April 22, 2021
Just like you, your dog may experience seasonal allergies and allergic reactions. We have created a guide to the symptoms, causes and treatments for canine allergies. If you think your dog may have allergies, be sure to consult your veterinarian before continuing to take medication.
Allergies are usually sensitive to things in the environment, such as dust and pollen. Although not usually harmful, your dog’s immune system may react to these substances as dangerous and react accordingly.
Symptoms of allergies, such as inflammation, swelling and itching, are the result of the immune system releasing histamines to fight the allergen. Common allergens in the environment include pollen, weeds, molds, grass, fungi and flea saliva. Like humans, dogs can also have food allergies. Allergies are relatively common in pets, so your dog may experience seasonal allergies just like you.
Your dog may be allergic to pollen, dust or other airborne allergens. This can cause some or all of the following symptoms:
Itchy flaky skin
Smelly and / or “dirty” ears
Licking the paws or anus
Uneven skin or skin irregularities
If you notice symptoms in your dog as the seasons or weather conditions change, your dog may have seasonal allergies.
Frequent bathing can help protect these allergens from your dog and reduce symptoms. Over-the-counter antihistamines such as Benadryl, Claritin and Zyrtec have been used in pets before to treat seasonal allergies. If you are thinking of giving your dog an antihistamine, consult your veterinarian, as each dog responds differently to medication. If you think your dog’s allergies are severe enough, talk to your veterinarian about getting prescription drugs for your dog.
Skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis, are the most common allergic reaction in dogs.
The main causes of skin allergies are allergic flea dermatitis, food allergies and environmental allergens. Dermatitis with flea allergy is the result of flea saliva, which can make sensitive dogs feel itchy. Food allergies can cause gastrointestinal problems and itchy skin, most commonly in the ears and paws. As described above, environmental allergens can affect your dog’s skin, making them feel itchy.
True food allergies, in which your dog’s body exhibits an immune response, are relatively uncommon in dogs. Symptoms include skin conditions such as hives and itching, gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, or a combination. Most people call food insensitivity a food allergy. Unlike food allergies, food sensitivity does not involve an immune response, but it does show symptoms of discomfort in your dog.
In some rare cases, dogs can develop anaphylaxis – similar to a severe allergy to humans.
If you change your dog’s diet and start noticing symptoms, your dog may have an allergy or sensitivity to an ingredient in his diet. Consult your veterinarian if you think your dog may have a food allergy.
Does your dog have allergies? Tell us about it in the comments below and follow @campingwithdogs and @myalphapak on Instagram to keep you up to date on other safety tips for you and your dog!