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Can Dogs Have Allergies?

Inhalant Allergy

Little dog sneezes may be cute, but that cuteness could be a sign of allergies. Inhalant allergies, otherwise known as atopy, can be caused by such things as mold, dust mites, tree pollen, and ragweed.

Symptoms of atopy include sneezing, runny nose, rubbing of the face, chewing at the paw pads, incessant licking of the groin area, and wheezing.

If you suspect an inhalant allergy in your four legged friend, try to limit exposure to the allergen. For instance, if he appears to be allergic to dust mites, be vigilant about vacuuming, particularly in the winter when Fido is prone to spend more time indoors. If you notice your dog has heavy wheezing or runs a fever above 101, a trip to the emergency vet is in order.

Bite Allergy

Bug bites rarely amount to more than an annoying, temporary itch. However, some dogs are allergic to insect bites, most often from fleas. It’s not actually the bite itself the dog is allergic to, but the saliva of the flea.

Symptoms of a bite allergy are excessive itching and biting to the affected area which can cause hair loss and scabbing.

Relief for your itchy pup begins with flea control. Regular treatments should eradicate the problem. Talk to your veterinarian about what treatments are recommended and to address any open sores your pup may have, if antibiotics are required to ward off infection.

Contact Allergy

A contact allergy, otherwise known as contact dermatitis, can be caused by any number of things, such as pesticides, cleansers, fabric, or plastics.

Symptoms of a contact allergy include excessive scratching and red bumps or sores on the skin, most commonly on the groin, belly, feet, or muzzle.

The best way to offer relief to your 4 legged friend is to figure out what is causing his reaction. Did he receive a new bed? Was the laundry detergent changed? Did he roll around in grass that was treated with pesticides? Treatment is as simple as removing the offending object or avoiding the troublesome area. If you are stumped what it could be, talk with your veterinarian for allergen relief and for tips on locating the source of the problem.

Food Allergy

Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to different foods, ingredients, and chemicals.

Symptoms of a food allergy can range from excessive scratching to digestive issues such as chronic gas or diarrhea.

You can eliminate the food source if it’s obvious what your dog is allergic to. However, in most cases, it can be difficult to discern. Talk to your veterinarian to determine how to proceed. The severity of Fido’s symptoms will dictate treatment.

Just as humans can have allergies to inhalants, bug bites, different types of food, or any number of substances or chemicals, so too can your dog be allergic to all these things. If you suspect your dog is suffering from allergies, contact your local veterinarian to determine the best course of action to keep Fido happy, healthy, and symptom-free.


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