You’ve heard of people who are allergic to dogs and allergic to pollen. But have you heard of dogs who have allergies? We’ve got the skinny on things that make your pet itchy and miserable and what you can do to help Fido feel better.
As with humans, dogs demonstrate a variety of allergy symptoms. Allergies can be seasonal or year-round. Seasonal allergies may be easier to pick up on, because your dog will only suffer for a few weeks or months out of the year. Other environmental allergies may affect your dog at any time, with symptoms like itching, runny eyes, sneezing, swelling, skin irritation and frequent licking. Licking aside, dog allergy symptoms look a lot like allergy symptoms in people. Vomiting and diarrhea can also be symptoms of allergies in dogs, but could be signs of other issues. If they persist, take your dog to the vet right away.
Dogs can be allergic to many things. This can make it difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s bothering your dog. Food allergies aren’t as common and can be harder to diagnose. Seasonal allergies, such as pollen allergies, may be easier to identify if they crop up at the same time humans are suffering from seasonal allergy symptoms.
Other substances in your home could be irritating your dog, such as cigarette smoke, dust and laundry additives. Wash your dog’s bedding in hot water with an unscented detergent to try to give your dog an allergen-free place to rest. Keep in mind that dogs can also be allergic to fleas. Keep your dog up to date with his flea prevention medication.
If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of allergies, make an appointment to visit your veterinarian. There are a variety of ways to treat allergies in dogs, ranging from immunotherapy (allergy shots) to supplements. Antihistamines may be effective under a vet’s supervision. Ask your vet for prescription shampoo to relieve your dog’s allergy symptoms and prevent symptoms in the future.
As you identify what your dog is allergic to, take preventive measures at home to reduce your dog’s exposure to the substances that make him itchy and uncomfortable. The good news is, allergy proofing for a dog is similar to allergy proofing for people. If you treat the air at home, keep your windows closed during pollen season and avoid tracking pollen into your home, you’ll relieve your own seasonal allergies too.
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