Allergies in Dogs

Did you know that your dog can suffer from allergies, just like people can? Dogs sometimes react to certain substances or chemicals, and their reactions are very similar to those in people with allergies. While allergies can’t be cured, there are ways to minimize your dog’s discomfort and help reduce or prevent further episodes. In this article, your local veterinarian Des Moines discusses allergies in dogs.

Symptoms

Dogs with allergies may lick or chew their paws, sometimes obsessively. You might also notice that Fido’s skin is red and itchy, and perhaps even scabby. Your furry pal may also have itchy eyes or ears, or develop recurring ear problems. Skin infections are also not uncommon in dogs with allergies. If your dog is having a severe reaction, he may vomit, or even get diarrhea.

Causes

There are several substances that can cause allergic reactions in your canine buddy. Pollens from trees, grasses, or weeds are common instigators. Mold spores, dust, dander, and cigarette smoke can also cause allergic reactions in dogs, as can certain perfumes, shampoos, and household cleaners. Dogs also sometimes develop allergies to certain materials, such as rubber or plastic. Last but certainly not least, food allergies are not uncommon in dogs.

Treatment

In order to properly treat a dog for allergies, your vet will need to determine just what is causing the reaction. This is usually done by a skin test. Dogs with allergies may be treated with a variety of medications, including antihistamines and cortisone treatments. Your vet may also recommend certain supplements, such as fatty acid supplements, and/or other medications. If food is causing your dog’s allergies, your vet may recommend a strict diet. Often, dogs with food allergies will be put on a very specific regimen, which may include home-cooked meals.

Precautions

There are some steps you can take at home to help reduce Fido’s allergic reactions. Washing your pup’s bedding frequently will help keep dust and dander out of his sleeping area. You may find that using hypoallergenic soaps and shampoos also helps. Weekly bathing may help with skin problems, but you want to be sure that Fido isn’t reacting to his shampoo, as otherwise you may only exacerbate the issue. Talk to your vet for specific recommendations.

If you know or suspect that your furry buddy suffers from allergy, contact your vet to schedule an examination. Identifying the source of your dog’s allergies is the first step to successfully managing Fido’s allergies.

Do you have any questions about caring for your dog? Please contact us, your local vet clinic Des Moines, any time we can help.