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HomeExclusiveHow To Tell If Your Puppy Has Allergies

How To Tell If Your Puppy Has Allergies

Signs And Symptoms Of Seasonal Allergies In Dogs

How To Determine What Type Of Allergy Your Dog Has And How To Treat It

Red, itchy eyes, incessant sneezing, and stuffiness are but a few of the enjoyable symptoms that sufferers of seasonal allergies can inevitably expect with each years passing. If you count yourself amongst that group, youre likely all too aware of how miserable allergies can make you feel. That said, for you dog owners out there, you might be surprised to discover that your pup can also be prone to uncomfortable seasonal allergies.

Unfortunately, your dog cant tell you when its in the grips of an allergy attackits up to you to spot the signs. So, how can you determine if your loyal canine companion is suffering from allergies? If your pup is showing signs of hair loss, itchy skin, inflammation, or other skin problems, there is a high possibility that your dogs body is having an immune response to an allergen in his environment. Below, well discuss everything you need to know about seasonal allergies in dogs.

Dog Food Allergy Testing

First of all, your veterinarian will want to determine if your dog is allergic to an environmental factor or food. If your vet suspects an environmental trigger, a blood test or intradermal allergy test will be recommended.

If your dog has any of the following factors, he or she is likely to have a food allergy.

  • Symptoms occur when your dog is young
  • Symptoms dont appear to be tied to a season change or due to travel
  • Reaction doesnt respond to steroids
  • Your dog has both skin and gastrointestinal symptoms

What To Do If You’re Allergic To Your Pet

If you could snap your fingers and make your allergies disappear, you’d probably do it in a second. But what if your pet is the cause of your watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose? Suddenly that oh-so-simple decision becomes a much tougher call. For some, the psychological misery of giving up a pet may outweigh the everyday misery of allergy symptoms.

The problem starts with dander, one of the most stubborn and common allergens. Cats, dogs, and other furry or feathered pets produce dander, which consists of microscopic, dandruff-like flakes of skin and proteins from saliva and urine that can trigger allergies and aggravate asthma. If you’re allergic to dander, the easiest route to allergy relief is to find your pet a new home.

In fact, thats what most doctors will tell you to do. Yet this advice is rarely welcomed or followed, even when the pet is causing serious problems. Some families cant fathom giving away their petit’s almost like giving away one of their children, says Anne Miranowski, MD, an allergist at the Pediatric Lung Center in Fairfax, Va. I see some children where exposure to their three cats is clearly making them sick, and the family insists on keeping all three cats.

Physicians and health organizations recognize the attachment that people have to their pets. If a family is unwilling to remove a pet, experts recommend a host of alternative measures, such as limiting contact between the pet and the allergic person and using air cleaners.

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Food Allergies In Dogs

Food allergies occur when your dogs immune system develops a reaction to a particular ingredient. This will typically happen after overexposure, so its more likely to occur in cases where a dog eats a particular meal from a particular brand constantly. Although virtually any ingredient can cause an allergic reaction, the most common allergy is to proteins. This includes meats such as beef, lamb, and chicken, but also dairy products, soy, and gluten.

Alternatively, its possible that your particular dog food brand of choice changes up its ingredients at some point. Your dogs sudden reaction to its favorite food could be because of the introduction of that new ingredient. Its important to pay attention to whats included in your dogs food, and make a note of any manufacturer changes.

What Causes Skin Allergies In Dogs

Does my dog have a food allergy?

These are the three most common causes of skin allergies in dogs:

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

A fleas saliva will trigger an allergic reaction in some dogs. This can result in flea allergy dermatitis, which can make your poochs skin extremely itchy – especially at the base of the tail. You may find their skin becomes red, inflamed, and scabbed. Other signs of fleas include flea dirt , and you may occasionally see the fleas themselves.

Food Allergies

Your pets itchy skin may be a symptom of food allergies or sensitivities. Watch for scratching at their paws or ears, along with potential gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or a combination of both.

Its important to distinguish between food allergies and food sensitivities . Unlike food allergies, food sensitivities are a gradual reaction to a specific ingredient such as chicken, milk, beef or wheat.

Symptoms can range from itchiness and chronic infections in the ear or foot to vomiting and diarrhea. True food allergies trigger an immune response, which can cause skin conditions, such as facial swelling and hives.

Environmental Allergens

Atopic dermatitis or atopic allergic reactions can stem from environmental allergens, including mold, pollen and dust. Seasonal allergies can also be a frustrating issue, as they may only affect your dog during certain seasons or times of the year.

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Having Your Dog Examined By A Veterinarian

  • 1Ask for advice on an elimination diet. Some veterinarians may be able to coach you through a temporary home-cooked food elimination diet for your dog.
  • 2Ask about a hydrolyzed protein diet. Specialized allergies such as this must be fed for about three months with no other foods, such as treats or table scraps, allowed at any time.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • Once symptoms resolve, you will gradually introduce individual foods until the allergen is identified. This type of diet will enable you to identify whether the allergy is truly caused by food.
  • 3Consider blood or skin tests. Certain tests may identify specific food allergens with little difficulty, while others may only give information about foods to which your dog does not have an allergy.
  • Blood tests are typically used to test for antigen-induced antibodies, which can then help your vet determine what antigen is causing your dog’s reaction.XResearch source Consult with your veterinarian on what tests and procedures would work best for your pet.
  • There is a great deal of debate about how useful these tests are. The general conclusion is they aren’t particularly helpful, and the gold standard remains putting the dog on a dietary trial.
  • What Causes Dog Allergies

    Dogs secrete proteins that end up in their dander , saliva, and urine. An allergic reaction occurs when a sensitive persons immune system reacts abnormally to the usually harmless proteins. Different breeds produce different dander, so its possible to be more allergic to some dogs than others.

    The allergen eventually finds its way into the animals fur. From there, it collects in carpets, on clothing, on walls, and between couch cushions. The pet hair itself is not an allergen, but the hair can hold dust and dander.

    Pet dander can remain airborne for long periods of time as well. It can eventually find its way into your eyes or lungs.

    The symptoms of a dog allergy may range from mild to severe. Symptoms may not appear for several days after exposure in people with low sensitivity.

    Some clues you may be allergic to dogs include:

    • swelling and itching in the membranes of the nose or around the eyes
    • redness of the skin after being licked by a dog
    • coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing within 15 to 30 minutes of exposure to allergens
    • rash on the face, neck, or chest
    • a severe asthma attack

    Children with dog allergies will often develop eczema in addition to the above symptoms. Eczema is a painful inflammation of the skin.

    People used to believe that exposing a newborn to the family dog could cause a child to develop a pet allergy. Thankfully for dog owners, the opposite appears to be true. Several studies in the past few years including one published in the

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    How Are Dog Allergies Treated Using Anti

    My favorite anti-inflammatory therapy is going to be omega-3 fatty acids. And the nice thing about omega-3 fatty acids, they are over-the-counter, but they’re my favorite general supplement because they’re natural anti-inflammatories for the pet. These allergic responses cause some sort of inflammation, either in the skin or the ears. If it’s a food allergy, sometimes it’s in the gastrointestinal tract. And what we want to do is get that inflammation under control because, if you think about skin, it’s kind of like bricks and mortar, and so it’s a nice solid wall when it’s intact. But what that inflammation does is it crumbles out the bricks and mortar, and that’s what leads to secondary bacterial infections or secondary fungal infections. Some medications are anti-inflammatories that can help, too, but my favorite are these omega-3s because they’re all-natural.

    Symptoms Of Allergies In Dogs

    How to find out if your dog is allergic or sensitive to his food (Colitis)

    The symptoms of allergies in dogs may vary depending on the cause. A dog that goes into anaphylactic shock, for instance, will have a drop in blood pressure followed by shock, which is very different from a skin condition.

    In general, however, the following symptoms could be a sign of an allergic reaction.

    • Itchiness
    • Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
    • Red, inflamed skin

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    Allergies May Develop Over Time

    Although a puppy can be born with a predisposition to certain allergies and intolerances, symptoms may not appear immediately because your pup needs to be exposed to the allergen long enough to trigger a reaction. Many dog owners who feed their pets the same food for years and begin to witness signs of a wheat allergy are skeptical that their canine could be allergic, simply because theyve always eaten that food. But because allergies develop over time, a food that was once safe can quickly become problematic.

    Signs Of Dog Seasonal Allergies

    The reactions dogs have to allergens are slightly different from those of humans. Itchy skin and recurrent ear infections are the most common signs of seasonal allergies in dogs, but your pet may also experience red, swollen eyes, a clear, runny nose and fits of sneezing.

    The itchiness your pet may experience can range from intense to mild, and is most likely to occur in the armpit, groin, muzzle or paw regions. Note: Dogs can scratch themselves raw. So if you notice them scratching, rubbing on carpet or furniture, chewing or licking themselves more than normal, it’s worth taking them to see a veterinarian. This behavior can lead to painful infections signs of which include unusual odor and discharge that will require treatment.

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    Does My Dog Have Allergies If So How Can I Help

    The battle to stop your dogs itching is a lifelong one, but I believe in you

    My dog has always been an itchy boy. His diagnosis: An undulating case of doggie allergies. One vet said he was probably allergic to chicken, so we started feeding him salmon instead. A second said his allergies were perhaps more seasonal, so he now gets an occasional injection to control his itching.

    One way or another, his allergies always seem to make a fierce comeback. So, what should we do?

    Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer at the American Kennel Club, has come to our rescue, agreeing to help us all learn everything we need to know about dog allergies.

    How To Act Depending On The Case

    Dog Allergies: How to Know If Your Dog Has an Allergy

    It’s advisable to go to the vet if you notice some of these symptoms. However, it’s good to know that in cases of environmental allergies, as with humans, it’s difficult to control the situation, because what causes the reaction could be anywhere. In the case of food, it’s easier to detect exactly what’s causing the allergy and to remove it completely from their diet. Flea cases are always the easiest to treat, simply remove the parasite

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    Itchy Skin Red Underbelly And Dull Coat

    Together, these signs can indicate an allergy. Your dog itches constantly without relief, possibly causing hair loss in the affected patches.

    What It Looks Like: Skin underneath the hair is red or pink, dry, and inflamed. No relief with baths, conditioners, or over-the-counter allergy medications. Excessive, near-constant scratching.

    What It Means: Environmental allergies or food allergies.

    But First! Rule Out

    Shampoo residue on your dogs skin is a leading cause of contact dermatitis, and often resolves by switching to a milder shampoo and rinsing thoroughly. Try this trick: Shampoo your dog, and rinse him until you think you are done. Then, rinse two more times to be safe!

    Shampoos containing artificial colors , sodium laurates, phthalates, mineral oil, and fragrances can all cause irritation. Try switching to a species-appropriate, all natural rinse for your dog, such as ones that contain apple cider vinegar or coconut oils.

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    Pollen Allergy: Your dog may also have a pollen allergy: try wiping him down with a cool, damp cloth every time he comes inside to eliminate exposure to pollen.

    Fleas: Make sure your dog does not have fleas, as flea allergy dermatitis will also cause irritated skin.

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    Causes Of Dog Allergies

    Allergies in dogs can usually be attributed to one of two things food or environmental factors.

    There may be an ingredient in their current dog food that does not agree with them, or it could be something outside such as pollen or in the home environment such as perfumes, deodorizers, paints, or even the plastic material their food bowl is made from.

    Luckily, there are some things that you can do to help your doggie feel better.

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    Red Brown Or Bronze Nail Beds

    This is easiest to observe in dogs with white nails, such as white bully breeds, Dalmatians, Boxers, Bulldogs and Spaniels.

    What It Looks Like: You may notice that the base of your dogs nails are red, even bloody-looking. This is the sign of an inflammatory immune response. Your dogs white nails should be white, with a pink quick. A red, brown, or red-brown nail bed base indicates that something is up. Nails may be sensitive and your dog appears to itch or lick them often.

    What It Means: Food allergy.

    But First! Rule Out Foot injury , thyroid disorders.

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    Because this is systemic, youll want to conduct a food-elimination diet to identify the trigger food. Keep the space between your dogs toes clean and by using a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel.

    Could I Diagnose My Dog’s Allergies At Home

    Royal Canin: How to check if your dog has a seasonal allergy

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Let’s say you gave your dog a new brand of treats, and they decided to have some vomiting or diarrhea, or they broke out with hives on their skin. Then that’s probably a good indicator that something in that new bag of treats caused an allergic reaction in your pet. Of course, things like bee stings would fall under the allergic reaction category. But sometimes, there are some trickier things to diagnose, too, that are better diagnosed at your vet’s office.

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    Best Dog Food For Allergies

    The bottom line is there isnt a single best dog food for a dog with allergies. It comes down to what is best for the individual dog. Look for dog food made with quality ingredients and regulated for purity. Companies that make dog food listed as hypoallergenic or limited ingredient should be following best practices but be aware there is minimal oversight of pet food manufacturing. Read more here

    If your primary veterinarian is unable to help you resolve your dogs allergic symptoms, you may be referred to a veterinary dermatologist. Finding the right answer for your dog might not happen quickly or easily, but it is worth the effort to have a happier, more comfortable dog.

    Does your dog have a food allergy or intolerance? How have you dealt with your dogs condition?

    Symptoms Of Yeast Allergies In Dogs

    Yeast allergies in dogs have a variety of symptoms and may require some detective work on the part of you and your veterinarian to determine their cause. Canine yeast allergies develop early in a dog’s life, and have the potential to pose problems throughout his life.

    Canine yeast allergies can present a variety of symptoms that may affect a dog’s ears, his skin, his digestive system or his urinary and reproductive systems. In severe cases, lethargy or seizures may also indicate a yeast allergy. Your veterinarian may diagnose the problem by eliminating other possible causes as symptoms present themselves, or thesymptoms may point quickly to a yeast allergy.

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    Constant Licking Or Biting At Paws

    When you notice your dog licking a particular part of his body such as a leg or paw, there is a good chance he is showing an allergic reaction to something in his environment.

    Paws are very sensitive and the part of the dog’s body that first comes into contact with grasses, chemicals on carpets, or pesticides that have been sprayed in his environment.

    Constant licking or biting at his paws could also indicate a behavioral issue such as a compulsive disorder, but it is best to rule out dog allergies before moving onto a behavioral diagnosis.


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