Dog Allergies Guide

Dog allergies guide

Allergies in Dogs

Dog allergies, is your dog itching all over? Do you feel that your dog has allergies? Are you worried about what to do? No need to worry now as there is a detailed guideline for dog allergies.

Let us first see what an allergy is? Allergy is a reaction produced by your immune system when it comes in contact with any foreign particle, to which you are regularly exposed to, making it delicate and receptive. We can term these foreign particles as allergens.

These allergens can be dust, pollen, or seasonal environmental allergens. Most of the time, the immune system helps dogs to defend against the invading microbes and harmful particles and shield the body against different infections and diseases.

But with allergies, your dog’s immune system does not respond and work efficiently, causing health damage. When your dog gets exposed to any type of allergen, its immune system stimulates and becomes sensitive to that foreign agent, but repeated exposure to that allergen may lead to over-reaction.

What are the most common dog allergies?

Below are mentioned some most common dog allergies.

my dogs has fleas

Flea allergy Dermatitis

Flea allergy dermatitis (F.A.D.) is one of the dominant allergies found in dogs. It causes itching in dogs due to fleas. It is unnecessary to come in regular contact with the adult fleas, but a single flea bite can cause intense itching in sensitive dogs.

The dogs who have been exposed to any kind of allergy previously tend to be more sensitive to fleas, causing allergy conditions. Once the flea bites your pet, it infuses its saliva into your dog’s body. The dog being allergic to this saliva starts itching vehemently.

Moreover, this itching continues and lasts longer. Maybe your dog keeps itching two weeks after a flea’s bite. This allergy not only causes itching but makes the dog uncomfortable and restless. The dog keeps rubbing itself with other objects to relieve himself, but unfortunately, it starts losing its hair.

If you think that your dog is itching seriously and maybe allergic, the first thing you have to check is the hair loss of your pet. Check if its losing hair from neck, spine, and thigh region.

Once your dog is suspected of having flea allergy dermatitis, firstly try to avoid the flea occupied area to save your dog from critical allergic reactions. Immediately consult a vet and make your dog proper treatment.

Moreover, to save your dog from this allergy work on controlling fleas and start using the flea control products available.

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Seasonal allergies dogs

Seasonal allergies are more common than any other kind of allergies in dogs. They can be damaging to the health of your dog. Your dog, once encountered with the seasonal allergy, can show you symptoms such as swollen eyes, runny nose, ear infection, and recurrent sneezing.

Sadly, your dog cannot explain to you what he feels when he gets any allergy. Look at yourself what are the signs and symptoms appearing and consult a vet.

Mainly the signs of seasonal allergies include scratching, infected skin, paw licking, respiratory problems, and ear infections. As a result of allergic reactions, the skin of your dog will become red and inflamed.

It also faces serious respiratory problems such as coughing, sneezing, and face inconvenience in breathing. Ear infections can also be one of the leading signs of seasonal allergies. Ears become red and waxy, and the head starts shaking.

To avoid this, keep your pet dog clean. Once it has finished playing with you, clean its body and paws properly using hypoallergenic pet wipes. Otherwise, it is better to wash him with dog shampoo. It will help to pacify the inflamed skin and remove allergens from your dog’s body.

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Human Food Allergies in Dogs

Whenever your dog experiences any of the allergies, it gets itchy skin. This is the first-ever symptom of any kind of allergy found in your dog. Secondly, talking about human food allergies in your dog, specifically, your dog may encounter diarrhea and vomiting conditions along with the itchy skin.

Your pet may face discomfort, runny nose, and watery eyes in case of allergy to human foods. Moreover, the main signs that appear are facial swelling, nausea, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea situation, and coughing.

Maybe your dog also starts biting and licking its skin, which can be a severe allergy symptom.

Now let us see which kind of foods can because of dog allergy, which should be avoided and not served to your dog. They include:

  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Egg
  • Fish
  • Lamb
  • Rabbit etc.

It is recommended that you consult a vet who can examine your dog’s condition completely, taking his blood tests and recommending him suitable medicines. Start giving your dog the food about which you are sure that will cause no harm to your dog. 


Dog Food Allergies

Sometimes your dog also gets allergy from his food. Nevertheless, it is better to consult an expert and ask him to perform a dog food allergy test or an elimination diet.

Blood tests and Patch tests are also highly recommended. This will help you know which foods are your dog allergic to. Simply eliminating them from its diet will help it recover fast; otherwise, intake of the same food will lead to serious and severe allergic reactions.

Treatment of any food allergy is utmost necessary. It is so because it can trigger some more chronic health issues to develop. The symptoms can worsen, and change in behavior, along with the quality of life, can become poor.

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Airborne Allergies

The airborne allergies are also called atopy or inhalant allergy. When your dog suffers from atopy, its immune system becomes sensitive to inhalants and foreign particles such as dust, pollen, and molds, etc.

Dust, pollen, etc. cause severe allergic reactions to dogs and resulting in hay fever or asthma. Respiratory problems can also occur, leading to acute respiratory syndromes. The other symptoms may be the same as that of other allergies i.e., itching or reddish-brown hair.

Though its diagnosis is a very strenuous medical history can be very helpful. If your dog develops complications, immediately consult a vet and provide complete medication to your dog.

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies occur when a dog’s immune system shows an allergic reaction against any particle such as pollen, mold spores, animal dander, or dust mites. Environmental allergies are common in dogs with age ranging from 1 to 3.

Due to these foreign agents that cause discomfort for the dog, the dogs try to relieve themselves by chewing, licking, biting, or rubbing it against many surfaces.

According to many research pieces, the symptoms that appear in the case of environmental allergic reactions are mostly skin-related.

In case your dogs exhibit any skin-related symptoms such as the most common one, itching, and redness of the skin,  immediately consult a vet. The vets take a complete look at the medical history of the dog, prescribing different tests and medication.

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Home allergies

There can be many things at your home, which can bring about allergic reactions to your dog. It can be dust mites. Dust mites can sensitize the skin of your dog and make it red and inflamed, ultimately itchy. Hence, the dog can suffer from dermatitis.

Secondly, dog bed stuffing can be irritating for your dog. For example, your dog can get allergic to the fabrics used in the bed stuffing. In research, it is clearly explained that cotton might be a leading source of allergic reactions for dogs.

Thirdly, your dog’s skin can also be sensitive to detergents, soaps, etc. So, take care of what your dog is allergic to. Once you find out, try to remove it from your home or place it away from your dog.


What are Dog Allergy symptoms?

Allergies usually occur when the immune system starts forming antibodies to safeguard the body against infections and diseases. When any foreign particle invades the body, and your dog gets an allergic reaction, it shows some symptoms.

Some symptoms arise due to the infection in the nasal passage, whereas some of them occur due to blockage in respiratory pathways and asthma.

Few of the symptoms which arise due to the inflammation of nasal passageway are:

  • Cough
  • Breathing problems
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Nasal blockage

If your dog has trouble in breathing and asthma conditions, it may also face:

  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing sound
  • Uncomfortable in sleeping

It may also confront some skin issues such as:

  • Eczema
  • Rashes on the skin
  • Red inflammatory skin
  • Tingling skin


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If the sneezing and cough happen, it may be normal, but sometimes, they prevail for more than two weeks, then it might be an allergy. If everything is normal and easy to handle, you may give the prescribed medicines to your pet; otherwise, in an emergency, you may seek expert advice.

Watch out the symptoms of your dogs and notice which thing is making it allergic. It can be any food item it is eating, It might be due to any agent that has stuck to its body while playing, keeping the dog outside for a long time, carpeting at your homes, or being due to cleanliness problems.  

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What is the most common cause of allergies in dogs?

There can be many causes held responsible for the allergies in dogs. Some are mentioned here. Sometimes, any allergen might be pollen or dust particles entering your dog’s body, triggering it to produce a reaction against it. Due to which the immune system fights against that foreign agent by producing protein molecules called antibiotics.

Moreover, some foods such as beef, dairy, egg, wheat, chicken, and fish, etc. do not suit your dog and cause him food allergy.

Occasionally it happens that some dogs have genetic problems, and entry of any foreign particle in their body provokes the allergic response in them. When the dogs are medicated with antibiotics at a very young age, later, they develop problems possibly.

Once the immune system is harmed or threatened, it also impairs the gut, which is the body’s biggest immune organ.

However, the environment also plays a major role in developing strong allergic reactions.

how can I find out dog allergy

How can I find out what my dog is allergic to?

I suggest that if you truly want to figure out what your dog is allergic to, consult a professional vet then. He may help you in identifying the true cause of your dog’s allergy.

As dogs are a part of the family, hence it is equally important to take care of them and their health. Most often dogs become allergic to

  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Feathers
  • Fabrics
  • Perfumes
  • Shampoo
  • Weed pollens
  • Cleaning agents

They may be the cause of allergic reactions in your dog. Furthermore, if you think that any food item is not suiting your dog, try eliminating it form food any make a properly balanced diet for him. Try hypoallergenic food; maybe it will help you a little and improve your dog’s health.

You can also carry out an elimination diet that is a food allergy test for dogs. It may help you figure out which food is hurting your dog and not let it be healthy.

Dog Allergy medication

What is the best allergy medicine for dogs?

The most common medicines being used to treat the allergy of your dog is Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), Claritin (loratadi ne). These medicines are antihistamines that comfort the dog and are safe.

Though some of the dogs after intake of antihistamines can feel a little lethargic, and some can feel over-active, but do not worry. They are safe!

If your dog is facing inflammation, it is better to give him nasal corticosteroids like Flonase. Secondly, you can also use nasal spray i.e., Cromolyn sodium, which reduces the nasal congestion of your dog.

Use decongestants, which will help your dog in breathing. Allergy shots, which are a type of immunotherapy, can also be used but in extreme conditions of allergic reactions. Allergists most often give these shots for durable treatment.

Apoquel is one of the recommended medicines that can be used to ease and soothe the itching that is making your dog uncomfortable.

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What do vets prescribe for dog allergies?

The most common medication that vets suggest is the use of Apoquel, a medicine given to 12 months or older dogs to alleviate itching and inflammation and provide them relief. This medicine is only given to cure allergic reactions and dermatitis.

Some vets also recommend using Omega-3 fatty acids for the treatment of allergies. Some doctors also suggest immunotherapy as a cure for allergies. Slowly and gradually, doctors desensitize the dog’s body and remove allergens from the body.

You can also use shampoos and soaks to clean your dogs. This will provide temporary relief to your dogs for some time but will comfort your dog. This is called tropical therapy.

Dog cortisone is often told by vets to use in the form of injection or tablet to cure the allergy of your dogs.

Last but not least, you can also use steroids for long-term treatment. Though it is a costly and interminable process at the same time, it is an 80% effective method used for the cure of allergic reactions in dogs.

How can you tell if your dog is allergic to food?

When the dog is allergic to anything, it shows some symptoms. But specifically talking about food allergy, it shows specific signs and symptoms. If you want to see that your dog is allergic to food, check out the following mentioned symptoms in it.

It may have dehydrated tingling skin, extreme scratching, which it will relieve by rubbing it against the things.

Secondly, bare patches and hot spots may appear on its red, inflamed skin. It may encounter diarrhea, vomiting, skin, and different ear epidemics. If all these signs appear, you can be sure that the dog has an allergy to food.

Most of the foods that cause allergy to your dog are chicken, fish, egg, dairy, and wheat. You can take blood and patch tests to identify the food allergy in your pet.

Can a dog suddenly become allergic to his food?

Yes, the short answer is that it can become allergic to any food anytime. If it is in the habit of eating some typical food every day, it still can get allergic to it. It does not depend on its age or food it is eating. It can suffer from food allergy anytime.

It is essential to take care of your dogs and keep an eye on them. They can become sensitive to their food. Doctors recommend hypoallergenic food for dogs as they are beneficial for your pet to a great extent.

Hence, it is also better to keep your dog on a limited ingredient diet or grain-free diet to avoid him from getting any kind of food or other allergic reactions. 

dog allergies symptoms

What are hypoallergenic dog foods?

Hypoallergenic foods do not contain wheat, beef, and dairy; rather, they are free from the colorings, preservatives, and soya. They are mostly grain-free diets available for supersensitive dogs. They are used by the dogs who have food allergies. They provide unique proteins that cannot be identified by the dogs’ antibodies, decreasing the chances of allergic reactions.

The hypoallergenic foods contain Vitamin A, Vitamin E, omega 3-fatty acids, and fiber, helping to alleviate the allergies. Hypoallergenic foods consist of carbohydrate source and protein source.

We can feed healthy dogs with its normal food, but it is recommended to give hypoallergenic foods to allergic dogs because these types of foods contain such ingredients which are necessary for relieving allergy in the dog.

family with dog

Dogs are a part of our family, and we must take care of them. If you notice any symptom that can be harmful or serious, immediately consult a vet and seek expert advice. Try using hypoallergenic foods for your dog in case he exhibits allergic symptoms. 

Remove the things from your home, which you think can be a source of allergy in dogs. Do not panic, and start giving proper medication to your pet. It might save him from extreme discomfort and itching.

Prevention is better than cure, try and take preventive measures before your dog gets any kind of allergy. Give it a properly balanced diet or a limited grain diet if you think any food does not suit him well and can, in turn, produce an allergic response.

Read the above guideline and save your dog from itching and hardship.

** Always consult your veterinarian before giving any of the medicine mentioned in this article.

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Nova Scotia Ducvk Tolling Retriever

About us

Hi, welcome to my blog about the amazing breed Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever!

My name is Eline van Stiphout and I live in The Netherlands. Together with my husband Arthur and our sweet Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Stippy, the three of us love to travel and go on outdoor adventures. 

Currently, I’m a professional, fully licensed dog walker since 2017. I gave up my stressful fulltime office job to follow my dream which is working and walking with dogs.


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