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Dogs With Allergies
March 15, 2024

Did you know that among our canine companions, allergies can affect as many as one in every five of them? This is very close to the numbers for allergies in humans. It is estimated that one out of every four people has allergies. This translates to about 100 million people in the United States alone. This article by an Oradell, NJ veterinarian provides additional information on dog allergies.

What Are the Most Common Allergens in Dogs?

Skin problems are perhaps the most common among our canine companions. Many of these are caused by parasites, such as fleas. Dogs can get contact dermatitis, a type of skin allergy. As the name implies, Fido has had direct contact with an irritant. Food allergies are also a prevalent issue among canine companions.

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?

There are times when it might be difficult to determine whether or not your furry friend has allergies. The symptoms might vary greatly from dog to dog. It all boils down to what Fido reacts to and how strong the reaction is.

Here are some symptoms to look for:

  • Swelling
  • Runny Eyes
  • Licking Paws
  • Food Allergies
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing
  • Itchiness
  • Dander
  • Hair Loss
  • Itchy Ears
  • Redness, Flaking, and Inflammation (Skin Problems)
  • Licking
  • Stubborn Ear Infections
  • Hives
  • Facial Rubbing
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting

Many of these symptoms may be indicative of a variety of illnesses, including allergies. That is why it is vital to take Fido to your Oradell, NJ veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

What Causes Dog Allergies?

Allergies affect both dogs and humans in similar ways. Fido’s immune system will eventually develop a reaction to a specific substance. This is typically some kind of protein. It could be insect protein, plant protein, animal protein, or protein derived from food.

When your puppy’s immune system becomes sensitive to a material, it launches an immunological response and produces antibodies. This initiates a chain reaction, which results in the creation of histamine. This causes symptoms that can make your poor pup uncomfortable, such as itching and swelling.

In some ways, the immune system is overly preoccupied with keeping the body safe from what it determines to be harmful substances.

This is, of course, the abbreviated version; information about allergens and immune system responses to them can be very intricate. For more information, please contact your veterinarian.

What Kinds of Allergies Can Dogs Develop?

As is the case with human allergies, there are multiple classifications for dog allergies. They can be categorized in several ways.

Environmental Allergies

An environmental allergy is a reaction to anything occurring in the environment, as the name of this type of allergy suggests. There are numerous possible causes, including pollen, dust, mold, grass, and leaves, as well as cigarette smoke or perfume.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are essentially environmental allergies that exhibit during particular times of the year when the seasons change. This list includes several types of tree pollen, plants, grasses, leaves, and flowers. Keep in mind that your dog could pick up pollen on his paws and stomach while frolicking in the yard.

Dietary Allergies

Food allergies are one of the most common allergies in dogs. Fido may have allergies to certain meals. In other cases, it’s a single ingredient, such an additive or preservative. Many puppies are allergic to specific meats such as beef, chicken, and pork. Some dogs may have an adverse reaction to grains or corn. Legumes and root vegetables are also possible allergens that could cause an immune reaction in your beloved Fido.

Insect Allergies

Even though Fido has fur, it isn’t always enough to keep bugs at bay. He can react to a wide range of bug bites, including fleas, blackflies, deer flies, horseflies, mosquitos, ants, wasps, bees, and hornets. Dogs can react negatively to arachnids like spiders and ticks too.

Contact Allergies

Contact allergies can be induced by a number of substances. Certain fabrics, such as your carpet or sofa material, as well as substances in Fido’s dog shampoo, floor waxes, and mulch, fall into this category. Fido may even be allergic to Fluffy’s cat dander.

Anaphylactic Shock

This is the most severe type of allergy, which can be lethal. This is a serious reaction. These reactions could result from bee stings, severe food allergies, or vaccines. The associated immune response could be fatal if not treated immediately. Fortunately, they are rare.

How Do I Properly Take Care of an Allergy Dog?

Going to the vet for a proper diagnosis should be your first step, as mentioned earlier. That way, you’ll be able to get your canine buddy started in the proper direction.

There are many things you can do at home. Carpets and furniture can be kept free of allergens such pollen, hair, dander, and dust mites by frequent vacuuming and cleaning. We also recommend washing your pet’s bedding on a regular basis. If feasible, wash in hot water with unscented detergent and tumble dry. Check the label for specific instructions. Changing your air filter regularly is also a good idea.

When it comes to decorating, this is another item to take into consideration. If it’s time to replace your sofa, pick one with an allergy-friendly covering, such as leather. Washable throw blankets might help to soften it. Additionally, you might want to think about window treatments that don’t gather dust.

Start keeping track of the amount of pollen that falls. Avoid taking your pet outside as much as possible while the levels are high. Just before you bring your dog inside, give his paws and belly a quick wipe down.

Finally, make sure that Fido’s parasite and grooming needs are met. For further information or advice, contact your vet.

How Should I Handle My Dog’s Food Allergy?

Food allergies may be an issue. You’ll need to figure out what your pet is reacting to, which could take some time. Your veterinarian may recommend that Fido consume bland foods for a while until his symptoms improve. Once symptoms have decreased, you can start reintroducing things one at a time to see what triggers a reaction.

How Are Allergies Usually Treated?

While there is currently no cure for allergies, there are measures you may take to alleviate your pet’s symptoms. The first step is to make an appointment with your veterinarian to figure out what’s causing your pup’s sensitivity. At that point, you and your vet will be able to discuss specific treatment options.

Medicines may be among them. Treatment options include anti-inflammatory medications including corticosteroids and antihistamines, as well as fatty acid supplements and topical medications. Desensitization might be good for Fido too. In other cases, merely changing shampoo may be enough. If your pet has known or suspected food allergies, your veterinarian may recommend a special diet.

When Is It Common for Dogs to Have Allergic Reactions?

Fido might acquire allergies to a variety of substances. These allergies can arise at any point in his life. However, dogs rarely acquire allergies before the age of six months. Most puppies are at least a year or two old when symptoms appear. This is because Fido’s immune system needs some time to assess the substance they’re engaging with and decide if it’s harmless or harmful.

Do you think your dog might have allergies? Do not hesitate to give us a call at the Animal Care of Oradell in Oradell, NJ. We are ready to assist!