Do Pets Have Allergies?

Friday, May 10th, 2019 | 


Pet allergies can be fairly common. We are not talking about your allergic reaction to your pets. Instead, we are focusing on your pets that may be showing signs and symptoms of allergies. There are some telltale things to look for that suggest they may be suffering from allergies. Pet allergies can be seasonal or a regular irritant that you will want to diligently monitor.

Signs of Allergies in Dogs

Here are the signs to look for if you suspect your dog is suffering from allergies:
  • Scratching – either in localized areas or throughout the body 
  • Constant licking
  • Repeatedly chewing on a part of their body, such as their paws’s ear
  • Redness or inflammation of areas of the body
  • Discharge from eyes or nose
  • Sneezing
  • Diarrhea or vomiting (more common for a food allergy)

Types of Allergies in Dogs

Here are four main types of allergies in dogs:

Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) –While fleas will make most pets itch, some dogs are actually allergic to them. Just a couple of flea bites can make your dog miserable if they have this allergy. Flea prevention is the best approach to combat this allergy. Speak with your vet about possible flea preventative options that they recommend for your dog. There are many preventative options available today. Your vet may even have some all-natural remedies you can try to prevent fleas.

Food allergies –Signs of food allergies in dogs often include some sort of digestive system irritation such as vomiting or diarrhea. Meats such as beef, chicken and pork can be common food offenders. Corn, soy, and wheat are other common culprits to consider. Look at the ingredients in your dog’s food and treats. Also, consider any common table scraps you might give them. Process of elimination is often the time-consuming way to pinpoint the food causing a reaction in your dog. It may take time to uncover the food your dog is allergic to, but it is important for the overall health and happiness of your pet.

Environmental allergies – These allergies may be experienced seasonally. They can include common irritants that also trigger allergies in humans such as pollen, dust or mold. However, there can also be other environmental irritants in your house from cleaning products to perfumes triggering a reaction. It may be impossible for your dog to avoid the environmental elements that trigger their allergies. Speak with your vet to see if they can recommend any medications or treatments to help alleviate itching or other symptoms when they appear.

Contact allergies –When an otherwise harmless substance comes into contact with your dog’s skin and causes a reaction it could be a sign of contact allergies or allergic contact dermatitis. It could be the shampoo you use when you give your dog a bath, a carpet cleaner or certain fabric in your house causing the reaction.

woman with dog in field

What to Give Dogs for Allergies

Canine allergy treatment can vary depending on the type of allergy your dog is experiencing. If you are asking yourself, "Where do I get started in treating my dog’s allergies?" A visit to your vet can always be a great starting point. Often, the best treatment is avoidance of the cause and allergen, but that is not always possible.
You can many suggestions online for treating pet allergies. However, we encourage you to discuss any treatment plan with your veterinarian prior to taking action at home. Since different things may pose as an allergy irritant, it is important to pursue the proper treatment. Your veterinarian is a reliable source to help you come up with a plan for treatment of your dog’s allergies.
In some cases, medication may help alleviate some of the symptoms, but not in all cases.
If your dog’s allergies go untreated though, not only will they be uncomfortable, but their itching may lead to hair loss, scabs, and put them at risk of getting secondary bacterial or yeast infections.