Allergies in dogs

Does your dog suffer with allergies? Many dogs will sneeze, scratch their body, and lick their paws. These are all common signs of allergies in dogs. Many times, with lifestyle change you can easily manage and treat your dog’s allergies. In severe cases it may be best to see your vet.

What causes allergies?

Most allergies are caused by these 3 different things:

  1. Flea allergies: fleas and other mites can cause your dog to be very itchy. Many times, if your dog is scratching at the base of the tail, flea allergies are a common culprit. You can often see these small fleas running around on your pet’s skin.
  2. Environmental factors such as pollen and grass: Most dogs with seasonal allergies to grasses and pollens will only itch during the spring and summer months. Usually in the cold winter we rarely see dogs with environmental allergies.
  3. Food allergies: Dogs with food allergies will have chronic ear infections and will itch around their rectum. The two most common proteins that can cause your dog to itch are chicken and beef.

Figuring out what is causing the itching is the hardest part. Once you know what is causing your dog to have these allergic reactions you can start limiting their exposure to these factors.

What are the signs of allergies in my dog?

Most dogs will allergies are itching and scratching.  They can also have some of the following signs:

  • Licking their feet
  • Red and inflamed abdomen
  • Flaky or greasy skin
  • Hair loss

If you notice any of these signs you need to consider allergies as a cause.

How to treat dogs with allergies at home

There are a few at-home treatments that you can try to help your dog who is suffering from allergies:

  • Many dogs with allergies can be give over the counter anti-histamines such as Benadryl, Claritin, or Zyrtec.
  • You can give them a bath in an oatmeal-based shampoo. Make sure that the shampoo stays on them for about 5 minutes from the shampoo to fully help soothe your dog’s skin
  • You can change their diet to a different protein source. Common protein sources that are great to feed a dog with food allergies are salmon, venison and duck.

If none of these remedies seem to help, it may be best to see your vet for prescription medications.

When do I need to see my vet?

If you have tried treating the allergies at home and your dog is still scratching and having skin issues, it is time to see your vet. Often the scratching will cause a secondary bacterial infection. These will often need antibiotics to help.

Your vet may also prescribe allergy medication for your dog to take such as Apoquel, cytopoint or steroids.

Does your dog have uncontrollable allergies? Did anything you do at home help? Let us know in the comments below

Emma Ken
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