Allergies are most commonly associated with falling into a sneezing fit on a chilling day or a friend who cannot drink milk without dire consequences. Although allergies seem to be something very human, pooches may often suffer from them as well. You don’t need to be a veterinarian to notice dog allergy symptoms and treat them. Here is a list of everything you need to know for future allergic reactions.
Diagnosing a dog’s allergy is the first step in knowing how to treat it. Since our furry friends cannot simply tell us they are having a reaction, it is up to their humans to watch them closely. Some of the most common allergic reactions include:
- The development of rashes or hives
- The creation of hot spots
- Dry, flaky skin
- Chronic itching/licking of various body parts
- Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Unusual snoring
Where do these nasty, unwanted allergies come from? Allergies can easily be separated into two categories: things we breathe (or things which touch our skin), and things we eat (or things which touch our stomachs).
Things we breathe
When it comes to the world around us, allergens are everywhere. This is certainly not a reason to hide yourself and your dog in a giant hamster wheel, but it is a good thing to note if your four-footed friend begins to show symptoms of allergies. Common things like tree pollen, mold, dander and feathers, and dust can create allergic reactions in many dogs. Keep in mind that these things in particular can be found when in an unusual area, such as when traveling with your dogs or visiting a friend’s home.
Humans can also create allergic reactions with things like cigarette smoke, perfume, and fabric. In rare cases, dogs may even be allergic to human dander (that’s right, it may sound gross, but human skin flakes off and creates dander).
Certain dog-related items such as shampoos and even flea-control products (and obviously, fleas) can also cause anything from mild skin irritation to a full-blown allergic reaction.
Things we eat
We may think of our dogs as “walking vacuum cleaners,” but even if they might choose to eat everything in their path, it does not mean they should. If your pup ingests something unusual, it probably is not an allergy; instead, it is simply that your favorite collection of rare rubber duckies should not be ingested.
Eating random things aside, your pet still has a chance of being allergic to the things they are supposed to eat. Dogs can have allergies to certain dairy, meats (i.e. beef or chicken), grains (such as corn), and even preservatives or food coloring.
Finding a Cure
Thankfully, pet allergy problems are generally easy to solve. If you are taking a walk outside and sneezing away, and your pet is sneezing with you, it is probably nothing to worry about. If the sneezing continues and is followed by other symptoms (see above) then it may be time to call your vet.
When it comes to allergies, the veterinarian is the best source for finding out what allergy your pet has, as well as how to fix it. Often the cure can be as simple as changing shampoo to a more gentler one, wearing your favorite perfume elsewhere, or even prescribing a doggie-version of allergy medications. Sometimes it takes a little detective work – like trying different dog foods until that specific allergen is eliminated.
Remember, with our pets, the most important thing is monitoring them and noticing their odd behavior. This comes down to giving your dog all the right things from food to tender love and care, and wanting the best for your best friend.
Sources: The Dog Bible, Good Dog! Magazine