Does Your Dog Have Allergies?

Dog Allergies…

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.

Types of Allergies…

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:

  1. Flea allergy dermatitis
  2. Food allergies
  3. Environmental allergens

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.

Cause of Allergies in Dogs …

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:

  • Trees
  • Mold
  • Dust & house mites
  • Feathers
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Certain ingredients in pet foods
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • Shampoos

Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs

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.

  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy ears
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Constant licking

Treating Allergies in Dogs

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 

This information is brought to you as a public service by Bark Busters Home Dog Training-the world’s largest most trusted dog training company. Bark Busters is the only international dog training company that offers guaranteed lifetime support. Find more information by contacting your local dog behavioral therapist at 1-877-500-BARK (2275) or by visiting www.BarkBusters.com or Bark Busters of Alpharetta and Roswell, Georgia

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