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.
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.
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.