Guide to Dog Allergies

Guide to Dog Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies to varying degrees. While many of the triggers are the same, the symptoms that dogs show can be different.
Dog care & health

For instance, while humans might experience watery eyes in response to pollen, dogs will have a more generalized reaction where the entire surface of their skin begins to itch. Other signs of allergies include chronic ear infections, excessive licking, red/itchy skin, diarrhea, and lethargy. 

Food Allergies in Dogs

The most common food allergens for dogs include beef, dairy, chicken, lamb, fish, corn, wheat, soy, and yeast. For these pets, finding a suitable dog food can be difficult, as many products contain multiple ingredients on this list. However, an increasing number of allergen friendly and single-source protein dog food formulations are available. For animals with extreme allergies, the raw food diet is often fed with success.

Seasonal Allergies in Dogs

Many dogs display allergies when the seasons change, particularly in response to pollen, mold, dust, and grass. For these pets, the change in seasons can be extremely uncomfortable. Skin and ear infections are most common, as well as excessive licking and scratching. Dogs with white fur often appear reddish or brown due to the underlying inflamed skin. Common remedies for seasonal allergies include medications such as Benadryl or Apoquel. Reducing your dog’s exposure to allergens is another step that can be taken. Washing your dog’s paws each time he or she enters the house is a helpful way to reduce allergen exposure, as well as frequent baths with gentle shampoo or the use of disposable paw coverings. Removing inflammatory ingredients from your dog’s diet such as wheat, corn, and soy, can also improve your pet’s condition.

Skin Allergies in Dogs

The most common cause of skin allergies in dogs is fleas. All dogs are allergic to the saliva of fleas; however, certain pets have more extreme reactions than others. Excessive licking, chewing, head shaking, and the development of hot spots (particularly at the base of the tail) are all classic signs that a dog is suffering from a flea infestation. The best course of action is to prevent fleas in the first place via the use of a topical gel, flea collar, or oral tablet. 

Ultimately, dogs with allergies are not uncommon. With preventative care, many allergy symptoms can be properly managed. 

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Please note:  all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In case of emergency, always seek qualified health care from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet. 

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