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Allergies In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Most people need a lot of extra tissues during a portion of each year when their noses start to alternate between running and stuffing up and sneezes start to happen often.

Although it is allergy season, allergens don't simply affect people. In actuality, several of the same substances that trigger allergies in humans can also do so in our pets.

Hence, if you see your dog sneezing frequently, it probably has allergies just as you do.

Naturally, you don't want your dog to endure unnecessary misery. You also want to confirm that the dog's symptoms are actually caused by allergies and not some unidentified underlying condition.

You must comprehend the symptoms, causes, and treatments of dog allergies in order to do this. We'll go over each of these crucial subjects in "Allergies in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) so you'll be better equipped to handle your dog's allergies should they start to bother you.

What Are Allergies in Dogs?

Allergy reactions are brought on by particular things known as allergens. Allergens can take many different forms, and they are frequently produced by foods, animals, plants, and insects.

When the same allergen is reintroduced in the future, the immune system will overreact because of the immune system’s increased sensitivity as a result of ongoing exposure to the allergen.

Three Types of Allergies in Dogs

Depending on what triggered the allergic reaction, there are three basic types of allergies in dogs. However, the symptoms of various allergies sometimes overlap, making it more challenging to identify the exact origin of the allergy.

Food Allergies

The prevalence of food allergies isn’t as high as many dog owners think. People frequently mention that their dog has food allergies, but in most cases, these are simply sensitivities and not true allergies.

Food sensitivities are actually just food intolerances, and unlike a true food allergy, there is no immunological reaction to food intolerance. Instead, a progressive reaction is produced by a dietary tolerance.

Genuine food allergies can include rashes on the skin, ear or foot infections, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms.

Skin Allergies

The most frequent allergic reaction in dogs is allergic dermatitis, which is another name for skin allergies. Unfortunately, environmental allergens and food allergies can also induce skin allergies, making it challenging to distinguish between a true skin allergy and skin rash symptoms from another allergy.

Flea allergy dermatitis, an allergic reaction brought on by flea saliva, can also result in skin allergies. These dogs will get skin rashes and itching from flea bites. Atopic dermatitis can be brought on by environmental allergens, however these allergies are typically seasonal.

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies are typically seasonal. Dust and pollen, which many people and canines experience allergic reactions to, fall under this group.

What Is an Acute Allergic Reaction?

These allergic reactions are frequently the most concerning ones. These are strong, acute reactions that, if not treated right away, could be lethal.

Although it happens relatively infrequently with dogs, canines can also experience anaphylactic shock in similar circumstances to people. These reactions can occasionally be brought on by normal immunizations or insect stings from bees.

When this occurs, you’ll probably notice facial, eye, and lip swelling, exactly like you might in a human. Antihistamines can be used to treat this, and it is rarely fatal.

Common Allergy Symptoms in Dogs

Any of the three types of allergies that dogs frequently experience can be the root of many of the common allergy symptoms that dogs display.

As a result, it is more challenging to identify a specific source of the allergies, even if it is often simple to recognize their symptoms.

However, some of these symptoms can also occur in people with diseases unrelated to allergies, so you should seek a veterinarian’s advice for a precise diagnosis.

Your dog may display a number of the most typical allergy symptoms, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive licking
  • Red skin
  • Swelling around the face
  • Hives
  • Diarrhea

How to Diagnose Allergies in Dogs

If you suspect your dog has allergies, you should get a professional diagnosis because many allergy symptoms in dogs resemble symptoms they could exhibit for other disorders. Instead of assuming, a veterinarian can perform allergy testing.

Of course, these tests aren’t always reliable, and determining the exact cause could be challenging. Flea allergy dermatitis, which is said to be the easiest to diagnose, is one allergy that is easier to recognize than others.

Treatments for Allergies in Dogs

The type of treatment your dog need will depend on what is causing their allergies. There are various treatments available for dogs with allergies. For instance, removing the fleas with a flea shampoo may help allergic reactions to flea allergy dermatitis, but it won’t help with a food allergy.

Once your dog’s allergies have been identified by your veterinarian, they can recommend a course of therapy that is suitable for the particular sensitivities your dog is experiencing.

For instance, diet changes may be necessary if you have food sensitivities. With some allergies, you may only need to give your dog regular doses of allergy medicine.

Final Thoughts

As clarified in “Allergies in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), there’s no need to be concerned if your dog exhibits allergy symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, itching, and rashes because allergies are quite common.

These ailments are typically not serious and are relatively easily treatable. To confirm that your dog’s symptoms are actually caused by allergies rather than an underlying problem that hasn’t been identified yet, you should first seek the advice of your veterinarian.

When allergies are identified as the cause of the issue, your veterinarian can recommend a course of therapy to help reduce the symptoms and restore your dog’s health.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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