irritant. In most cases, eliminating allergen-causing foods is the easiest way to correct the problem when it comes to food allergies.

For flea allergies, you’ll need to bathe your dog regularly and give them the correct flea treatment. Wash all bedding, toys, and other linens throughout the home. You should also treat your carpets for potential flea infestation.

Medication

In terms of medication, it really depends on the type of dog you have, the form of allergies they have, and your vet’s recommendation. You can purchase over the counter medicine for dogs. Click here for more information about this type of treatment.

Other prescription medication may be prescribed if your pooch is suffering from severe allergies. Topical medicine like creams or baths may also be applied to reduce skin irritation. 

Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids could also be recommended. These supplements will help prevent free radicals from affecting your dog while giving them softer, smoother skin.

Other Helpful Tips

Thankfully, there are some things you can do besides prescriptions meds that will relieve your best friend from their allergy symptoms. Perform a daily wipe down of all surfaces if it’s springtime and pollen is in the air.

Regularly change your air filters in the home to prevent the buildup of dust and dander. This is also helpful for human inhabitants, too.

And, while many dogs are not a fan of baths, it’s essential that you bathe your dog as often as possible. Frequent bathing prevents fleas, removes allergens from their fur, and gives their skin some relief from irritation.

Make Your Dog Happy

With some diligence and careful observation, allergies in dogs can be treated or even prevented. Take your pooch to the vet for regular visits where they can assess the problem carefully.

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