A lot of humans suffer badly from allergies and have to be very careful about what they eat and the products they use. Believe it or not, dogs can get allergies too. Just like us, they can be sensitive to a whole variety of different things.
Some breeds of dog are more prone to allergies, but all dogs can suffer from them. Allergies can develop at any stage of a dog’s life. There are many things that can cause allergies in dogs, from flea allergies to food allergies and even seasonal allergies.
Allergies can be quite mild or very severe and can cause some dogs absolute misery. If you suspect your dog has an allergy take them to the vet straight away to see what sort of treatment is available. For some allergies you simply have to keep your dog away from the cause of the allergy. Here is a helpful guide to helping dogs with allergies.
Signs your dog has an allergy
Dogs who have an allergy can display all sorts of different symptoms, which sometimes makes it difficult to determine what’s causing the problem. Your dog can pick up an allergy by ingesting something, inhaling allergens or by something coming into contact with their skin.
Some common symptoms of an allergy include:
- Ear infections
- Chewing feet or body
- Rubbing face or eyes with paws
- Excessive licking
- Sore skins, rashes, sores and skin irritations
- Reddish discolouration to the skin
- Upset tummy
The problem is, most of these symptoms can be caused by other health complications. So if your dog has one or some of these symptoms that does not mean they definitely have an allergy, your vet will need to determine the cause of their symptoms.
Types of allergy
Skin allergies – If your dog suddenly starts scratching a lot then they could potentially have a skin allergy. Although dogs can scratch for other reasons, such as stress or anxiety. Many dog owners end up taking their dog to the very due to scratching, it is a very common veterinary complaint.
Keep an eye on your dog’s skin and look out for rashes, sores and irritated skin. Some dogs can scratch a lot simply because they have dry skin. Itchy skin can also be caused by a flea allergy, which a lot of dogs can suffer from. Dogs that have flea allergies became allergic to the saliva of fleas, rather than their bite. The saliva irritates their skin, and it only take one or two fleas to set off a bad allergic reaction. If your dog has a flea allergy make sure you treat them against fleas regularly to prevent them getting fleas in the first place.
Food allergies – Dogs can also develop food allergies. It can be particularly difficult to determine the cause of food allergies. You have to monitor what your dog is eating an the ingredients in the food to try and figure out what type of foods they aren’t able to tolerate. Symptoms of dogs with food allergies include stomach and digestion problems (vomiting and diarrhea), breathing problems and even irritated skin. Your dog might not have been allergy to a certain type of food when they were younger, and they can suddenly develop an allergy as they get older. Dog food allergies can strike at any age. Speak to your vet about alternative diets and how to identify food allergies if you think your dog is allergic to certain types of food.
Seasonal allergies – Seasonal allergies such as hayfever and allergic reactions to environmental factors can also occur in dogs. Dogs can be allergic to certain plants, pollen, fabrics and chemicals used around the home. They might suddenly develop problems at certain times of the year, for example if they suffer from hayfever their allergies will be worst in the spring and summer. Generally these types of allergies cause itching and skin irritation. You may notice your dog scratching and chewing at their skin in certain areas, or all over their body. They can also experience respiratory problems, causing them to sneeze, cough and have a runny nose and eyes.
Helpful products for dogs with allergies
Here are some products you might find useful if your dog suffers with allergies:
- Yumega Plus – designed for itchy dogs, reduces itching and scratching, supports sensitive skin.
- Ear drops – kills ear mites, soothes irritation, softens earwax and assists healing.
- Aloe Vera Gel – great for dogs with irritated, sensitive skin. Calms and soothes irritated skin.
- Tea Tree Skin Calm – like Aloe Vera, Tea Tree oil is very good for the skin. This solution also contains Aloe Vera and it soothes and calms the skin as well as acting as an antiseptic.
- Antibacterial Powder – aids healing, dry dressing for abrasions and minor wounds.
- Dorwest Veterinary Organic Valerian – instantly helps your dog to calm down and relax, can be useful if allergies are stressing them out.
- Comfy Cone Collar – great for preventing your dog from reaching and irritating wounds and skin problems.
- Dorwest Veterinary Digestive Supplement – aids digestion and settles windy stomachs.
- Dorwest Veterinary Garlic Tablets – Helps with bronchial conditions and coughs as well as maintaining general health.
- Sore Paws Aloe Vera Gel – soothes and softens sore and cracked paws.
You might find some of the above products helpful if your dog has allergies, but check with your vet before using them.
Treatment for dog allergies
Your vet will be able to discuss options for treating your dog’s allergies. They might discuss with you some things you can do to try and reduce the severity of your dog’s allergies. Some allergies are easily clearly up with medical treatment, with other allergies you have to take more of a preventative approach. They key is identifying exactly what is causing the allergy so that you can formulate a treatment plan.