If you’re a dog owner, you would probably know that our furry friends can suffer from allergies just like humans do. It can be heartbreaking to watch your pup deal with symptoms like itchiness, redness, and discomfort, which can also decrease your dog’s activities and playfulness. Not ideal, Right?
For dog allergies, consider Omega-3 supplements, probiotics, oral antihistamines, hypoallergenic shampoos, wipes, or prescription medications. However, always consult a vet before starting any treatment to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Thankfully, there are many ways to manage your dog’s allergies, which can vary from avoiding triggers to using medication or natural remedies.
Today, we’ll explore some of the best options for treating your dog’s allergies and improving its quality of life. This article will also help you understand why allergies occur in dogs and how you can determine the symptoms.
What Causes Dog Allergies?
Despite advancements in veterinary science, curing dog allergies is a challenging task. Why? That’s because our furry friends are unable to convey their condition, making the task of prescribing the right medication more tricky, especially when you are dealing with dog allergies.
So, noticing the symptoms and interpreting them will allow you to understand your cuddly fur’s issues.
But as prevention is better than cure, it is always wise to understand why these allergies occur, which will help you prevent them more effectively.
Just like humans, dogs also have an immune system that identifies an allergic reaction as a threat. In short, their body starts to fight this allergen, identical to what the human body does to defend itself from a virus or bacteria.
The process involves two molecules (histamines and mast cells) which work in tandem to alert the body. The mast cells indicate the presence of an allergen and release histamines that defend your dog’s body from the allergen.
This process is similar to a human reaction where our body generates an antihistamine. However, Histamines often cause inflammation which results in allergic symptoms like sneezing, redness, and itching.
So the process that your dog’s body develops to fight allergens may actually cause allergic reactions as it tends to fight the problem instead of ignoring it.
What Triggers Allergic Reaction in Dogs?
Allergies can vary for different dogs. So, a common pattern that causes allergies to other dogs may not affect your furry friend, making it challenging for the owners.
However, veterinary experts often categorize dog allergies into three categories, which allows them to understand and diagnose the symptoms better. Furthermore, these categories require different treatment techniques and may vary for different dogs.
Here are the categories that vets usually interpret when they start their medication.
Food allergy in dogs is a tricky condition to diagnose as you have to understand the pattern to determine which food is causing the issue. In short, you will have to evaluate your dog’s diet and figure out which ingredient is responsible for the allergy.
For instance, a common dog diet includes proteins like chicken, lamb, or beef, which might cause allergies in your dog. So, noticing allergic reactions in your dog’s skin or eating habits will help you determine which protein is not working for your dog.
The best way to understand food allergy is to look for GI-related symptoms. These symptoms include constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and even bleeding in some cases.
However, your dog may not develop the allergy immediately, which makes the task of identifying problems more challenging. So, look out for indications and monitor your dog, especially when you introduce new food products to your dog’s diet.
Dogs love to explore their surroundings, which means, they can pick up allergies even when you maintain a hygienic activity cycle. In fact, air fresheners or your favorite laundry soaps can also cause allergies to your fur friend, especially during fall or spring.
Furthermore, pollens and dust mites also cause allergies in dogs. Thankfully, most dogs are immune to this allergy, with only 15% of them suffering from environmental allergies.
However, if your dog falls under the 15% category, you will have to take extra care of your surroundings and understand which home product to use.
Additionally, air fresheners can also cause respiratory problems in your dog, which may lead to more complex issues. So, ensure that you avoid using air fresheners if your dog develops this condition.
Here are some common symptoms that will help you determine whether your dog is suffering from environmental allergies.
- Excessive sneezing
- Excessive itching
- Tear up
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
If you talk about allergies in dogs, most of the cases would often involve fleas. These nasty insects can make your dog’s life miserable and cause various issues, including continuous itching and pain.
For instance, a single bite is enough to cause irritation, and your dog will do anything to get rid of the issue. In fact, dogs often remove their hair due to continuous scratching, especially if the bite occurs on the face, back, or neck.
Furthermore, the flea’s saliva also reacts with your dog’s skin causing the terrible itching condition known as FAD or Flea Allergy Dermatitis.
So what can you do to treat this issue? The best practice is to start with your home or the surroundings where your dog usually ventures. However, getting rid of fleas is challenging, especially if you do not follow the perfect medication.
Additionally, you may have to follow this medication for more than six months, especially if your home has lots of fleas.
How to Determine if Your Dog Has Allergies
The best way to determine that your dog has allergies is to look for symptoms and behavioral changes.
For instance, if you have introduced a new food product to your dog’s diet, observe your dog’s behavior for some days. If your fur friend develops some conditions, it would be best to drop that food product and consult with a vet.
Furthermore, keep a close eye on triggers and identify them to sort the issue with your vet.
Here are some common symptoms that indicate that your dog has developed an allergy.
- Itching (especially at specific hot spots)
- Ear infections
- Frequent paw chewing and licking
- Vomiting or nausea
- Runny nose or eyes
Tip: If you notice these symptoms, make a note and share it with your vet to get specific solutions.
What Can I Give My Dog For Allergies?
So what should you give when your dog has allergies? As mentioned earlier, allergies are common for dogs, so your dog might pick one or the other in his life.
Thankfully, you can follow some medications to prevent dog allergies and keep your dog healthy and happy. However, always ensure that you consult an experienced vet before implementing these remedies on your dog.
When you think about the question, “What can I give my dog for allergies?” you would probably think about supplements. In fact, you’re right, but the problem arises when you have to pick the right one for your dog.
For instance, supplements based on Omega-3 work great for many dogs as they help to reduce skin-related issues, especially with seasonal allergies. These supplements also enhance your dog’s skin and coat and reduce bacterial infections.
Likewise, probiotics are also good for allergies as they suppress the effects of allergens in your dog’s body. The effect of probiotics may differ for different dogs, so consulting a vet would be the best option.
Oral antihistamines work identical magic for humans and dogs. However, the amount of oral antihistamines differs for humans and dogs, as your fur friend may develop side effects if you give them an identical dosage.
In short, consulting a veterinary professional will be the best option to determine safe dosing. Furthermore, monitor your dog’s sleeping behavior or hyperactivity, which will help you determine whether the medication is working or not working.
Hypoallergenic Shampoos and Wipes
Dogs often develop allergies to their skin. So, opting for hypoallergenic shampoos (affiliate link) and wipes will help reduce symptoms and prevent your dog from suffering from these issues.
For instance, using wipes to wipe your dog’s skin will keep your dog clean and offer relief. Likewise, shampoos can soothe your dog’s skin and get rid of itchiness.
You can also use home remedies like oatmeal (uncooked) mixed with flour, baking soda, and warm water to make a solution for your dog’s coat and skin.
However, we will recommend consulting a vet before using home remedies on your fur friend.
If shampoos, supplements, and other solutions fail, it is undoubtedly wise to visit a veterinary expert and opt for prescription medications. These medications target specific issues and will help your dog to overcome his allergy more effectively.
Furthermore, a professional vet will conduct tests before prescribing the medication, which ensures that your dog will not get any side effects. However, prescription medications can be expensive and may involve allergy testing.
So what can I give my dog for allergies? We hope that this article has cleared all your doubts regarding this question. Allergies in dogs are common, and you may face them if you have a pet.
So maintaining a healthy diet, taking note of triggers and symptoms, and interpreting your dog’s actions are the best ways of determining what’s troubling your fur friend.
- American Kennel Club (AKC) – “Allergies in Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment”: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-allergies-symptoms-treatment/
- PetMD – “Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment”: https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_dg_allergic_dermatitis
- VCA Animal Hospitals – “Allergic Dermatitis in Dogs”: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/allergic-dermatitis-in-dogs
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
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If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!