Allergy in Dogs - How to Deal With and Heal It? (2019 Edited)
This guide will introduce everything you need to know about allergy in dogs, especially how to deal with and heal it.
At the same time, it takes a lot of advantages, and allergy in dogs is only one of them. Since our furry friends can’t tell us what bothers them, it’s highly important to notice their body language on time.
There are many types of allergies a dog can suffer from, and present one of the most common health issues that affect dogs of all breeds.
How do I know if my dog has an allergy?
This is certainly one of the most common questions every dog owner asks himself at least once in a lifetime. Sometimes, you can’t connect your dog’s strange behavior with an allergy because you’d rather believe your four-legged pooch caught a cold, or he’s going through some other minor health issue.
However, the truth is that allergies in dogs can actually become even a life treating condition if not treated on time.
One of the most common symptoms every dog shows when suffers from an allergy is itching.
It’s normal to see a dog scratches his body parts a few times a day, however, in case of allergy; he will do that on every 5-10 minutes. A dog can scratch his skin so badly and even cause serious hair loss and develop red spots, and bloody wounds. Unfortunately, these conditions often lead to bacterial infections that may become life threating.
When we talk about other symptoms of an allergy in dogs, it is usually followed by
swollen spots on the skin,
hot and inflamed skin,
sneezing and runny nose,
itchy and teary eyes,
licking and chewing inflamed spots,
moist or scabbed skin,
and loss of energy.
In other words, your dog will try to tell you through his body language what bothers him.
When a dog is exposed to a certain allergen, his immune system releases the substance called histamine. This kind of reaction is also seen in people. Histamine is a chemical found in our bodies that serves to protect our immune systems from allergens.
As a result, a human or an animal affected by an allergy starts to scratch the skin in order to get rid of something that bothers him/her. As you can guess, it is followed by some of the previously mentioned symptoms.
Are Allergies in Dogs Inherited?
Allergies in our four-legged friends can be inherited from their genes. It means that if a dog’s parents suffered from allergies, there are more possibilities for such a dog to develop allergies too.
In other cases, a puppy that was considered for runt on birth (was smaller and weaker) will be on a higher tendency to show a reaction on certain allergens. It happens because a runt usually has a weak immune system which makes it prone to experience other health problems as well.
It’s also important to mention that certain dog breeds are on a higher risk to get an allergy. It mostly occurs in dog breeds such as French bulldogs, English bulldogs and other Mastiff breeds that have wrinkled skin.
Dogs’ folds often present perfect places for collecting allergy triggers. As a result, their folds become swollen, red, itchy and may even lead to the development of a bacterial infection.
Other reasons for a dogs’ tendency to show allergy can be found in their snouts. Brachycephalic breeds that have shortened nostrils directly inhale pollen, and dust when breathing that may cause them sneezing, and getting an eye allergy.
Types of Allergies in Dogs
Like seen in people, our dogs can also suffer from the same type of allergies.
Food allergy definitely comes to the first place when we talk about your dog’s coat and skin quality.
Dogs can show food intolerance on ingredients such as corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, chicken eggs and skin, and other animal by-products.
Food allergy in dogs causes a dog to experience stomach flatulence, releasing gasses, diarrhea, vomiting, hair loss, and itchiness.
Another type of allergy is caused by environmental allergens.
Environmental allergens include seasonal pollen, dust, mites, ticks, and other insects’ bites. A dog’s skin that got affected by a trigger develops red and hot spots and blister that dog starts to itch excessively.
This type of allergy usually occurs in spring when there is the highest concentration of tree and weed pollen in the air.
What dog’s body part can be affected by environmental allergy?
Dog paw allergy
In case you’ve noticed that your furry pooch excessively licks and chews paws, then you should take into consideration buying him a good pair of dog socks or boots.
Dog boots serve to protect your pet’s paws from road salt (when walking outside in winter), different floor-cleaning chemicals, and other allergy triggers.
Regular soothing and cleaning your pet’s paw pads is also highly important, since cracked and dry skin may lead him to experience a condition called Pododermatitis.
Pododermatitis can be caused not only by triggers but also because a dog can become nervous due to the cracked skin and start to lick and scratch it excessively. It is a very painful condition that is followed by a bacterial infection and red, swollen dog’s toes and paws.
Dog ear allergy
Dog’s ears come to the first place when it comes to allergies. A dog can scratch the ears so badly and even cause bleeding, bad odor, and yeast and bacteria growth. Yeast is a natural resident of everyone’s skin, however, it can grow due to irritation.
Your furry friend that goes through an ear allergy will show redness in the ear canal, waxy fluid coming from the ear, head shaking and ears rubbing on the floor.
Dog eye allergy
Eye allergy in dogs is probably one of the most annoying conditions. When eyes become affected by an allergy, they become red, teary, and release yellow discharge. A dog with an eye allergy actually has the feeling like someone’s thrown sand to his eyes.
In other words, he can start acting nervous, unable to see properly, and will start rubbing the eyes on the floor. Therefore, going to the vet is extremely important.
Dog’s whole body affected by the allergy
Luckily, environmental allergies in a dog can be easily recognized. Besides previously mentioned body parts, they can occur on any other part of their body.
How can you help your dog with environmental allergies?
Buy dog booties and socks
The best prevention to help your pooch with an environmental allergy is to wear clothes. In case he’s allergic to pollen, try to walk him outside when there is the lowest concentration of allergens in the air.
For protecting your dog’s paws from grass and other plant pollen, we advise you to buy him dog socks for summer conditions. For walking in winter condition and protecting his paws from harmful chemicals, you need to buy him waterproof dog boots.
Think about it as a good investment in your dog’s health. Once you buy a good pair of dog boots or sneakers, your four-legged friend will have them forever.
Buy clothes for your dog
Another essential is buying dog clothes. It might sound silly and unnecessary, but clothes will actually serve to protect his skin from environmental allergens and prevent their collecting on his fur.
For walking in warm weather you can choose lightweight clothes made of 100% cotton and mesh that will not irritate your pet’s skin.
Choose a place in the house free of allergens
In case a dog shows allergy when in contact with different house cleaning chemicals, then you might teach him to rest only on his safe area in the house.
It usually presents a dog’s bed, blanket put on carpet, or some other place that will be free of allergens.
Change a dog’s shampoo
Note that even a dog’s shampoo can make his skin itchy. That’s why is always preferable to choose a hypoallergenic dog shampoo over regular ones.
Baby shampoos are also not recommended because human cosmetics have different pH balance from dog cosmetics.
Regular grooming presents one of the most important parts of dog care. In that way, you’ll not only remove all the allergens but will also make his fur look healthy and shiny. It’s advisable to do that at least once a week.
Clean your dog’s fur
This rule doesn’t imply that you need to wash your furry friend’s coat every time you get back from a walk. It means that you can do that by using simple baby wet wipes that are free of alcohol or with a wet towel.
Pay special attention to your dog’s paws because they collect most of dirt and allergens. It would also be great to regularly soothe them with a dog paw balm to escape cracking.
Antihistamines therapy provenly helps in reducing the symptoms of allergy. They are completely harmless to use, however, they also present only a contemporary solution.
Besides taking the oral medicines, you can also use different topical creams, and spray to relieve your dog from itchiness.
Try to heal your dog’s itchy skin with natural remedies
We are sure that there’s no person who hasn’t tried to heal a change on the skin by using a home remedy. Therefore, we advise you to try on some of the following ingredients to relieve your dog’s unpleasantness.
This magical ingredient is famous for the effect it leaves on irritated and red skin. It also heals the cuts, abrasions and other skin inflammations.
Another great fact about this oil is that it’s rich in fatty acids (capric, caprylic and lauric acid) which serve to protect the skin from bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can help a lot in relieving itchiness and yeast on the skin. The ointment should be prepared by using 50% water and 50 % apple cider vinegar. You can use it by putting a solution in a spray bottle and sprinkle your dog’s skin 3 times a day.
Besides you can put the Olive oil in your dog’s meal, you can also apply it directly on hot spots on his skin. Vets usually recommend putting a teaspoon olive oil in your pet’s meal every day because it improves the health of the skin.
In case your dog got an ear infection due to allergy, it’s recommended to use olive oil for massaging the outer of the ear by letting a few drops to enter inside the ear as well.
How do I know if my dog has a food allergy?
In case you’ve noticed that your pooch shows strange behavior after every meal, then it’s time to change his diet. A dog that’s allergic to some kind of ingredient will start to excessively scratch his skin, show stomach flatulence, have smelly gasses and runny stools.
In some extreme cases, a dog can start to vomit and experience breathing issues as well (similar to human’s allergy).
In case of food allergy, it’s always recommended to take a dog to see a vet that might prescribe you a specially tailored diet. Maybe you didn’t know the following, but there are dog breeds that are naturally predisposed to act intolerant to a specific food.
In order to diagnose the allergy trigger, your vet might start an elimination diet that usually lasts 2 weeks.
How can you help your dog with a food allergy?
Switching to a raw food diet seems like the best solution in case your dog suffers from food allergy. In that way, you’ll be the only one who will be able to tailor his menu. Since commercial food is usually rich in by-products, artificial colors and preservatives, homemade boiled or raw food is the healthiest option.
Your dog’s diet can include boiled or raw chicken and turkey meat (without skin), boiled rice, fresh veggies, and fresh fruits. Fish is also highly recommended because it’s rich in Omega 3 oils that leave a beneficial effect on a dog’s skin and fur.
In case you are not sure what fruits to choose, here is the list of fruits your dog can eat: apple, banana, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries (in case he’s not allergic to penicillin), blueberries, cantaloupe, pear, and peach.
The special attention you need to pay when you give your dog to eat pears and apples because their seeds contain cyanide. So, for any case, it’s better to clean both the skin (because of the pesticides) and the seeds.
Peaches, pear, and cantaloupe have a high percentage of fiber, so it’s not advisable to eat them every day, otherwise, your pooch may get diarrhea. On the other hand, blueberries and raspberries present a great source of antioxidants that are famous for their skin healing properties.
Dealing with your dog’s allergy might scare you at first, however, by discovering the root of the problem, you will be on a halfway. Building your dog’s immune system is the only solution to end with all types of allergy.
Therefore, try to invest in your dog’s health by choosing a high-quality diet and immune build supplements. Note that your pooch will be happy only if he lives a healthy life.