Allergies in Dogs often go unnoticed because symptoms are different from people. Allergens are common in our environment and most dogs will never have a reaction, however; a number of dogs may have mild to severe reactions to different allergens. Sensitivity to Substances in the Environment, Food or other products are fairly common but often undiagnosed.
Most dog owners look for symptoms similar to their own. While we do see sneezing and watery eyes in our four legged friends, other allergic reactions can be much more severe. When allergies in dogs are overlooked, your pet will suffer in silence. So how do you know if your dog is allergic?
Symptoms and Causes of Allergies in Dogs via webmd:
What Are the General Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?
- Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
- Increased scratching
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
- Itchy ears and ear infections
- Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
- Paw chewing/swollen paws
- Constant licking
Allergic dogs may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, which may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin.
What Substances Can Dogs Be Allergic To?
A few common allergens include:
- Tree, grass and weed pollens
- Mold spores
- Dust and house dust mites
- Cigarette smoke
- Food ingredients (e.g. beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy)
- Prescription drugs
- Fleas and flea-control products (Only a few flea bites can trigger intense itchiness for two to three weeks!)
- Cleaning products
- Insecticidal shampoo
- Rubber and plastic materials
Allergies can show up any time for many reasons, even if your dog never had allergies before. For example, one of my dogs started developing itchy skin and scabs all over her body after I applied a flea medication I had previously used and never seen a reaction too before.
If you suspect Food Allergies you may have to play detective. Your vet may recommend an exclusive prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet for about 12 weeks, at which point, other foods are going to be introduced slowly. You may want to cook a homemade diet for your four legged friend and avoid any additives, colorings, preservatives and other possible allergens.
If you suspect environmental problems like flea bites, make sure you dog is on a regular flea control regimen. More frequent bathing with skin soothing ingredients such as oatmeal can help relieve symptoms. Wash dog bedding often as dust and other items from outside collect and may cause irritation.
For short term control of allergies, Benadryl may be beneficial. For chronic and/or recurring allergies you may want to consult your vet about Seasonal Allergy Shots or other medications to control symptoms. In any case you should always consult your veterinarian to pinpoint the problem and determine the proper treatment. Your vet may refer you to a veterinary dermatologist who can test your pet.
Always get your dog checked by a licensed Veterinarian so you can assure the best possible care and outcome for your beloved four legged friend.