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.