When people think of allergies they often think of food and pet allergies, they do not realize that their pets can actually suffer from allergies. However, just like a human dogs can have allergic symptoms as well if their immune system starts to react to irritants negatively. Reactions can range from mild symptoms such as itchy, runny eyes and increased scratching to larger more severe symptoms such as swollen paws, an inflamed throat, diarrhea, and skin infections.
Allergens tend to cause the worst problems for dogs when they come in direct contact with them either by skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation. Any dog can develop allergies and surprisingly they can happen at any time. This means that your dog may be fine for years, but suddenly at age five or six may start to develop allergies. Other dogs have allergies from birth. Allergies can occur in any dog, but the breeds that are more disposed to develop allergies include Boston Terriers, Setters, Pugs, Bulldogs, and Retrievers.
Just like humans, there are a wide variety of things that a dog can be allergic to including but not limited to tree, grass, and weed pollen, dander, mold spores, fleas, prescription drugs, cigarette smoke, e-liquids from e-cigarettes, perfumes, fabrics, rubber, and feathers. Dogs can also have food allergies but will tend to present with skin issues or GI issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. If food allergies are suspected then an elimination diet must be started and treats should be kept pure and simple such as antler dog chews.
If you think that your dog has allergies then it is important to address the issue with a veterinarian. The vet may or may not recommend a skin or blood test to look for specific allergies. They also might recommend that you try an elimination diet. An allergy test via skin can also be administered much like the patch test given to humans. Once allergies are identified they can be properly removed from your pet’s environment to prevent further problems. Regular bathes, regular bedding changes, vacuuming, and elimination diets are all helpful ways to keep your dog healthy and free of reactions.