Your four-legged friend can suffer from seasonal and other common dog allergies, just like humans. Ruling out what type of allergies your dog suffers from can be tricky.
To know what allergies your dog has and identify the dog allergy symptoms, you need to understand…
What Are Allergies?
Your dog’s immune system has one job: to protect them from nasty bacteria and germs. When your dog eats, touches, or breathes a certain substance, their immune system responds. Usually your dog’s immune system can easily tell if a substance is safe.
A super sensitive dog immune system overreacts to particular safe substances. That’s when your dog has an allergic reaction. Dog allergy symptoms are the reaction to a dog’s hypersensitive immune system attacking itself when it encounters a certain safe substance, or allergen.
A dog’s immune system is complex. Since it recognizes an allergen as a threat, it sometimes uses proteins and white blood cells to attack. You can solve some dog allergy symptoms and most common dog allergies at home, but some reactions, like mast cells, need veterinary attention.
The Most Common Dog Allergies
There are all kinds of particles that trigger allergic reactions, but some allergens are more common than others. Unfortunately, many canine companions suffer from dog allergy symptoms no matter the breed or lifestyle. Some of the most common dog allergies are:
It’s easy to spot dog allergy symptoms when your doggo is scratching like they fell into a poison ivy patch! Fleas and mites are the worst perpetrators of skin allergies. A flea’s saliva makes a dog’s skin so itchy they scratch their skin raw.
Ear mites are microscopic bugs that live inside a dog’s ear. They feed on your dog’s ear wax and skin oils. When they’ve taken up residence in your dog’s ears they irritate your dog’s skin and can leave a rash.
Sometimes dog allergy symptoms overlap. Your furry friend could suffer from a food allergy that gives them itchy paws and skin. In most cases, they have upset tummies when they have skin allergies triggered by a food allergen.
Did you know humans aren’t the only animals allergic to pollen? Dogs have seasonal allergies, too! The most common seasonal allergies for dogs are pollen, dust, fungus, and mold.
Once plants start blooming, April showers arrive, and windy days accompany the warm weather, many dogs suffer from seasonal dog allergy symptoms. It’s important to find relief for your itchy pup as soon as possible because they can develop bacterial infections from itchy, raw skin.
Food and certain ingredients are the second most common dog allergy. It’s hard to tell the difference between a food intolerance and a food allergy. The biggest difference is dog allergy symptoms are an immune reaction while an intolerance is when a dog has trouble digesting an ingredient.
The most common dog food allergies are:
beef: This food allergy is most common among dogs because it’s a common ingredient found in dog food. Consistently feeding your dog the same ingredients can increase the chances of developing an allergy.
wheat and oats: Many dog parents have been warned to stay away from grains because many dogs are allergic to them. Cutting out carbs completely from your dog’s diet can be dangerous. Rice and other complex carbs like pumpkin are safe alternatives.
chicken: It’s not unheard of for a dog to go crazy once they catch a whiff of cooked chicken. Unfortunately, like the protein in beef, chicken protein can trigger dog allergy symptoms.
soy: There’s a lot of debate around the health benefits and negative risks of soy. There haven’t been enough studies to determine a final answer, but there are health risks when eaten in large amounts for a long period.
There are food allergy tests available for dogs, but there’s not enough evidence to show if they’re completely accurate. If you think your dog is suffering from dog allergy symptoms, contact your vet.
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Dog Allergy Symptoms
Intestinal issues and itchy skin are hard to miss dog allergy symptoms. Other pet allergy symptoms to look out for are:
itchiness, flaky skin, hives
patchy hair loss
repeated licking and chewing on paws
head shaking and ear scratching
vomiting or diarrhea
rashes and hot spots (skin infections)
Any dog, even mixed breeds, can have allergies. Dogs can inherit allergies from their parents and some breeds are prone to suffering from dog allergy symptoms. Chinese Shar-Peis, Wirehaired Fox Terriers, Boston Terriers, and Scottish Terriers are just a few of the breeds that commonly have dog allergies.
Home Remedies to Help Your Dog’s Allergies
There are a few home remedies to give your canine companion some relief from dog allergy symptoms. Here are a few ways to help your pup out.
If your pup is suffering from itchy skin because of pesky fleas or dust mites, the easiest way to treat the problem is getting rid of the source. Eliminate the source of the fleas by giving your dog a flea bath. This will also help to reduce dander.
Kick those dust mites out with some over the counter dust mite solution or talk to your vet. If your dog is suffering from sneezing, runny nose, hot spots, and skin rashes, oatmeal baths or tea soaks can help soothe their inflamed skin and watery eyes.
Warmer weather means swimming, sprinklers, and mud puddles! After every romp in the sprinklers or dip in the pool, thoroughly dry your pup’s paws. Yeast loves to grow in damp, warm areas like between doggie toes. Keeping your dog’s feet dry year round can prevent dog allergy symptoms like itchy feet.
Always talk to your vet before feeding your dog new foods. If your dog suffers from food allergies, your vet will probably recommend treating your pup by the process of elimination. Since food allergy tests for dogs still aren’t entirely accurate, the best method to pin down the allergen is by eliminating certain ingredients and keeping dog treat recipes simple.
Regularly cleaning your dog’s coat and feet can get rid of allergens like pollen staying on their skin. Limiting time outside when it’s windy and dusting regularly can help ease some of your dog’s allergy symptoms and reduce ear infections, hay fever, itchy eyes, and general symptoms of allergies.
When visiting your vet for most common dog allergies, they may prescribe antibiotics and steroids for your pup’s inflamed skin. A vet may recommend special treatment options like hepa shampoos or anti-inflammatory meds for dogs that suffer from airborne allergies. Home remedies to treat dog allergy symptoms work best when paired with medications and other methods prescribed by your vet. Some other topics to bring up with your vet would be the side effects of allergy shots, immunotherapy, and antihistamines like benadryl or claritin.
Keep It Simple
Dog allergy symptoms can be confused with other disorders, so always talk to your vet to rule out health issues. The most common dog allergies are easy to treat through elimination and preventative action.
Keeping limited ingredient foods and pet supplies can help prevent some dog allergy symptoms. Some dog allergy symptoms are easy to identify and some can be subtle, but they are treatable!
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