Dog Allergies - Tips to Manage
If your furry pal has allergies, you know how painful it can be for you and your dog. They can reduce your dog’s quality of life.
Just like us, several things can cause allergies in your four-legged companions. It is important to know the potential allergies your dog could suffer from.
In this post, we will discuss everything about dog allergies. You will have an insight into allergy symptoms, types of allergies in dogs, and general care to prevent allergies.
Sounds epic, right? Let's begin our ride!
Symptoms of dog allergies
Determining that your dog is allergic can be a long and difficult process. Some allergies are mild and may go unnoticed. The symptoms of dogs having allergies may vary depending on the cause.
Your dog may show the following symptoms:
Ear Scratching: If your dog is constantly scratching his ears, it may have an ear infection caused by an allergy. This symptom may appear due to yeast infections caused by allergies.
Paw Licking: Dog owners often overlook this symptom and mix it up with self-grooming. Your dog may lick excessively or bite himself due to itching.
Body Scratching and Biting: Any time your dog seems to scratch or bite itself is a general indication of discomfort. Body scratching can lead to skin breakages and infections.
Face Rubbing: When dogs experience skin irritation, they tend to rub their face. Dogs rub their face with paws or even rub against the carpet, furniture, and walls.
Coughing: This is most often caused by airborne allergens. Coughing can become severe if left untreated. If it persists, you should seek medical help.
Diarrhea/vomiting: Food allergens can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If your dog is unable to digest its meal, it may vomit or suffer from runny stools. Your dog might dehydrate or develop serious medical conditions.
Hot spots: If you notice hotspots around the inside of their legs, neck, chin, and tail, your dog could be suffering from an allergy. Hotspots can spread rapidly and become serious if left untreated.
Dry skin: Dog dander includes flaking or peeling skin. It causes dry and itchy skin.
Flea bites: Fleas mostly bite and itch on their back or around the tail of dogs.
Hair loss: It is caused by excessive itching, rubbing, or a yeast infection.
Runny nose: Allergies due to pollen is a likely cause of runny nose.
Sneezing: Your dog might be allergic to pollen or dust mites.
Snoring: It is caused by the inflamed throats from something your dog has inhaled.
Other allergy symptoms might include skin color distortions, moisture build-up, and skin breakages.
Often, the signs of allergies in dogs may mimic other conditions. So, it is essential to have your pet evaluated by your vet when you observe such symptoms.
Types of Allergies in dogs
Dogs suffer from many types of allergies. These allergies include skin allergies, food allergies, and airborne allergens. Generally, all these allergies have overlapping symptoms.
Skin allergies or allergic dermatitis are the most common type of allergic reactions in dogs. The most commonly affected areas are the feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears. It is important to keep these areas properly cleaned.
Skin allergies pose the risk of secondary infection. When a dog scratches, bites, or licks at his skin, he risks opening up his skin to many yeast and bacterial infections. These infections may require treatment.
Food is another major cause of allergies in dogs. The allergy-causing foods include:
Often the dog food additives are the cause of food allergies. They include artificial flavors, colors, and synthetic preservatives.
Fillers like grains, wheat, soy, or corn.
Milk, eggs, and certain protein sources can also affect dogs.
The symptoms of food allergies are facial swelling, itchiness, hotspots, vomiting, or diarrhea. Usually, dogs have a dairy intolerance and can't handle milk products. Dairy products may lead to flatulence, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Food allergies are mostly diagnosed using an elimination diet method. You may require to work with your vet to discover the allergy-causing ingredient in a dog's diet. Foods reported to cause allergies in dogs are:
Airborne allergies in dogs are mostly caused by dust, pollen, mold, or other inhalants. The common airborne allergens are
Dust mites and their droppings
Pollen or weeds
Certain plants or grass
Perfumes and air freshness
Fine particles from pesticides
Flea and tick spray
Symptoms of airborne allergies in dogs are body itching, hotspots, or respiratory issues.
Contact allergies are caused by certain allergens that a dog comes into physical contact with. Many things around your house can be problematic for your dog.
Certain shampoos and soaps
These allergy-causing elements can result in itching, scratching, biting, or sneezing. Contact allergy can be prevented by removing the allergen from your dog’s environment.
Pet Parent Tip: You can increase your dog’s allergy resistance through an allergy shot.
Home Treatments for dog Allergies
There are many ways to help boost your dog’s immune system and decrease the effects of allergies. If your dog suffers from allergies, you can try some amazing home remedies as well instead of medications.
Let's have a look at options available that can help your dog:
Coconut oil: It reduces yeast and fungus on contact. It also heals irritated skin, hot spots, and abrasions.
Aloe Vera: It is a natural remedy for treating itches and hot spots when applied to the skin. Aloe Vera aloe vera lessens the discomfort and soothes itchy skin immediately.
Apple cider vinegar: It has antiseptic and antifungal properties and prevents infections. It can also be used as a natural way to repel fleas, ticks, and biting flies.
Chickweed: It has anti-inflammatory properties that make it good for treating itches and hot spots.
Thyme: Thyme contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. It is effective for dog's skin and yeast infections.
Oatmeal bath: If your dog has mild skin problems, an oatmeal bath might do the trick. It removes allergens and keeps their coat shiny.
When should you see a veterinarian?
Although it would be good to treat allergy-related problems at home, it is not possible every time. If the allergy symptoms persist, then don't delay in getting your dog to the vet. In case of severe allergies, seeing the veterinarian might be the best way.
Your vet can run an allergy test but it may not be entirely accurate. Some skin issues may have reached a point where prescribed medications are needed to treat them.
Dog Care: Managing your dog's allergies
The best way to treat an allergy is the avoidance of the cause and allergen. This may or may not always be possible and depends on your dog’s type of allergy.
Allergies in dogs might be due to genetic reasons, environmental factors, or diet. You can avoid the causes of some allergies while others are outside of your control.
Consider the following recommendations to manage your dog's allergies.
If you want your dog to be healthy, it is essential to feed him properly. The daily diet should be the right balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbs. The diet should be based on your dog's age, gender, and activity level. Check out dog puzzle toys and dog puzzle feeders to keep your pup busy for hours.
Vaccination and vet visits
Regular vet visits are essential for your dogs. Keep up with your dog’s vaccines to protect them from diseases.
Invest in Vacuum Cleaner and Air Purifier
Get a vacuum regularly to eliminate allergens and keep your house clean. Also, get a high-quality air purifier to reduce airborne allergens.
Keep your dog's belongings clean
Dust and clean your dog's toys and bedding thoroughly. Wash your dog’s beds, pillows, blankets, and washable toys regularly to avoid allergens.
Skip Harsh Detergents and Household Products
Your dog might be allergic to the detergents or bug sprays you use to clean their bed and blankets. Try to skip detergent and products with harsh chemical products.
Only Offer Healthy and Hypoallergenic Treats
If your dog has food allergies, you need to have a check on their diet, snacks, and treats. Use those foods in dog treats that are healthy and don't bother your dog. Snuffle mat and snuffle bowls are designed to hide dog treats and dry food. They encourage dogs to use their hunting skills to locate it.
You should also have a check on your dog's snacks and treats. With a few efforts and lifestyle changes, you can manage your dog's allergies.
Dog Grooming and Regular Examination
Regular grooming and careful weekly examination are essential. Try to keep an eye on early signs of allergies. Let’s have a look at dog’s grooming needs:
Keep a regular brushing routine for your dog.
Give your dog a bath when needed with a good-quality dog shampoo and conditioner.
If your dog has folds and wrinkles, you should clean them regularly.
Brush your dog's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove bacteria and tartar buildup.
Trim your dog's nails regularly. You can also use a dog paw cleaner cup to prevent allergens and infections.
Your dog’s eyes should be clear with no exceptional redness or discharge.
Once a week, check your dog's ears. Clean them with a cotton ball and a gentle cleanser.
When you groom your dog, look inside his mouth. Check for signs of infection like redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin.
Pay attention to the behaviors like excessive licking, scratching, biting, or hair loss.
Regular grooming and careful weekly examination will help you spot allergy problems early. If you see something unusual, you should contact your vet immediately.
You can help your furry child live his best life. Good overall health will keep your dog's immune system strong. It also cut down your dog's likelihood of developing allergies.
Remember, the sooner you seek medical attention, the better the outcome will be for your little friend.
If you have queries about dog allergies, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to hear from you!
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