You may be wondering why your dog is sneezing and itching all the time or why he is intolerant to some type of food. Well, he might have a Dog Allergy! Dogs can get allergies to anything from pollen in the air, food ingredients to a flea infestation. While there are many types of allergies that affect dogs, in this blog post we will focus on below:
– Seasonal Allergies / Environmental Allergies
– Food Allergies
– Flea Allergies
What is an allergy in dogs?
Dogs are allergic to substances that they come in contact with or ingest. With allergies, the immune system overreacts and causes an inflammatory response or reaction to contact. This overreaction is termed an allergic reaction.
What are the Symptoms of a dog allergy?
The symptoms of dog allergies can range from mild irritation such as itchiness or sneezing to more serious reactions like hives (urticaria) which is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction.
Some common symptoms may include:
– Red, swollen and itchy eyes with discharge or crusty eyelids. If the allergies have caused an infection in the eye, your dog may exhibit squinting and tearing as well.
– As a pet parent, you might also find that your dog has skin rashes, hives or ear irritation (which may be secondary to an allergy)
– Chronic coughs
– Wheezing and difficulty breathing. You would need to see a vet if these symptoms last for more than 24 hours in order to rule out a more serious condition.
– Allergies can also lead to a change in behaviour and mood, such as depression or aggression
Types of allergies that affect dogs
– Seasonal Allergies / Environmental Allergies
The environment is full of all sorts of allergens, that can cause an allergic reaction in your dog. If he has a contact allergy he might react to the chemicals in shampoos or certain chemicals used in cleaning products and if they have inhaled allergies their nose reactions will come from things like grass, mold, pollen or dust outside.
Some dogs are more prone to seasonal allergies than others. Affected pups will often overproduce a type of antibody called IgE, which is an allergen that causes the dog’s immune system to react by releasing histamine and other chemicals into its body tissues (such as skin). The resulting symptoms may include excessive itching or scratching–even when there isn’t anything for them to itch on–as well as redness in their fur from either saliva or secondary infection with bacteria such as Staphylococcus. These allergic reactions might be worsened if they’re already experiencing another respiratory ailment like sneezing or runny eyes.
It’s sometimes difficult for pet owners to determine how or why their dogs have allergies but keeping logs about seasonal changes could identify commonalities among allergic episodes so treatments can follow suit accordingly. For severe cases where environmental allergens cannot be pinpointed by monitoring alone, having an allergen test done through a vet hospital would yield additional solutions.
– Food Allergies
Dog food allergies are usually the most common type of pet allergy, with certain breeds–such as poodles or golden retrievers–most at risk for this condition. Food allergies are typically more serious than environmental ones because they have the potential to cause a life-threatening reaction if not properly treated.
Ingesting dog food that doesn’t agree with your pup may cause a number of unpleasant symptoms including chronic soft stool (diarrhoea), chronic ear infections and anal gland inflammation. This can also lead to more serious problems like itching or vomiting from time to time!
It’s also worth noting that some dogs may not have any observable symptoms but still remains allergic to a specific ingredient in their diet through skin contact alone (i.e., if they lick themselves after eating).
– Flea Allergies
Flea allergies are common in dogs, especially during the warmer months. This allergy is caused by a flea’s saliva when it bites your pup and can lead to itching all over their body as well as secondary infections like bacterial dermatitis or mange.
The best way to test for this type of allergy is with a skin patch test where an extract from the offending insect is applied onto the dog’s back (usually between 16-24 hours). The reaction may not be immediate but if you see signs of irritation after 24 hours–such as scratching or lesions on top of reddened fur–that could indicate that they have a flea allergy.
Prevention and Treatment of Dog Allergies
There are many treatments available for dog allergies. This is because there is no one size fits approach to allergy treatment – in fact, it can take several months of trial and error to find a protocol that manages your dog’s allergies effectively! It’s always important to keep in contact with your doctor or veterinarian so you don’t have any misdiagnoses when trying different medications.
It’s worth noting that the best way to prevent allergies in your dog is by practising good hygiene around your home and keeping the surroundings free from harsh chemicals. The key to relieving excessive itching or scratching is being proactive. In order to treat these types of allergies at home, pet parents can use organic coconut oil or apple cider vinegar, a powerful antibacterial found in most kitchens. These home remedies can relieve and help heal any secondary infections that may have occurred from scratching due to irritation.
If your dog has food allergies, you may be able to switch his dog food diet and try introducing new dog foods gradually. This helps the immune system get used to different proteins and other ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction. It’s also a good idea for pet owners to keep detailed records of what they feed their dog over time in order to rule out any offending components if necessary. The best way to test for a dog food allergy is with a limited-ingredient diet. These diets consist of a “novel protein” that the animal has never eaten before, such as venison and kangaroo meat.
The most important thing you can do to prevent flea allergies is practice good hygiene around your home! That includes using products meant for controlling fleas like Fido’s Flea Shampoo (for both dogs and cats) as well as keeping pet living areas clean at all times so they’re not exposed to allergens without proper protection. In order to help manage your dog’s allergy symptoms, you can also bathe them with a potent antifungal and proven antimicrobial agent active shampoo such as Fido’s Topizol Shampoo, which will help to prevent secondary infection with bacteria such as Staphylococcus. It may take a few weeks or months before this type of therapy has the desired effect but it should be monitored closely throughout that time period!
This type of allergy can also be prevented by grooming your dog regularly to remove any dead skin cells that may contain fleas. Using a de-matting comb pet parents can remove tangles, knots and burrs from the pet hair.
What does Hypoallergenic mean?
The phrase ‘Hypoallergenic’ means low allergy-causing. In the context of your pet at home, this might mean that the food you feed your dog is made of ingredients without any common allergens, such as beef and chicken. The common cause of allergen is intact proteins or glycoproteins. These molecules, when consumed can trigger an allergic reaction. Hypoallergenic food contains no intact protein and is made of ingredients that are easily digested. But, non of the available diets guarantee the complete absence of intact protein. Therefore, it’s important that pet parents monitor their dogs even after switching to hypoallergenic food.
Allergies in dogs can be difficult to diagnose and even more challenging to cure. The symptoms of a dog allergy are often different for every animal, but there are some common ones that we’ve covered here including seasonal allergies, environmental allergies, food allergies, and flea allergies. We also mentioned the prevention and treatment of dog allergies. If your dog is suffering from an allergy you may want to consider these tips on preventing them before they happen or treating them if they do develop. Please share any thoughts about this blog post below!