Is your dog struggling with allergies? We understand it can get tough to get rid of this uncalled issue. But the good news is they can be treated. Allergies can be mainly due to three reasons- reaction from a wrong food item, changing seasons and flea dermatitis.
Like us, dogs can also get seasonal allergies that can cause itching or a cold and cough. There are OTC and prescription medicines available to treat an allergy. The article covers all the three major causes and their treatments. Let’s get a complete understanding about dog allergies.
Common symptoms of dog allergies
The symptoms of allergies in dogs can vary but here are some of them which are commonly seen. These will help you to identify allergies.
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Lots of scratching and licking due to itchy skin
- Swollen face
- Infections on the skin
- Discharge from ears
- Swelling and itching in the eyes
- Bad odor from the body
- Sneezing or coughing
- Increased shedding
Types of dog allergies and their treatment
1. Environmental allergies
These allergies are one of the most common in dogs. Environmental allergies can include seasonal ones that are caused due to changing seasons. Some common causes can be animal dander or pollen.
How to treat environmental allergies in dogs?
- Use anti allergy shampoos once or twice a week for itching. Make sure to check the water temperature properly before you give them a bath. Excessive hot water can make their skin feel dry.
- Antihistamines, like benadryl as per your vet’s consultation can be given. Again, it might not suit all pets, so do not make a decision by yourself.
- Some people also go for oral treatments like injectable steroids are also used. They might have some other symptoms also.
- Probiotics can help remove the infections in the stomach, if any. It also maintains a healthy immune system.
- Omega 3 fatty acids are a great way to remove skin irritation after allergies. You can ask your vet regarding the dosage for your dog.
- Allergy shots are also a good option. You will have to visit your local vet and get a blood test done for your dog. A serum will be developed as per the allergy and results will appear in 6-7 months.
2. Food allergies
Food allergies are quite easy to understand as they are caused by eating the wrong food. Sometimes, a specific ingredient in your dog’s food can also harm them. These allergies can occur at any time of the year.
Remember, a wrong food item can cause an allergy when it is fed for around 2 years. The allergens can be present in beef, pork, eggs, soy, mostly protein rich food.
The most visible symptoms :
- Itchy toes and armpits.
- Excessive licking around the groin and face
How to treat food allergies in dogs?
a. If you want to treat food allergies, try a “food elimination diet”. You can check with a vet and feed your dog a hypoallergenic diet. This will eliminate all the food items that were given before. Continue this process for 8-10 weeks.
b. During the period, only the prescribed foods must be given
c. With time, you will notice all the signs of allergies disappearing. This means the allergy was due to the food that is eliminated.
You need to be vigilant regarding your dog’s diet. Give a good week’s time to understand what suits your pet. If you notice that the hypoallergenic diet is working, you can continue with it. Alternatively, you can introduce other food slowly.
Hydrolyzed foods are also a good option as they are retail products especially manufactured for removing allergens. Novel protein food that has a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins can also be given.
3. Flea allergy
Flea allergies are famously known as “flea allergy dermatitis”. It can be slightly hard to detect this allergy as fleas are not visible without a microscope. These can be very harsh for your pet and can be contracted through just a passing flea.
How to treat flea allergies in dogs?
There can be two types of treatments for flea allergies- OTC medications and prescriptions.
a. Non allergenic Shampoos and wipes can cure flea allergies. You can consult your vet and use the best for your pet.
b. Omega 3 fatty acid can help to maintain good skin health. After allergies, your dog can have irritation on the skin which can be cured through omega 3.
Talking about medications, apart from OTC, apoquel, animax, genesis spray can be used. Do not forget to ask your vet before using any of these. Some pet owners prefer steroids too but it does not suit every dog.
How to prevent dog allergies?
- Make sure to keep your surroundings clean. Wash the beddings frequently to prevent allergens.
- Keep your pet’s bedding clean and free from dust will prevent allergies to a large extent
- A healthy diet must be your priority as it can provide good immunity to recover from allergies. Do not feed your dog anything that can make him prone to allergies.
- Ensure to clean your house at regular intervals
- Bathing and washing your dog can provide relief from itching. It is also important to clean them soon after they come from outdoors.
- Use a good quality litter box and clean it regularly
- Make use of fleas and ticks treatment as per your vet’s suggestion.
Allergies can be disturbing for your pet as they cause an impact on their health. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to be vigilant and notice the little changes. Maintaining hygiene in the house is a must as it can largely prevent allergies.
If you have multiple pets in your house, be careful while handling them. Do not try to treat anything at home. Also, it is not the best decision to assume anything about your dog’s health. Your vet is the right person to go to for any issue. We hope you have a healthy pet soon.