You love your pooch and you hate to see him scratching, stuffy and downright unhappy because of allergies. Just like in people, allergies in dogs can due to many different reasons, from food ingredients to environmental surroundings. So what do you do? Identify potential allergy causes and work with your veterinarian to develop a plan to eliminate each one. There are three common causes of your dog’s allergies, including skin conditions, your pet’s living environment and food supply.
Allergies and Skin Conditions
One potential source that can cause allergies in your dog comes from fleas. Even if you have treated your pet for fleas, this can still be a problem. The reason is because the saliva from flea bites can cause an allergic reaction that leads to skin conditions such as allergy induced dermatitis. It doesn’t take a flea infestation for this to occur. A bite from one or two fleas can be problematic. If your dog is constantly itching and scratching, check for skin irritations and seek care from a veterinarian. Bites from other insects such as spiders and tic can also trigger allergic reactions.
Surroundings and Environment
Many times the source of allergies in dogs comes from the surrounding environment. Many allergens are airborne. If your dog is sensitive to dust, plants and other pollutants, check your home environment for various triggers. Other possible sources of allergens in the home include perfumes, mold spores, cleaning products and cigarette smoke. If your dog has itchy skin, sinus problems or even gastric problems, it may be time to take a good look around your home or the pet’s living environment to uncover potential allergy triggers.
Certain foods can trigger pet allergies as well. The specific food ingredients that trigger allergies vary from dog to dog, just like allergy triggers for humans. Many dogs are allergic to the protein in food formulas. Protein can be found in meat, grain and vegetable ingredients. You can try varying the food you give your dog to test which ingredient is causing allergic reactions. If the process becomes difficult, you may want to switch to a food with foods that are least likely to trigger allergies in your dog. For example, foods featuring fish as the main ingredient instead of chicken may do the trick.
The Bottom Line
Should you find that your dog has allergies, helping him overcome the underlying cause is your first priority as a good pet parent. When you notice allergy symptoms, consult with your veterinarian for help in determining whether the allergies are due to skin conditions, the pet environment or the food they eat. Then work with your vet to develop a plan to treat the allergies. For skin problems, oral or topical medicines may be recommended. Changing your dog’s food to one with fewer allergy triggers is also an option. You will also want to work to remove the allergy triggers from your dog’s environment as much as possible.