It’s Springtime! What Are The Most Common Dog Allergies?

Dog with an AllergyOne of the most common complaints among dog owners is allergies. Dog allergies and the symptoms are similar to those in humans and they develop in the same manner. Although there are a number of things your dog may be allergic to, the three most common types of allergies include; flea allergies, food allergies and environmental allergies.

Each type of allergy typically shows its own unique type of symptoms, so taking note of the symptoms your dog is displaying will help to identify the type allergies he may be suffering with. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to treat allergies in dogs. Here is some basic information about each type of allergy, the symptoms and how to treat them.

Flea Allergies

Flea allergies are the most common type of allergies found in dogs. It is important to note that the allergy is not caused by the flea itself, but by the saliva of a flea during the time of the bite. Even if your dog does not have fleas, he can be bitten by a flea during a walk or while outside playing.

The most common symptom of an allergy to fleas is continued scratching, typically around the tail area. The scratching may cause sores, scabs and hair loss. Fleas can be easily seen by checking the dogs coat. There are a variety of products the vet can recommended to help eliminate fleas as well as protect your dog from fleas.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are often difficult to diagnose in dogs, especially if they are displaying symptoms that are similar to symptoms of other allergies, such as scratching. Wheat, dairy and eggs are all common types of foods that may be difficult for your dog to digest and they are the most common types of foods that can cause dog allergies.

Symptoms of food allergies may include scratching, coughing and breathing problems. There are a variety of dog foods available that are designed for dogs who have a sensitive diet. In order to determine if the food is causing the allergic reaction, it is important to avoid giving new foods, remove his chew toys and clean the bedding to avoid contact with anything environmental that may be causing the reaction. If the symptoms persist, the veterinarian can do tests to determine exactly which foods are causing the allergies.

Environmental Allergies

Dogs, like humans, can have allergies to things in the environment, such as pollen, grass and flowers. An allergy to pollen is one of the most common types of environmental allergies for dogs. However, the pollen allergy is not typically due to inhaling the pollen, but due to coming in contact with the dogs skin. Symptoms of environmental allergies may include sneezing, coughing, itching and difficulty breathing.

If your dog has allergies to grass or other environmental things, it is important to rinse his paws each time he comes in from being outdoors. The veterinarian can recommend bathing products and medications to help reduce the symptoms.

Allergy testing is the most precise way to determine exactly what type of allergies your dog has. Allergy testing for dogs is done in the same manner as it is for humans in that various allergens are injected just under the skin to see the type of, in any reaction, the dog may have. Allergy testing is important, especially if your dog continually has allergy symptoms, but you are not sure what he may be allergic to. Allergy testing also ensures your dog will get the best treatment for his specific type of allergies.

+Neil Kilgore is a dog lover and the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about breeders and dog care tips on the Greenfield Puppies website.