Does Your Dog Have Allergies? Learn About Symptoms and Treatment
Just like humans, dogs can be and often are allergic to foods, materials, plants, and other animals. A dog may have minor allergies that cause him no real discomfort or serious allergies that can create a life-threatening situation. It’s all about spotting these allergies before they can cause complications in your dog’s life and working to ensure his environment stays safe and comfortable. Nobody likes living with allergies and your dog is certainly no exception.
Let’s take a closer look at allergies in dogs, including their cause, treatment options, and symptoms:
Allergies in dogs work the same as allergies in humans. The body’s immune system, which is normally tasked with getting rid of bacteria, viruses, and other bad stuff, develops a response to an otherwise innocuous substance like pollen or fur. When the dog is exposed to said substance, his body reacts by trying to protect itself from whatever the substance may be. All of the negative effects of an allergy are simply the body trying to keep itself safe.
With dogs, allergies can develop at any time. A pup may not be allergic to something today but could develop a serious allergy tomorrow. There’s often no rhyme or reason to the way allergies manifest; sometimes a dog just suddenly becomes allergic to a substance without warning. Dogs can exhibit allergy symptoms from inhaling, consuming, or even touching substances to which they have developed an allergy. All dogs are susceptible to allergies but some breeds suffer more commonly than others; talk to your breeder or research your mutt’s genetics to get an idea of common health afflictions.
Common Dog Allergies
You probably already know that humans are often allergic to nuts and specific types of pollen. Dogs also have a few common allergies. Dogs can be allergic to tree, plant, and grass pollens just like humans, as well as dust, dander, and mold. Dogs can also be allergic to substances in food including beef, chicken, pork, soy, or wheat. Cigarette smoke, flea control products, cleaning products, and even fabrics and plastics can cause allergic reactions in dogs.
Often it is more difficult to figure out which specific thing is causing the allergy than it is to identify an allergic reaction in your pup. Because the dog encounters so many substances in his daily life and can’t exactly explain to you when he feels better or worse, it takes a fair bit of investigating to nail down a specific allergy. Your veterinarian can be an invaluable help in this regard.
Dog Allergy Symptoms
Surprisingly, allergy symptoms in dogs aren’t much different from allergy symptoms in humans. Dogs may have red, itchy eyes, skin inflammation, itchy skin, ear infections, sneezing, swollen paws, or even scabbed skin where they’ve come into contact with allergens. Dogs with food allergies may have diarrhea or end up vomiting up their meals, though skin problems and breathing issues are also common when a dog is allergic to certain ingredients in his food.
If you want to nail down the exact cause of your dog’s allergies, a visit with your veterinarian is going to be your best options. The vet can assess your dog’s allergies based on his health and breed history, and can conduct skin and blood tests that help shed some light on exactly which substance is causing the negative reaction. A dog allergy test is very much the same as the one doctors perform on humans.
If you suffer from allergies, you’re well aware that it’s not always possible to remove the offending substance from your environment. The ideal option is always separating the dog from the thing to which he is allergic, but this is really only available to dogs with food allergies. Dogs with allergies to pollen and other unavoidable substances will need a different form of treatment than simple elimination.
Giving your dog a weekly bath will help remove environmental allergens from his fur and sooth his skin (use an all-natural shampoo that’s low on harsh chemicals). Clean his bed regularly and vacuum often to keep his home environment safe and comfortable. In some cases, your dog might need to be placed on a prescription allergy medication that enables him to live comfortably in your home.
Most humans know the discomfort of allergies, and dog allergies are just as uncomfortable. Lucky for us and our dogs, treatment options are available that can keep us breathing free even when certain pollen blows through our area. It’s all about identifying the cause of the allergy and adopting the proper treatment protocols.
Vet Organics makes EcoBalance Dog Anti Allergy Liquid Concentrate, an all natural product which supports your dogs immune system and let’s the body treat the problem from its origin rather than applying a band-aid. Each bottle of EcoBalance contains 118 pumps (doses.) You apply one pump per 25 pounds to your dog’s food and over the course of the next several days, you will notice the allergy symptoms reduce. All Vet Organics products are 100% risk-free, so try one now and get your dog on the road to allergy relief.
About the Author:Craig Davis is VP of Vet Organics, a company which produces effective and safe natural remedies for dogs and cats.