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.