As with humans, our canine friends can have allergies and sensitivities to various things. These ailments can have a very negative overall effect on their health and happiness. A lot of allergies are easily misdiagnosed or thought of as typical problems that all dogs face, but not confronting these concerns could lead to other ailments or hardships for the duration of your furry friend’s lifespan.

Recognizing and addressing issues as soon as possible can offer your dog a better means of living while potentially saving you thousands of dollars in medical bills down the road. Here is a list of symptoms that your dog may be facing allergies, common allergies experienced by dogs, potential causes and treatment options to help your dog live its best life.

Symptoms Your Dog May Be Experiencing Allergies

What may seem like normal dog behaviour could be a symptom of an allergy or insensitivity to their food or environment. It is essential to recognize the difference between simple scratching and your dog’s allergic reaction.

Canine allergies typically reveal themselves in three different ways:

  1. Itching and inflammation – The most common sign your dog has allergies is excessive itching and inflammation of the skin. This could occur in one confined area or all over their body.
  2. Respiratory issues – Another sign of allergies is problems associated with the respiratory system. This includes symptoms such as sneezing, coughing or wheezing. Discharge from the nasal or eyes may also occur.
  3. Digestive problems – Your dog’s allergies could be digestive-related, which will show itself through vomiting, diarrhea, excessive licking, flatulence, hair loss, poor coat, chewing paws and recurring ear infections.

What Are The Most Common Dog Allergies?

Although allergies can come in an assortment of different ways, there are three main categories that most allergies fall into.

Flea Allergies

As anyone who has received one knows, flea bites can be extremely irritating, but they can be much more problematic to dogs. Many dogs have allergoid reactions to the saliva found in the bite of a flea that will cause your canine to scratch excessively to try and subdue the pain. Often when we think of our dogs being infested with fleas, it’s actually only a bite or two, but these can be incredibly annoying to your dog and cause them to scratch to the point of inflammation and even break the skin. Make sure you know what the signs of a flea bite look like so you can deal with them swiftly and avoid your dog having further discomfort.

How to treat flea allergies: There are many different types of flea treatments available, including topical creams and oral alternatives. Contact your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has fleas and is having an allergic reaction.

Food Allergies

Food allergies in dogs can be challenging to diagnose and easily confused with other health issues, making them harder to detect and treat. Food allergies will often show themselves via symptoms such as digestive issues (diarrhea, vomiting, etc.), chronic ear infections, discoloured nail beds, watery eyes and itchy skin. Signs of food allergies need to be dealt with quickly to help avoid any further health issues with your dog and get them on a diet free of the allergens causing problems.

How to address food allergies: The only proper way to determine whether your dog has a food allergy is to perform an elimination diet. An elimination diet is done by putting your dog on a specific prescription or homemade hypoallergenic diet for eight to ten weeks. A dog nutritionist can help formulate a diet for your dog once the allergy has been diagnosed by eliminating the allergen from their meals. A telephone consultation with a professional canine dietitian can also help to answer questions regarding your dog’s health and the potential for allergic reactions.

Environmental Allergies

The environment can play a crucial role in how we feel. Anyone allergic to pollen, hay or other outdoor elements can attest to how annoying and painful these allergies can get. Dogs also face these concerns, especially since they are lower to the ground and spend more time rolling around in foliage or playing in large open green places. As with humans, these types of allergies will generally be seen via a runny nose, red eyes, wheezing or itchy skin.

How to manage environmental allergies: There are ways to deal with these types of allergies. Surprisingly, dogs can be given small doses of antihistamines, such as Benadryl, but this should not be overdone or relied on too heavily. There are stronger prescription medications that dogs can take if the problem persists, as well as allergy shots given out by your vet. The best defence against these types of allergies is to diagnose the cause of the problem as soon as possible, so you can find ways to avoid them and treat them accordingly.

Do You Need Help With Your Dog’s Allergies?

Do you suspect that your dog has allergies? Contact Your Canine Nutritionist today to learn more about how allergies affect your dog and how you can manage your dog’s health with the proper diet. Your dog deserves to be as happy and healthy as possible, and we’re here to help make sure they are.

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