How to Know Your Dog Has Allergies
- February 22, 2023
- Ally Cohen
Just like humans, dogs can be susceptible to allergies. If you notice your furry friend is scratching more than usual or seems constantly uncomfortable, they might be suffering from this common condition. Allergies in pets can be caused by everything from plant pollen to the food they enjoy. Fortunately, a veterinarian can help diagnose the trigger behind your pup's discomfort. Here's a closer look at the common canine allergens and how you can recognize the symptoms.
What Are the Types of Allergies in Dogs?
Dogs can experience a range of allergies, and these typically fall into three categories: environmental, food, and fleas. Environmental issues can be brought on by grass pollen or seasonal changes that irritate your dog's system as well as chemicals used in or outside of the home. For example, grass species like fescue and alfalfa produce pollen that causes irritation when absorbed by the skin and mucus membranes of certain dogs.
Food allergies are caused by ingredients in your pet's food that can cause problems with their skin, digestive system, and extremities, such as their ears. Flea issues arise when the saliva from the pest ignites dermatitis on your dog's skin, creating itchy, uncomfortable areas.
What Are the Signs?
If your dog is consistently scratching the same spot, it could be a sign of flea reactions. Hot spots, or raw red areas, are indicative of contact with flea saliva, which often occurs around the tail. When your pet's ears are consistently inflamed or they're vomiting regularly, it can be a sign that they're allergic to their food or treats. If you notice their stool is off, it's important to contact a veterinarian to trace the trigger to its source and discuss a change in diet.
Environmental and seasonal allergies will cause them to scratch their paws, ears, wrists, muzzle, or eyes. These issues usually appear during certain times of the year when the pollen count is higher, but some pups experience discomfort year-round. In rarer cases, pollen can also trigger respiratory problems when inhaled.
How Are Canine Allergies Treated?
A veterinarian might prescribe a kibble or wet food that is good for sensitive stomachs if a food allergy is suspected. Flea shots or tablets can help keep these pests off your dog's body, and shampoos or creams might be prescribed to ease itchiness.
Monitor your dog's fur and skin at home, especially when they play outside or if you use cleaning solutions with chemicals. If they begin licking or rolling around after interacting with a certain environment, discontinue using products or consider allergy shots or prescription pills for outdoor and seasonal reactions.
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