Did you know that dogs get allergies too? As the seasons change and the weather turns to spring, or spring to summer, or even summer moves into fall, the environment is filled with all sorts of different allergens that can affect our fur-babies.
Allergies are a misguided reaction to foreign substances by the body’s immune system, from which, of course, people and pets can suffer. There are quite a few different of allergies such as, skin allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergens which all pose challenges for dogs and their owners. To make things more complicated, the symptoms of all these different types of allergies can overlap.
Skin allergies are the most common type of allergic reactions in dogs and there are three main causes of skin allergies in dogs:
Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva. This makes affected dogs extremely itchy, and their skin may become red, inflamed, and scabbed.
Food allergies and sensitivities can cause itchy skin, as well. The most common places dogs with food allergies itch are their ears and their paws, and this may be accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms. It is important to note that food allergies are not restricted to puppies … your dog may develop an allergy to his food out of the blue! There are many natural remedies available to help your dog manage his/her allergies.
Environmental allergens, such as dust, pollen, and mold can also cause allergic reactions and in most cases, these allergies are seasonal, so you may only notice your dog itching during certain times of the year.
Dogs’ allergies usually stem from one of three things: environment, food or fleas. Allergies can rarely be cured, but the symptoms can be managed. Many vets will recommend a change in diet, particularly the introduction of probiotics, fish oil, flax seed or antihistamines. The only way to diagnose a food allergy is through a strict elimination diet. Believe it or not, they even have allergy shots for dogs! Some of the things that may cause dog allergies include:
The symptoms of allergies in dogs may vary depending on the cause. In general, however, the following symptoms could be a sign of an allergic reaction.
The best way to treat an allergy is avoidance of the cause and allergen. Although that may not always be possible. Consulting your veterinarian is always the best option. In addition to potential changes in your dog’s lifestyle, your veterinarian may also prescribe a medication to help control your dog’s reaction to allergies.
If your dog has a severe allergic reaction, your best course of action is to get him to an emergency veterinary hospital as quickly as possible. Also, if your dog’s skin condition worsens, see a veterinarian
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