Peanut Allergies in Dogs

Peanut allergies in dogs? Who ever heard of such a thing? This is definitely something most pet owners would probably never think about, but if a dog is allergic to peanuts it can make an animal truly miserable when it contracts the allergy.

Like other canine food allergies, peanut allergy in a dog demonstrates itself by causing itching, redness and bald spots. Some dogs will also chew on their feet and legs attempting to stop the itching.

Food allergies may seem to develop without warning but actually take a long time to develop. A food that has caused no problems in the past for a pet, can suddenly cause an allergic reaction the next time it is consumed, and the dog’s body will create histamine to fight the offending allergen.

Histamine is the chemical that causes the physical signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs, and also in people.

Histamine reactions when left untreated can cause anaphylactic shock, which can affect an animal’s breathing, heart rate or ability to maintain consciousness. In extreme cases, an animal or person in anaphylactic shock can die.

All food products consumed by humans must be labeled with a warning if the food contains peanuts or has been processed in a facility where peanuts or other nuts are also processed. Unfortunately, this warning requirement does not apply to manufactured dog food.

If you suspect your dog may have a peanut allergy, first try to eliminate any other possible substance that could cause the same reactions as peanut allergies, including environmental causes like mold and dust. Also check the labels of your dog’s food for any ingredients that don’t sound familiar, especially if you’ve started feeding your pet a new brand or type of dog food.

To help determine whether a diagnosis of peanut allergies in a dog is a viable one, a vet will do skin tests on a dog to rule out any environmental causes. In these tests, small amounts of an allergen are injected under a dog’s skin to see if it produces an allergic response from its body. If there are any positive results to the skin test, the dog may be allergic to something else in addition to peanuts.

Blood tests can also help eliminate environmental causes by combining small amounts of different allergens with samples of a dog’s blood. If an allergic reaction occurs during the test, an environmental allergy is probably the cause.

Once a veterinarian has examined and rejected any environmental probabilities, food allergies are the next tests to be conducted. To diagnose a food allergy, a veterinarian usually recommends a diet that contains only protein and carbohydrates for your dog, minus the numerous (and sometimes unhealthy) added ingredients found in manufactured dog foods. Both the protein and the carbohydrate will be derived from foods the dog has never eaten before to help determine what the dog may be allergic to. This diet will probably need to be fed to a dog for about 12 weeks.

During the special diet trial period, the veterinarian will evaluate the dog’s clinical signs. If they improve, a food allergy is likely the cause. The veterinarian will then begin to re-introduce certain ingredients of the dog’s former diet in an effort to recreate the allergic response. When an allergic response is produced, the natural assumption is that the last ingredient re-introduced to the diet is the cause of the allergic response.

Peanut allergy in dogs is not a trivial matter to a dog who develops allergic reactions that include itching, redness and bald spots on its skin. Avoiding peanuts is the best way to prevent reocurrences of this allergy which means you’ll need to read all the ingredient labels on manufactured dog foods you buy, including treats and medications, to prevent accidental consumption of peanuts.

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Chocolate Can Kill a Dog

Have you ever wondered if chocolate can kill a dog or if that’s simply a myth spread by some dog owners?
Some ‘people foods’ are safe to feed your dog as long as you don’t overdo it by giving your pet too much. However, there is one people food you never should give your beloved dog and that is chocolate. Chocolate can seriously sicken your dog and sometimes can even kill it. Veterinarians rate chocolate as one of the most common causes of dog poisoning.

No amount of chocolate is safe for your dog to ingest. The most dangerous types of chocolate are dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate. Milk chocolate and white chocolate present a less serious risk but still should not be given to a dog.

What makes chocolate so poisonous that it can kill a dog? The answer lies in the ingredients used to make chocolate. Cocoa and cocoa beans contain caffeine plus a chemical compound called theobromine, which is the real threat to dogs. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of a dog’s body weight is potentially deadly. Since an average chocolate bar like Hershey’s milk chocolate weighs one and a half ounces, it would take a fairly large amount to poison a dog. Obviously smaller dogs are at more risk than large ones.

Don’t assume that this means it’s safe to give your dog small amounts of chocolate. You have no way of knowing how much theobromine a given cocoa product contains, and the more of this chemical you feed a dog, the more poisonous it is to your pet. For example, unsweetened Bakers Chocolate contains about 390 milligrams of theobromine per ounce — about 10 times more than milk chocolate and more than twice as much as semi-sweet chocolate. Although white chocolate contains very little theobromine, veterinarians recommend that you do not feed this treat to your dog either.

The reason theobromine is so dangerous to dogs is because it metabolizes more slowly in an animal’s system than it does in humans. Approximately 18 hours after a dog eats chocolate, half of the theobromine it ingested is still in its system.

It’s true that a large enough amount of chocolate can kill a dog but even small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea in a dog. If your dog eats a large toxic amount of chocolate it can cause high blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, respiratory failure, tremors, seizures, and even cardiac arrest.

I certainly don’t recommend ever giving your dog chocolate and it’s something I would never allow my pet to eat. But in the event your dog should manage to get its paws on your chocolate stash, you should know that dark chocolate is the supreme dangerous form of this delectable item. Dogs have died from theobromine doses as low as 115 milligrams per two pounds of body weight. This translates to 20 ounces of milk chocolate, or 10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, or just 2.25 ounces of baking chocolate, all of which could potentially kill a 22 pound dog.

Now that you know chocolate can kill a dog, never feed your pet any form of chocolate. If your pet does consume chocolate you should contact your vet immediately. If your vet is not available because it’s after business hours, you can call the ASPCA poison control hotline at 888-426-4435. The call is toll-free but there is the possibility you may be charged for an emergency consultation, so don’t call the poison control hotline unless you are sure your dog has eaten a toxic amount of chocolate.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
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Does Dust Cause Allergies in Dogs

Dust can cause allergies in dogs, and people as well. Humans are more likely to suffer nasal or respiratory symptoms from a dust allergy, while dogs are more likely to develop skin problems.

Dust allergies and other allergies caused by inhaled particles cause skin reactions in dogs and they are the second most common type of dog allergy, affecting approximately 15 percent of all dogs.

Dust allergies are most likely to develop when a dog is between the ages of one and three years old. Dust allergies often start as a seasonal problem but become a year-round problem as a dog gets older. Unfortunately, dust allergies are also a year-round problem for some dogs who are exposed to pollens and grasses all year long, rather than only seasonally.

Dust allergy symptoms include constant chewing and scratching of the feet and legs, irritated skin and incessant scratching. Frequent rubbing of the head and muzzle against the floor or furniture and forceful head shaking are the result of a dog’s ears becoming irritated or infected because the glands in its ears overproduce wax in reaction to the allergen.

To treat dust allergies in dogs a vet will prescribe a combination of antihistamines or other medications, and possibly a cream or spray to relieve the dog’s irritated skin.

Dust mites are small creatures related to spiders and they are the main particles comprising dust. These miniscule dust mites thrive in hot, humid conditions. To help reduce dust in your house, try lowering the indoor temperature to 75 degrees or less and keep the humidity below 70 percent.

To help a dog who suffers from dust allergies you can add a HEPA air cleaner to the room where your dog spends most of its time or have a HEPA filter installed in your home’s air conditioning and heating system. You may also want to have the air ducts in your house checked to see if they need to be cleaned.

Another important way you can help alleviate allergies in your dog is to wash its bedding in hot water each week and dry it thoroughly before letting your dog sleep on it again.

Dust can cause allergies that are very unpleasant for a dog and the more you can do to reduce the causes of these allergies, the happier and healthier your dog will be.

Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments

It’s fairly easy to determine whether your dog is suffering from allergies. Dog allergies can affect any breed of dog, no matter where you live. The symptoms of dog allergies are the same for all breeds and the treatments for those allergies are usually the same.

Some of the symptoms of dog allergies are: excessive scratching, pawing at the face or eyes; excessive sneezing, continual runny nose, watery eyes, acute coughing, skin rashes or dry, crusty skin, continually rubbing its face on the floor or furniture , and chronic ear infections.

Seasonal allergies affect many dogs and are caused by spores or pollen grains in the air. These allergens are inhaled and sometimes are able to penetrate a dog’s skin.

Seasonal dog allergies usually occur when a dog is between the ages of 1 and 3. However, some dogs don’t develop seasonal allergies until they are 6 to 8 years old.

If you notice allergy symptoms in your dog you’ll need to schedule a vet visit to have blood tests performed. This is the only way to confirm if the dog really does have seasonal allergies or if the symptoms could be related to a disease that has infected the dog.

Two methods veterinarians use to determine if a dog is suffering from allergies are an ELISA test, the most commonly used test to diagnose allergies; and intradermal testing.

To effectively treat seasonal dog allergies, the vet first has to determine the cause of the allergy, and then you’ll need to limit or eliminate exposure to that allergen. Most dog owners whose pets suffer from seasonal allergies will keep the dog out of grassy or flowered fields during pollen seasons and will also keep the grass on their lawn cut short.

The vet may recommend topical ointments to relive the dog’s itchiness and the other symptoms of seasonal allergies. In addition, regular bathing of the dog’s skin will help reduce allergic reactions.

Some dog owners have reported that a change in their dog’s diet reduced the allergies by strengthening the dog’s immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help in boosting a dog’s immune system.

The vet may also prescribe antihistamines and steroids if the dog’s allergies continue to worsen.

Some vets also use immunization therapy to reduce a dog’s allergic reactions. This is accomplished by injecting the allergen in small amounts in the dog’s system and after a few shots, the dog will begin to build an immunity to the allergens.

The symptoms of dog allergies should not be ignored and treatment should begin as soon as you know for sure that your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies.


Dog Food Allergies

Dog food allergies are common in dogs. These allergies are often due to a dog being allergic to certain ingredients in its food. If you can identify what ingredient in the dog’s food is causing the allergy, you can then remove that allergen from your dog’s diet. This should effectively reduce or eliminate any allergic reaction.

Dogs with allergies to their food may develop respiratory problems soon after eating. This often results in excessive coughing and sneezing. If the dog is having a hard time eating and swallowing food, or if it coughs the food up shortly after ingesting it, you’ll need to keep a close watch on your pet to see if this condition continues for any length of time or if it becomes worse.

You’ll need to see your veterinarian immediately if your dog can’t stop choking or is to unable to breathe as a result of an allergic reaction.

Another very common food allergy in dogs is itchiness of the skin. This can affect every part of its body, but is most common anywhere the allergic ingredient makes direct contact with the dog’s skin, including the face, nose, eyes and mouth, as well as the rectal area.

If your pet continually scratches its itchy skin, the skin will become inflamed and tender. In extreme cases, the dog’s constant scratching may cause open sores and lesions on its body.

Dog food allergies can also lead to serious problems because the dog’s body is not able to fight off any bacterial infections. These include ear infections and skin infections as well.

If you notice any symptoms of dog food allergies in your dog, you should consult with your vet who can help you determine exactly which ingredients in your dog’s food is causing the allergic reaction.

Bad Foods For Dogs

There are certain foods that are bad for dogs and foods that are deadly to dogs. It’s vitally important you know what these foods are if you have a pet.

Grapes and Raisins
• Grapes and raisins can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys, possibly resulting in death.
• Eating as few as 4-5 grapes or raisins can be poisonous to a 20 pound dog.
• Signs of toxicity include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and decreased urine flow.
• Toxicity signs usually begin within 24 hours but can start just a few hours after consuming these foods.

• Onions can cause a form of hemolytic anemia called Heinz Body Anemia, a condition that destroys red blood cells. Kidney damage may follow.
• Similar foods such as garlic and chives are also toxic to your dog’s system.
• The quantity of onions considered to be poisonous to a dog is not clear cut, but the effects can be cumulative. Avoid feeding your pet table scraps or any foods cooked with onions.
• Signs of toxicity include pale gums, rapid heart rate, weakness and lethargy, and may be accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody urine.
• Treatment requires blood transfusions and/or oxygen administration, followed by fluid therapy.


• Chocolate and cocoa are definitely bad foods for dogs as they contain a chemical called theobromide that can adversely affect the heart, lungs, kidneys and central nervous system of a dog.
• Pure baking chocolate is the most toxic form of chocolate, whereas milk chocolate requires a higher quantity to cause harm. A 20 pound dog can be poisoned after consuming only 2 ounces of baking chocolate, but it would take nearly 20 ounces of milk chocolate to cause the same effects.
• Chocolate poisoning signs include over-excitement, tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate/rhythm, hyperthermia and coma.
• Treatment by your vet may include vomiting or administration of activated charcoal with fluid therapy and medications.

Caffeinated Items
• Caffeine is similar to the toxic chemical found in chocolate. It can damage the heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system.
• Caffeine is found in coffee beans and coffee, large amounts of tea, some energy drinks, and chocolate.
• Signs typically begin with restlessness, hyperactivity and vomiting, followed by panting, weakness, increased heart rate, muscle tremors and convulsions.
• Treatment by your vet may include vomiting or gastric lavage and administration of activated charcoal with fluid therapy and medications.

Macadamia Nuts
• Macadamia nuts, while generally not considered fatal, can cause your dog to become severely ill.
• The actually toxin in the nuts is not known, nor is the mechanism of toxicity.
• Ingestion of just a handful of Macadamia nuts can cause adverse effects in any dog.
• Signs include vomiting, weakness, depression, joint and muscle pain, and swelling of joints.
• Onset of these signs typically occurs within 6-24 hours after consuming the nuts.
• Dogs usually recover within 24-48 hours after treatment but may need to be hospitalized if they become very sick.

• Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener often found in chewing gum and candy. In dogs, it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol ingestion can also cause severe liver damage.
• As few as two pieces of gum can be hypoglycemic to a 20 pound dog. An entire pack of gum can cause permanent liver damage.
• Signs of toxicity can occur within 30-60 minutes after ingestion and include weakness, sudden collapse, and seizures.
• Your vet may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage. An affected dog usually needs to be treated intravenously with dextrose (sugar) and monitored closely for 1-2 days. Many dogs improve with supportive care if treated early enough, though liver damage can be permanent.

Alcohol and Yeast Dough
• Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol – a seriously toxic chemical compound that causes central nervous system and respiratory depression in dogs.
• Uncooked yeast dough also produces ethanol.
• Even small amounts of ethanol can cause toxic effects in dogs.
• Signs include sedation, depression, lethargy, weakness, and hypothermia (low body temperature).
• Ethanol is rapidly absorbed into the system, so it is critical that you seek medical attention quickly. It is usually not helpful to induce vomiting in the dog. Proper treatment requires aggressive care with fluid therapy and medications.
• Under controlled circumstances, alcohol is used by veterinarians as an antidote for antifreeze (ethylene glycol) poisoning.

Fruit Pits and Seeds
• Apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits, and plum pits contain the toxin cyanide.
• Signs of cyanide poisoning include vomiting, heavy breathing, apnea tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias, coma, and skin irritation.

Food items we take for granted as humans can be bad for dogs, and may seriously injure or even kill your pet. Be a wise owner and be vigilant that your pet never consumes even small amounts of any of the above toxic foods.

How To Know When Your Dog Has an Allergy

Allergies in dogs are very common and a pet who has allergies can exhibit many different symptoms. Here’s a quick guide to help you know when your dog has an allergy. If you notice that your dog has several of the symptoms listed below, you should schedule a visit to your veterinarian for testing as soon as possible.

1. Licking or Biting its Paws
Itchy paws may be a sign that a dog has fleas. Fleas are tiny parasites that can cause allergies. When a dog has fleas, it licks and bites at its paws trying to relieve the itchiness. If not treated promptly with a flea and tick treatment, the behavior can become obsessive.

2. Searching Out Cool Places to Lie Down
Due to the extreme itchiness almost everywhere on the body, a dog will seek out cooler places like tile floors, cement sidewalks or porches to help relieve the discomfort. The coolness helps bring temporary relief from the itching.

3. Excessive Scratching
An allergic dog will scratch at its skin more than usual, sometimes so hard that it results in wounds and bleeding which can lead to infections. Hair loss can also be a result of excessive scratching as the dog continues to scratch the same spot repeatedly.

4. Lethargy
Since allergies weaken a dog, it will be noticeably lethargic and less interested in its usual activities.

5. Lack of Appetite
If a dog is affected by allergies, its appetite will be diminished and sometimes it may even refuse to eat at all. If this happens only a few times, and the dog otherwise seems okay, the refusal to eat could be due to several other causes, many of which are normal occurrences and nothing to be concerned about. However, repeatedly refusing to eat over a period of a few days could be indicative of something even more serious than an allergy.

6. Aggressiveness
Because allergies cause a dog considerable discomfort, its behavior will change. A dog may become irritable and aggressive, reacting adversely to the kind of attention it normally enjoys.

The above symptoms may also be accompanied by watery eyes, dry and flaky skin, breathing difficulties, swelling of the limbs and nasal discharges.

It’s important to know when your dog has an allergy and be able identify the cause of the allergy as soon as possible to reduce its exposure to whatever is causing the allergic reaction.

Do Dogs Have Allergies?

Dogs have allergies just like humans; allergies are, in fact, quite common among dogs. And, as in humans, an allergy can’t be cured in a dog but it can be treated, both with medication and also by protecting your dog from whatever is making him sick.

As in humans, allergies are caused by an immune system that overreacts to an innocuous substance, such as pollen, certain foods, or even fleas. The three most common allergies in dogs are:

  • Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is genetic. It affects dogs who have inherited a tendency to develop skin problems caused by pollens, grasses, trees, and dust mites.

This allergy is seasonal and is most often a reaction to pollen. It causes skin irritation and shows up around the top of a dog’s stomach and anal area. Your vet may give your dog steroids for short-term relief from the itching. A regimen of therapy allergy shots can lessen your dog’s sensitivity to allergens on a longer-term basis.

  • Flea Allergies

This is an allergy to the saliva of bloodsucking fleas and is the most common skin disease in dogs. In allergic dogs, a flea bite can cause extreme itching, reddish bumps, and can inflame a dog’s skin for days. Steroids and antihistamines can help a dog with flea allergies, but the only real treatment is to rid your house, yard, and dog of the fleas. Pet Bath Ultra uses Flea Blast Technology to generate super-oxygenated molecules to bathe your pet without water. This amazing brush will leave your dog with a lush coat that smells fresh and clean without all the fuss.

  • Food Allergies

Dogs can also be allergic to several different types of food. They may experience allergic reactions to dog food contents such as chicken, beef, or corn which are typical ingredients in commercial dog food. This allergy usually shows up as skin problems such as rashes, itching, and areas of infected skin. Some dogs may also suffer from an upset stomach accompanied by chronic diarrhea or vomiting.

If your dog is suffering from an food allergy, you should try eliminating certain foods from his diet. Contact your vet and ask if there is a special food they would recommend for your dog to aid in overcoming his allergy. A visit to your vet is necessary if your dog demonstrates these allergy symptoms: frequent scratching, licking and chewing; recurring skin or ear infections; flaky skin; hair loss; or chronic stomach upset.

Antihistamines, steroids, and other medications can relieve your dog’s discomfort from itching, but steroids should not be considered a long-term solution since they can cause serious health problems in your pet. Antihistamines are safer, but they can make your dog drowsy. Air filters and air-conditioning will cut airborne allergens. For dust mite allergies, wash your dog in hot water every week. Avoid letting your dog go outside in the early morning and late afternoon hours when pollen levels are at their peak.

After taking your dog on a walk, wipe it down with a moist towel to remove any pollen that might have accumulated during your outing. A good product to use after every walk or outdoor play session is Paw Clean. Just spray it on your dog’s paw pads and between the “toes” to eliminate harmful germ spreading substances. To keep an allergic dog’s sensitive skin from drying out after a bath, use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo. For flea allergies, you can fill your dog’s bed with cedar chips to keep fleas from taking up residence.

Does your dog have allergies? If so, what is he or she allergic to? Are you able to control your pet’s allergy? How? Please share your success story with our readers who may need your help.