Dog Allergies

Dog allergies.  Did you know that they are just about as common as allergies are in humans?  A dog’s allergic reaction will usually produce the same range of symptoms. One of the more common reactions in a dog would be “itchy skin”.

This will lead him to scratch and worse yet it will appear that he is scratching all of the time. A couple of the others could be; respiratory reactions such as sneezing or coughing and or digestive symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting.

An allergy simply put is a “hypersensitive reaction to a substance”.  One that is normally considered to be harmless. It occurs when something that a majority of animals wouldn’t have any problems with, that triggers an “immune system response” in a particular dog.

There are times when a pet can become allergic to something that has given him absolutely no problems in the past. The reason for this is because he has been “over exposed” to it for a while. This also happens in humans.

Below are a few of the main things that can cause dog allergies followed by some examples for how to deal with them to avoid any suffering by your pet.

1. Food allergies

Dog food allergies can be a very common problem. It occurs as a result of built-up intolerance to ingredients used in the majority of the dog foods that are on the market today. Some of these ingredients include: soy, dairy products, corn or even chicken or beef.  If food allergies occur in your dog you will need to change your dog’s regular brand.

You are more than likely going to have to try several different brands until you can come up with one that does not cause a problem. The allergy may disappear after a few months. At that point you can rotate foods every couple of months to prevent  another “intolerance” from building up.

2. Contact allergies

As is the case with many children these days, dogs can become allergic to “household products” that come into contact with their skin. Things such as detergent that is used to wash their bedding, something they come into contact with in the yard, a certain spray that you use in the house, or plants that you have in the garden or house.

The symptoms for contact dog allergies are very similar to eczema in humans. The dog will usually develop red,dry,itchy patches of skin. The skin may become cracked or even form blisters.

If you are able to identify what is causing the problem, you will probably be able to remove the irritant from your dog’s life. If not, your pet can be treated for contact dog allergies with shampoos or certain oral steroids prescribed by your vet.

3. Flea allergies

While fleas will always (and I do mean always) cause some discomfort and scratching, there have been times where a dog will develop an allergy to the “saliva” of the flea. This will cause these bites to become intensely (almost unbearably) itchy and will probably cause the dog to start chewing his skin.

The best remedy for this would be to get rid of the fleas and protect your canine from these nasty parasites in the future. Stopping your dog from encountering fleas just isn’t going to happen, it’s not possible.

The reason for this statement is because fleas will be found in all of the places he likes to go when you take him out for his walks, as well as when meeting up with other dogs.

So do not lolly gag around and wait for the fleas to become a problem. Take some action and treat him every couple of months. It doesn’t matter if he is scratching or not. And remember to always consult your vet.

You can take some comfort in the fact that your family pet is fortunate to be living in times like these. Cures and remedies for dog allergies are being refined all of the time.

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