Allergies in Dogs: Things You Should Know to Protect Your Dog

Allergies in Dogs

Allergies in dogs is one of the most misunderstood conditions for owners with itchy and sneezy pets. While it is easy to mistake your pet’s allergies for a temporary condition, it is important to realize that most allergies in dogs are not temporary. That said, allergies in dogs can be alleviated if you are well informed about the different types of allergens, triggers, and how to get rid of them. There are several types of allergies in dog’s including: inhalant allergies, food allergies, and fleas. Inhalant allergies in dogs or “allergens” are normal substances that cause an acute defensive reaction in the immune system. Common pet allergens are pollen, mold spores, and household dust, although the list of possible allergens is long and varied. These allergens will cause your pet to shake his head, lick his paws, rub his face along the carpet, and scratch and bite his body. Treatments for inhalant allergies in dogs include diet changes such as including Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet, cool baths using products that contain oatmeal aloe Vera, and eucalyptus, and antihistamines. Antihistamines should only be used under a veterinarians care. For chronic cases of allergies in dogs, steroids may be the answer. Steroids should also be used under a veterinarians care. In addition to topical and oral treatments for pet allergies, environmental controls are also effective. Dust frequently and vacuum the home, paying close attention to where your pet sleeps. Fleas are another common type of allergy in dogs. Symptoms of fleas include scratching and chewing as well as shaking the head and pawing at the ears. Oral and topical flea products are a top choice for dog owners as well as flea collars and a number of herbal products such as lavender and eucalyptus oil brushed into the pet’s coat. Although they only account for around 10% of all allergies in dogs, food allergies can be particularly troublesome for your pet. Common food allergies in dogs include: beef, dairy products, chicken, wheat, corn, and soy. Symptoms include itchy skin, hair loss, chronic or recurrent ear infections, skin infections, hot spots, excessive scratching, and having three or more bowel movements per day. Once diagnosed, your vet will prescribe a diet that will allow your dog to get the nutrients he needs, while remaining allergy free. Please contact your vet for details.