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Brief Guide to Dog Allergies

Updated on October 29, 2010

Common Canine Allergies

Did you know that Fido can be born with or even develop allergies to certain things in their environment? Dogs are similar to humans in many aspects but recent research shows that your family pet can even have common allergies like humans. Dogs can develop many different types of allergic reactions to allergens in their environment. Luckily, there are things we as pet owners can do to help Fido with his allergy symptoms. To do that however, you need to first find out what type of allergen is causing your pet's allergies and then you can find ways to alleviate their allergy symptoms.

Common Canine Allergies

An allergy is the body's hypersensitive reaction to common matters (allergens) found in the environment. Just as in humans, a dog's allergies can develop over time or even after a second exposure to a certain material. Dogs can inhale, ingest, and physically come in contact with many items that can cause allergic reactions. Common allergens can be found in:

  • your dog's processed food
  • beef
  • dairy products
  • chicken
  • soy
  • corn
  • grass in the yard
  • dirt
  • seasonal plants and flowers
  • flea and ticks
  • household cleaning chemicals
  • laundry soap

Types of Reactions

The allergens in your dog's environment can cause several types of allergic reactions. Some reactions are serious and can be fatal; other types of reactions are more annoying than anything.

  • skin irritations (i.e. itching, scratching, swelling, redness, paw licking and many others).
  • eye irritations (i.e. glassy eyes, watery eyes, itchy eyes, and more).
  • gastrointestinal issues (i.e. loose bowels, constipation, bloody stools, etc).

Preventing Allergy Symptoms

 First and foremost, you have to narrow down what is causing your canine's allergy symptoms. At first this can be quite a daunting task to master. Sometimes pet owners will have to resort to taking their dog into their local veterinarian's office for assistance in figuring out the allergy triggers.

Once you can find out what is causing your dog's allergies you can learn how to lessen their affects. If the allergen is something simple you can remove it from the environment to lessen your dog's symptoms. Sometimes you can even do simple things like giving your dog a cold bath to clean off the dander that is causing their reactions. If your dog is having problems related to itching or aggravated skin, you can shampoo their hair with aloe shampoo to calm their skin. Some allergy symptoms can be alleviated by simply avoiding the allergen.

Sometimes if the allergy is severe, a vet can prescribe your pet a special antibiotic or even a steriod to help alleviate their allergy symptoms. The treatment will really depend on what is causing the dog's allergic symptoms and how severe the symptoms are. With any pet allergy it is suggested you do seek advice from a qualified veterinarian.



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    • JJSay12 profile image

      JJSay12 5 years ago

      Very relevant information here. I’m glad you mentioned that stomach upset and vomiting can actually be a symptom of dog allergies. I didn’t realize this at first. Now we know that our Boston Terrier is allergic to grains, chicken and duck, and all we had to do was simply find the right food for him – which turned about to be a natural balance grain-free food called Alpha – and he stopped vomiting. He gets his protein from the trout and salmon in the formula and it’s easy on his stomach.

    • weightlossguru profile image

      weightlossguru 6 years ago

      Excellent guide. I cant take seeing my dogs coughing. They look really helpless when they cough.

    • photographybyar profile image

      Addie's Momma 7 years ago from Bakersfield, California

      You know that's a great question. I would say the time frame would vary depending on the type of symptoms and the severity of the symptoms. If it was my dog and it seemed like his symptoms could be allergy related, I would take him to the vet as soon as I noticed the problem. Usually the sooner you can get the allergen diagnosed, the sooner you can relieve the dogs symptoms. Also, some owners may wait too long which can actually prolong the dogs illness because they can develop sever infections and some allergies symptoms can be potentially fatal.

    • kids-toy-box profile image

      kids-toy-box 7 years ago

      This can be quite useful for dog owners!How long should you wait after noticing symptoms before you can see a vet?