Dog Allergies – What Causes them and What are the Symptoms?

Just like us, dogs can suffer from allergies. An allergy is when the immune system reacts to something (the allergen) as if it is a threat, and produces antibodies. This causes chemicals to be released in the body and leads to what we term an allergic response or reaction. An allergen can be something which is quite harmless to other animals, but causes your dog’s immune system to react whenever he comes into contact with it. This occurs when he inhales it, ingests it, or it comes into contact with his skin.

shutterstock_53629627Common Causes
Any dog can develop an allergy at any time and at any age. As well as the more obvious allergens such as pollen, dust, mold spores and dander, dogs can be allergic to fleas and products used to treat fleas, cigarette smoke, prescription drugs, perfume, cleaning products and feathers. They can even be allergic to certain fabrics, rubber and plastic materials, and certain ingredients in food.

Symptoms of allergies in dogs can include constant licking; scratching, itchy back, or itching around the base of the tail; itchy and runny eyes; itchy ears and infections; sneezing; vomiting and/or diarrhea; swollen paws or paw chewing; snoring (due to an inflamed throat); and itchy skin which can become red, moist or scabbed. Secondary bacterial infections, or yeast skin infections, can also cause scabs or crusts on your dog’s skin, and you may notice some hair loss in the area.

What to do if you think Your Dog Has an Allergy
If you think your dog has an allergy, you should first of all consult a veterinarian. Your dog will be examined and your vet can recommend any further tests or advise you on a special elimination diet if you both think that your dog is allergic to something in his food. You might be advised to take your dog for an intradermal skin test, a similar method to that which is used to establish to what a human is allergic.

Depending on the cause of the allergies, you might be able to help your pet by removing the allergen if at all possible. Treat all of your pets for fleas regularly (whether or not he is allergic to them), clean their bedding and vacuum to remove allergens, and consider a weekly bath with a suitable product to remove allergens and pollens from his skin.

@desmondthegolden_SKSSkin Soother Can Help
Skin Soother from The Natural Dog Company is an organic healing balm that you can apply yourself to the affected area of your dog’s skin to sooth discomfort and aid healing. The balm creates a barrier to protect the affected skin from becoming infected, and the natural antibiotic ingredients help to speed recovery and reduce any scarring. Dog allergies symptoms can be treated with Skin Soother. Often, a yeast infection or dermatitis is mistaken for an allergy. Skin Soother is suitable for these ailments as long as the symptoms do not affect your dog’s entire body.