Dogs can have allergies, just as many humans do. These can be caused by foods, the environment, or fleas and mites. Knowing which bug you’re dealing with – whether it’s fleas, gnats or lice is extremely crucial in tackling this issue – as it may not be an allergy. This website has a great resource on how to differentiate between the three. Below we look at everything you need to know about dog allergies, including the common signs, causes, and how to get a diagnosis.
Some dogs are allergic to certain types of foods or have a sensitivity to them. If your dog has an allergy to a food, you may notice digestive issues, such as constipation or diarrhea, and vomiting. Food allergies can also cause a skin reaction (see below). Dogs can sometimes have a serious allergic reaction to some foods, which is called anaphylaxis. If this happens, you must get your dog straight to the nearest veterinary hospital. The main signs of a severe allergic reaction include breathlessness, a widespread skin rash, and sudden weakness.
If your dog has a food sensitivity, this is different from a food allergy. Some of the symptoms are similar but a food sensitivity is more like intolerance than an allergy. This means they can still eat the food, but it may cause some discomfort or pain. The most common food intolerances in dogs are chicken, eggs, wheat, milk, soy, and beef.
A skin reaction is a very common form of allergic reaction in dogs. The most common reason for an allergic reaction of the skin is because your dog has eaten a new food that he is allergic to, or an environmental factor has caused a skin reaction. Some dogs are allergic to fleas, so if they have fleas, they may display many symptoms similar to an allergy. If your dog has an allergy to fleas, he will become itchy and the skin underneath his fur can become scabbed, inflamed, and red. If you check your dog’s fur, you can determine whether the cause is fleas. Your dog will need flea treatment, and your home may need a company like Merlin pest control service in Leicester to come over and make sure the pests haven’t spread elsewhere.
If your dog is allergic to something in their environment, their skin may react. This is usually the first sign of hay fever in dogs. Dust is another common cause of skin reactions in dogs. You may notice your pooch suffers from bad skin during a certain season, which is a big indicator of an allergy to their environment. Any skin reaction to an allergen needs to be treated, as it can cause broken and irritated skin. This can increase the risk of another infection that could require further treatment, such as a bacterial skin infection.
Some dogs develop an allergic reaction to germinating grass. Fortunately, this isn’t very common. Dog owners often make use of dog boots to cope with this issue. It is quite helpful when your pup wants to go on a walk in the park. Boots can be a great shield against not just allergies, but also hot or cold surfaces that can hurt sensitive paws. Brands like Walkee Paws, the better dog boot can be considered if your pup needs paw protection.
An acute reaction is an allergic reaction that happens suddenly. Often, this is caused by something like a wasp or bee sting. Dog immunizations can cause an acute reaction, why is why your vet will tell you to keep a close eye on them after their immunizations. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction after your dog has been immunized, you should take them to the vet immediately.
Sometimes acute reactions happen right away, and other times, it can take a few hours for an acute reaction to kick in. If your dog gets an acute reaction, he will need an antihistamine, which you can get from a vet. Do not give your dog an antihistamine made for humans.
Other Dog Allergy Symptoms
Dog allergy symptoms can vary, depending on what has caused the allergic reaction. Other signs to look out for are:
- hives (a skin rash)
- noticeable swelling around the ears, lips, eyelids, or face
- constant itching or rubbing
- ear infections
- constant licking
- runny and itchy eyes
Some of these signs may also be symptoms of another illness, so it is better to get seen by a vet, so your dog can be diagnosed and treated with the right medication.
The only way to know for sure if your dog has an allergy is to take them to veterinary care. For example, you can visit IndyVet – Philly (who are known to provide excellent canine care) or a place near your house. Vets will be able to look at your dog’s symptoms and perform an examination. They may ask you to keep a food diary, to see what could be causing the allergic reaction, if you think it is due to their diet.
Vets will carry out a few tests on your dog, to rule out any other conditions that could cause similar symptoms. Allergies can be difficult to test for but if everything else has been ruled out, an allergy test can be done. An allergy test is not always guaranteed to find the cause of an allergy. With food allergies, this is often determined through trial and error.
Treating Dog Allergies
The main way to stop your dog from getting an allergy is to avoid whatever the cause of the allergic reaction is. This may mean changing your dog’s diet, to a healthier, allergen-free version. If you are wondering what to feed your dog, check out this guide to the best dog food for allergies from Native Pet. Finding the best dog food for allergies can improve your dog’s symptoms.
If the allergen is something that cannot be avoided, such as pollen, your vet may prescribe some antihistamines. You should also limit walks in highly pollinated areas. Giving your dog medication can be difficult. If your dog struggles to take medication and has allergies, here are some tips for giving your dog pills.
If your dog is having an allergic reaction to flea bites, treating the fleas should cure the allergy. Lifestyle changes may also be necessary, such as cleaning your dog’s bedding with pet-friendly detergent and increasing the amount you dust and clean your home, especially if dust and pollen are the reasons for your dog’s allergies.
Having a dog with allergies can be worrying, but with the right treatment and care, your dog will be safe from the unpleasant symptoms. If you have been given any medication, make sure your dog takes this when they need it. If you have any further worries or concerns, speak to your vet for advice on your dog’s allergy.