How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Allergies? 3

Researching on allergies in dogs and how to stop all the itching

Learn how to figure out if your dog has allergies, and what to do about it to find your dog some relief. Your dog would do it if they could.

Is your dog itching but no fleas are to be found? If you’ve already ruled out mange in dogs, then the next logical step in the diagnosis is allergies. Allergies in dogs, like with humans, are difficult because there are so many things that can cause an allergic reaction.

Aside from fleas, the second most common reason for dog itching and licking is allergies. It is also the hardest problem to pinpoint, because just like people, dogs can be allergic to anything.



Dog Allergies Symptoms

Common allergens for dogs are food, inhalant (atopy), and flea bites. Listed below are some of the more common symptoms of dog allergies:

Dog Allergies Treatment

These dog allergies treatments are for unpleasant dog allergy symptoms – not life-threatening.
If your dog has serious or life threatening allergies, then you need to take your dog to your vet, who will know what is best for your situation.

Dog Food Allergies/Intolerance

Although much is said about food allergies in dogs, true dog food allergies are the least common allergy among dogs. And unfortunately, food allergies in dogs cannot always be accurately determined with blood tests. More often than not, your dog develops a food intolerance, not a true allergy – and this is GOOD news because a healthier dog food might be all your dog needs.

Dog Food Allergies Treatment

The only way to reliably tell if your dog is allergic/intolerant to a food is by using the elimination diet. This is where you provide one new protein source and one new carb source for your dog to eat, and only eat this, for 8 to 12 weeks. There should be no treats or table scraps while on the elimination diet.

CAUTION: If you have a special needs dog, a puppy, or a pregnant or lactating dog, the elimination diet may not be advisable, as your dog may not be getting all the necessary nutrients during this time period. Consult with your vet before any change of diet.

If your dog food allergy symptoms disappear (this will not happen for a couple of weeks), then it may be a food allergy. To confirm this, after the 12 week elimination diet is completed, you can either go back to the old diet or try introducing foods one at a time and watch for reactions. The most common foods to provoke allergies in dogs are wheat, corn, chicken, dairy, and soy – although anything can be the culprit.

If you don’t want to, or don’t feel comfortable feeding your dog as described above, then the best food for dog food allergies would be a quality hypoallergenic dog food, which is packed full of nutrients your dog needs. Lack of quality nutrients can actually frazzle an immune system, causing it to always be on the attack and mimic allergies.

A hypoallergenic dog food has a limited number of ingredients which helps to reduce the possible allergens your dog is exposed to. Some of these foods will also use ingredients your dog has probably never had, such as duck, venison, barley, and sweet potatoes, and thus have no adverse reactions to. Many people see a great improvements in their dogs allergies just by switching to a hypoallergenic dog food. While not the most common reason for an allergy, dog food is by far the easiest to control for testing. Two of the best hypoallergenic dog foods are Wellness Simple Solutions and Natural Balance LID.

Inhalant Dog Allergies

Inhalant and atopy (absorbed through the skin) dog allergies can also cause skin allergies in dogs. Inhalants can include pollen from trees, grasses, and flowers. Atopy allergies to rubber and plastics are also common, as well as different fabrics, like wool and nylon. Another culprit are chemicals that are used on carpets and chairs. Remember, your dog is constantly on the ground and therefore constantly breathing and rubbing on the toxins of these chemically treated items, much more so than humans, and are a common cause of dog skin allergies. With dog allergies itching is one of the most common symptoms of allergies in dogs and trying to determine the cause can become very frustrating for the pet owner.

Dog Allergies Treatment for Inhalents/Atopy

If the dog skin allergy symptoms are seasonal, then pollen is a good bet. Unless your dog is tearing up his skin with all the scratching, most people just tend to let it play out, as it usually only lasts for a few weeks. If the scratching is too much, try a colloidal oatmeal dog shampoo and/or a spot-on itch relief treatment.

For other types of allergens, such as chemical or fabric, finding the source may be more difficult. Watch where your dog goes in the house and try to isolate what may be causing the problem. If you just started using a new cleaner, try changing to a new one. A new dog bed? Take it away. If nothing new has been introduced, then you will have to test with the trial-and-error method. Remember, an allergy can pop up anytime and to just about anything, even something that the dog has been accustomed to for years (I know – not very helpful!).

Something which also may help is to boost your dog’s immune system with Omega-3 and biotin supplements. These have been reported to help alleviate some allergy symptoms and could make your dog more comfortable during pollen season.

When dealing with any type of pet allergy symptoms, improving nutrition is always a great place to start. Your dog can never be too healthy and all the symptoms from dog allergies (scratching, ear infections, and digestive issues) creates a lot of stress on your dog’s body. Boosting the immune system and adding extra essential fatty acids can only help your dog cope as you figure out the problem.

Dog Allergies From Flea Bites

Dog itching because of flea allergies

Believe it or not, your dog can actually be allergic to flea bites – as if the fleas themselves weren’t bad enough…..

Flea bites are a common cause for your dog’s itchy skin. It is the saliva of the flea that gets under the skin when bitten that causes the itching sensation. If your dog has an allergic reaction to the bite, flea allergy dermatitis can be the result. The itching and scratching will be intense and can last for days after the actual flea bite. There will be actual bite(s), but depending on your dog’s coat, they may be very difficult to see. Your best bet for a dog flea allergy is flea control.

Dog Allergies Treatment for Fleas

The main thing to remember about flea bite allergies is that your dog does not have to be infested with fleas. If your dog is has a severe allergy to flea bites, one bite can cause a major allergic reaction.With their skin already sensitive and irritated, learn how to get rid of fleas naturally. Try using an all-natural dog flea treatment for both your dog and your house to keep fleas at bay.

Dog Allergy Treatment Summary

The type of allergy treatment will depend on the allergen, but most average allergies can be controlled naturally, with a little extra effort on our part. Whether it be feeding a different food or reducing the amount of outside time, we can considerably help our dog’s situation without the need to medicate with anti-histamines or steroids.

Adding dog supplements to your dog’s food is a great place to start, regardless of the reason for the allergies. Most dogs do not get enough of the nutrients and enzymes that they need to be able to fight off these allergens naturally. By boosting the immune system, you may be able to alleviate a lot of your dog’s allergy symptoms.

Immediate Relief From Itching Due To Dog Allergies

While you are trying to find the cause for your dog allergies, you still need to address the immediate problem of all your dog’s itching and scratching. It is more than just annoying, it is also hurting and inflaming their skin. Try some natural dog itching remedies to provide that immediate relief to your dog allergies.

 

3 Comments

don says:

yah know I have been reading every thing on the net about itiching dogs, but no-one has really come up with a solution to the problem. Then you get people telling me to take her to the vet, what a stupid thing to say. You take the dog to the vet and for 10years every vet I see tells me that the only way to help the dog is to put her on steroids. Thats the fastest way to tear down her emmunity system. In fact I had such a problem with my dog because of steroids I told the vet that she would never ever have another steroid. The vet admitted to me that he has overdozed the dog and she lost 80% of her hair. She has been off the drugs for about 4mos. now and she has all her hair back, thank god. Now she is starting to itch again, I have tried just about all the shampoos out there and nothing works , does anyone out there know of a natural way to help the dog. Please respond


StopDogItching says:

The reason you can’t find a solution is that there are so many different causes for the problem. While there are solutions for the different causes of dog itching, not every solution will work on every dog – just like with humans.

If you think it is allergy related, definitely beef up her immune system and overall health. Feed her the best dog food you can afford – look at Addiction Raw, Honest Kitchen, and Sojos for some top of the line dehydrated dog food – these have been processed the least and contain the most nutrients, except for raw food – or learn how to make your own dog food. Also, make sure your dog is getting sufficient omega-3s – you may want to add in a coat supplement and/or immune boosting supplement for this. You will need to do this for at least 3 months before you can expect to see any great difference.

Of course, restricting whatever is triggering your dog’s allergic reactions is also necessary. Improving the health will not remove the allergic reactions, but will make her better able to deal with the allergens and hopefully make the reactions much less severe and manageable.

If you are tired of the the traditional vet route, holistic vets are now showing up in greater numbers. Some will even correspond with you online to determine the best diet and natural treatment for your dog. AlternativePetHealth has links to both sites that list holistic vets as well as a couple that do online/phone consolations.


Jenny says:

Please help if you can!! My be able is 5 yrs old. She was on prednisone but I didn’t like the side effects, so we made a huge lifestyle change and she no longer needs it. Last Tuesday, I caught her dining on a dead rabbit… then 2 days later she had awful diarrhea… we went to the vet this Tuesday and she doesn’t have any parasites, but the vet gave her antibiotics as a precaution… now all her allergy problems are back and she’s miserable.. I’ve given benadryl but it’s.not helping at all…


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