Allergies don’t just affect humans, dog allergies are more common than you might think and can severely impact on the health of your dog. Dogs may be allergic to food, fleas, airborne pollutants as well as their own fur. Rather than simply administering medication, such as steroids, it would be better to find what is causing the allergy and remove it. However this is easier said than done especially if your dog has more than one allergy.
Dog allergy symptoms include wheezing, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, a patchy coat, runny eyes or nose and tiredness or lethargy. So what causes allergies in dogs and how can we find and eliminate them?
A primary cause of canine allergies is fleas. However this is simple to eliminate. Simply buy one of the products on the market that eliminates fleas or ask your vet to recommend one. Make sure you apply it regularly as fleas can’t be eliminated by just one application.
Food allergies are another very common occurrence. Dogs may become allergic to chemicals in dog food or to the actual ingredients themselves. Foods that most commonly trigger allergies are corn, fish, eggs, wheat, beef or chicken. Of all these corn is probably the worst and unfortunately is very common in cheaper brands of dog food. Ask your vet what he recommends, or there are also hypoallergenic do foods available.
Your dog may even be allergic to his own fur. This is particularly common for long haired dogs. Dogs can ingest a lot of hair when they clean themselves and this makes the allergy worse. Giving your dog a good wash every couple of weeks will remove excess hair and dander. Grooming him with a stiff brush once a day helps too.
Do you use chemical cleaners in your home? Dogs may be quite sensitive to these. Use natural cleaning products or those without bleach or other harsh chemicals. Mold can affect your home without you knowing it. Testing for and removing mold will improve the health of your entire family including your dog.
Dog allergy symptoms such as itchy skin can be relieved by washing your dog in water with some added oatmeal. Natural shampoos containing eucalyptus, tea tree oil or aloe vera can also provide quick, temporary relief.
Give your dog some omega 3 and/or primrose oils. These are known to improve most skin conditions in both humans and dogs.
For severe allergies, anti-histamines can provide immediate relief. However there may be side effects such as lethargy.
Dog allergy symptoms are a wake up call that all is not well with your dog’s health or environment. Finding the cause of the allergy is the hard part, but taking care of an allergic dog is relatively easy once you have identified the problem. Always ask your vet for advice if you do not know where to start.