As a pet owner, there is a myriad of things you have to watch out for in order to ensure your pup is living their best life. And that includes watching out for any allergic reactions that may occur.
Whenever your pooch comes into contact with, inhales, or ingests an allergen, it can be potentially life-threatening for your pet if not properly diagnosed or treated.
9 Most Common Dog Allergies
- Food ingredients (Dog or Human food related)
- Seasonal allergens
- Cleaning supplies
- Prescription drugs
- Cigarette smoke
- Medicated shampoos
- Fleas and/or flea-control products
- Home allergens like dust mites, dust, mold, dander
These allergens can occur from everyday walks at the park, lounging around the house, daily diet, or from any prescribed medications. By recognizing their symptoms early, you will be able to keep your pup away from any life-altering situations and help prevent it in the future.
Common Signs of Allergic Reactions
- Itchy, puffy eyes
- Increased sneezing
- Swollen paws/paw chewing
- Constant licking
- Itchy, stinky ears
- Redness of the skin
- Hair Loss
Food ingredients (Dog or Human Food Related)
Food allergens can be difficult to catch, especially when the allergy can develop after years of being fed the same food every day. According to WebMD, pets are hypersensitive to specific foods because of genetics, sometimes it can happen right when they first eat the food and other times, it’ll happen later on in their life.
The most common food ingredients that dogs can be allergic to are:
Sometimes they can even be allergic to more than one food substance.
If your pooch exhibits recurring diarrhea, vomiting, ear infections, and itchiness, a food allergy is the most likely culprit.
Treatment of Allergies in the dog caused by food
First, take your furry friend to a trusted vet to prescribe you with anti-inflammatory medications to take while your pet goes through an elimination process of food. The elimination process can consist of substituting one protein for another that your dog has not been exposed to, or cutting up the protein source into pieces small enough that the immune system will not recognize.
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to see real progress in your dog’s food allergies, but with diligence to his new diet, your pooch will slowly go back to their normal, happy self.
Just like you, your pet can be allergic to airborne allergens that come with Spring Time, such as: trees, grass, pollen, weeds. This seasonal sensitivity can be year round if you live in warmer climates like LA, where things bloom year round, or, it can happen during key times of the year if you like in colder climates.
Treatment of dogs with seasonal allergies
It can be difficult to tell the difference between food and seasonal allergies. By visiting your vet when you feel your pet may be experiencing an allergic reaction, he can run blood or skin tests to better distinguish the source of the problem. If it does result from a seasonal allergy, you can increase your dog’s resistance with an allergy shot. Also, be sure to keep an eye on your surrounding environment and avoid the areas that are causing your pup distress.
Depending on the type of allergies your pet may have, whether atopic or dermatitis, certain fabrics are considered off limits to them because they harbor bacteria that cause their allergies to appear. Some dogs can have sensitive skin, so sensitive, in fact, that fabrics with a nylon coating can cause rashes and burning hot spots on your poor pooch.
During springtime, pollen, mold, dust mites, can get caught in your pup’s paws or coat, then transfers to their favorite blanket. From here, your dog will end up inhaling these allergens and continuing the vicious allergy-filled cycle.
Treatment of allergies in dogs with sensitive skin
Dogs with sensitive skin usually prefer textured nylon, this makes it easier to clean and wipe down rather over other fabrics. For dogs that do not suffer from sensitive skin, but, instead, airborne allergies, would prefer more heavy duty vinyl or outdoor mesh. Thus, keeping your pet cool and prevents him from inhaling bacteria.
Some of the worst allergens can be found right in your own home. It’s important to look on the bottle of your cleaning products for both harmful and allergy producing chemicals. Do not allow your pets to come into direct contact, or ingest any of the cleaning solutions. They can cause anywhere from skin and eye irritations, rashes, or even death.
Treatment of dog allergies sensitive to cleaning supplies
The best way to treat the issue is through prevention. Put your pup away when cleaning (crate training is a great remedy for this).
PetMD suggests using homemade cleaning supplies, like baking soda or apple cider vinegar –it’s another great method for prevention. By diluting each ingredient with water, you’ll have the perfect supplement for scrubbing or wiping down messes.
However, if you’re not comfortable with homemade products, more and more cleaners are coming out with environmentally-friendly and pet-friendly products.
As we’re coming to understand, allergies can come from all different sources, this includes prescription medications vets give to help ailments, only to make matters worse. Your pet can reaction from an ingredient within the medication or with the drug itself.
A few key signs to watch out for are vomiting, diarrhea, depression, loss of appetite, or respiratory changes.
Treatment of dog allergies sensitive to prescription drugs
Make sure to follow your vet’s instructions for every medication prescribed to your pet and keep a log of what they are everything they are taking.
Pets are more prone to developing health problems when they are around smokers. Dogs, who were otherwise in perfect health, are prone to developing nasal cancer or atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is a skin disease that causes itching, scratching, and secondary skin infections.
Treatment of dog allergies sensitive to cigarette smoke
Pet owners who smoke can reduce the chances that their pets will develop these diseases by choosing to smoke outside, away from their pet, or by completely quitting the habit.
Shampoos used for medical purposes can be made from ingredients that can cause the immune system to release histamines, leading to skin irritations and other skin infections.
Treatment of dog allergies sensitive to medicated shampoo
If your pet is having an allergic reaction, you should wash off the infected area immediately with water. If the irritation persists, take your dog to the vet for a stronger prescription.
Fleas and/or flea-control products
During the warm summer months, your dog can be more susceptible to allergic reactions from the saliva in fleas. When a flea bites their host, they inject their saliva into the skin bringing in a number of compounds like histamine, enzyme, polypeptides, and amino acids. These compounds cause the itching in a normal flea bite, but if your dog becomes allergic, the irritation in the skin will affect the entire body instead of just one area.
Treatment of dog allergies sensitive to flea products
Upon first signs of allergic reaction from the flea bites, take your dog to the vet, immediately. They may be prescribed a shampoo and flea medication to get rid of the remaining fleas.
Dust, dust mites, mold– it’s difficult to tell if the everyday dirt that exists in your own home is the main culprit for your dogs’ allergies. It’s important to keep an eye out on any substances being introduced into your home and compare it to how your dog reacts to them.
Treatment of dog allergies sensitive to home allergens
Visit your vet to get anti-inflammatory medication to help ease your pets’ symptoms. Other steps to take include vacuuming around the house on a daily basis and cleaning your pet’s bedding once a week.
By carefully watching out for specific symptoms, you can easily help your dog overcome any allergy that may occur. And by taking precautions to avoid them, your pup’s chances of getting an allergic reaction can be greatly reduced.
About the Author:
This is a guest post – contributed by Entirelypets. This is a website dedicated to dogs betterment and well being. Their articles and publications are purely beneficial to all the dog parents. More of their writing is found on their website.