The Complete Lowdown On Dog Allergies
Dogs can have allergic symptoms just as humans can. This happens when allergens or substances that they come into contact with every day, trigger off danger signals in their immune system.
There are allergens in the air all of the time, and these are not harmful to most dogs. But if your dog suffers with allergies then they can be a real problem for her, and they can cause extreme reactions. Read this article to find out how to take care of your dog if they suffer from allergies.
If your dog is prone to allergies, then symptoms can develop after they have had contact with allergens and other substances. This can be through skin contact, inhalation or through ingestion. Your dog’s immune system will fight to get rid of these allergens, and this can cause digestive, respiratory or skin problems.
What Symptoms Can Your Dog Develop To Allergies?
Some of these symptoms can be pretty serious, so you will need to pay special attention to them. Itching is very common. If you notice that your dog is scratching herself a lot then you need to investigate further.
If she is consistently scratching herself then look for red skin that has scabs or is wet. Maybe her eyes are itchy, so check to see if her eyes are runny. Ear problems are also common with allergies, so watch to see if she scratches her ears and look for any signs of an infection. If your dog’s tail or back are itchy then this can indicate a flea allergy.
A lot of dogs will chew their paws incessantly if they have an allergy, so check your dog’s paws to see if there are any signs of swelling. You may notice that your dog is licking an area of her body a lot more than usual, and this can be a symptom of an allergy as well.
When your dog is asleep has she suddenly started snoring loudly? If so, this can be a sign that her throat is inflamed. If your dog has started to sneeze a lot this can also be the sign of a respiratory problem caused by an allergy.
Then there are digestive problems. Has your dog started to vomit a lot? Or maybe she is suffering with diarrhea all of a sudden? If either or both of these things are occurring, then a digestive allergy could be the reason.
It is possible for your dog to be suffering from a secondary yeast or bacterial infection of the skin if she has an allergy problem. In some cases, these infections can lead to hair loss, so check her out for scabs and crusty skin.
Are Certain Dogs At Risk Of Allergies?
The truth is that any dog can have problems with allergies at any stage during their life (just as humans can). But studies have shown that allergy problems are more common in specific breeds of dogs.
The breeds in question are some of the flat faced breeds, such as Bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs, and other breeds such as Setters, Retrievers and Terriers. If you own a dog that is a member of these breeds, then it is a good idea to have them checked out for allergies by a vet.
What Are The Most Common Allergens That Can Affect Your Dog?
These common allergens can be found inside and outside of your home. Some plastic or rubber based materials can cause allergies as well as certain fabrics. Certain cleaning products can be a problem as well as shampoos that contain insecticide.
House dust can cause allergies and so can dust mites. Strong smells such as perfumes and cigarette smoke can also initiate allergies in your dog. Mold spores can be a trigger for an allergy as well.
Feathers and dander can also cause allergy problems. If your dog has fleas, then just a few bites can cause a lot of itching and discomfort. Prescription drugs can also kick off allergies. Outside of your home there will be pollens from trees, weeds and grass to contend with.
Many people are shocked to learn that their dog is allergic to certain foods. This can be a reaction to corn, wheat and soy and even pork, beef and chicken. It can be really tricky to find out which foods are causing your dog to develop an allergy.
Food allergies can cause your dog to have really itchy skin, develop diarrhea and vomiting problems, and even cause really bad ear infections. You will need to eliminate certain foods until you can find the root cause of the problem, and then make sure that your dog is never given foods with that ingredient again.
Treatment Of Dog Allergies
Once you or the vet has determined what is causing an allergy, then the best way to treat it is to ensure that your dog is not exposed to the allergens that are causing the problem. There are a number of preventative measures that you can take here.
If the problem is dust, then you need to embark on a cleaning campaign and make it a regular thing. You will need to get the vacuum cleaner out 2-3 times a week, and go for those carpets and rugs, curtains and pieces of furniture where dust can be found. Be sure to clean your dog’s bedding regularly as well.
You will want to avoid your dog getting fleas whether these are causing allergies or not. So ask your vet for advice on the best flea control program for your dog. There are many products available for this, but it is best to obtain your vet’s advice to ensure that the products are not going to cause additional problems.
Bathe your dog at least once a week if she is scratching a lot. This will help to remove the offending allergens or other substances from her skin. Don’t just use any shampoo. Ask your vet for advice again here.
Sometimes it is impossible to protect your dog from allergens that are in the air. If your dog is suffering because of these allergens, then your dog could be given a series of allergy injections which will help to build up her resistance to this.
There are other medications that can help your dog with her allergies if the offending substances cannot be removed. Some of the drugs are very strong, such as cortisone, so you will need to ask your vet for advice before administering any allergy medications.
Treat Your Dog To A Playpen
Your dog will love running around and playing, so why not get a dog playpen for her? Please read our review of the top 5 best dog playpens.