Everything you need to know about allergies in dogs
An allergy is a state of hypersensitivity or over-reactivity of the immune system to a particular substance or substances called an allergen. Most of the common allergens are proteins from foods, plants, insects, and/or animals. Dogs can suffer from a wide variety of allergies. Typically, these allergies become visible through skin conditions; however, there are several other signs and symptoms you can look out for. Dog allergies can occur just like human beings. Unfortunately, today, allergies in dogs are becoming as common as allergies affecting humans.
Below is some information about the symptoms of allergies in dogs, its types, and more.
What are the symptoms of an allergy in a dog?
Some of the common signs and symptoms of allergies in dogs are:
- Itching of the skin that may either be localized (in one area of the body) or generalized (all over the body).
- Symptoms associated with the respiratory system, including coughing, wheezing, and/or sneezing.
- In some cases, there may be a runny discharge from the nose or the eyes.
- In other cases, the allergic symptoms may be associated with the digestive system leading to diarrhea and vomiting.
What are the types of dog allergies?
There are a number of ways in which allergies can be classified. Some classification examples include:
- Precipitating allergen– Flea allergy
- Route the allergen takes into the body– Inhalant allergy, food allergy, or skin contact allergy
- The time it takes for the immune system to react– Delayed hypersensitivity and immediate hypersensitivity, also known as shock or anaphylaxis
- Type of immune reaction– Type I through IV hypersensitivity
- Clinical signs– Allergic bronchitis or allergic dermatitis
- Inherited forms– Seasonal allergies or atopy
What are some helpful tips for dog allergies?
- Wipe your dog after walks– Pet grooming wipes are widely available in the market and are an easy way of removing pollen, dander, and other allergens after walks, as full baths are not possible on a daily basis. This helps remove any allergens picked up from the environment and reduces the chance for a skin allergy to occur.
- Use a hypoallergenic shampoo– Anti-itch and hypoallergenic shampoo are easily available over-the-counter. Shampoos with ingredients like aloe vera, primrose oil, or oatmeal can help soothe the skin and make their skin clean and rash-free.
- Apply a medicated spray– Medicated sprays contain anti-bacterial properties that treat bacterial and fungal skin infections fast and effectively.
- Use prescribed sprays and shampoos– Your vet understands your dog’s health better and knows what suits is ideal for your dog’s skin and what would give the best results. Your vet can prescribe the right medication and sprays, along with the right dosages, and schedules for the same. It is important to follow the vet’s instructions as your dog depends on you for his or her well being.
- Use biotin or omega-3 supplements– These supplements suppress the effects of allergies like itching and burning of the skin. They improve the health of your dog’s fur. Some supplements also come with natural ingredients that can help suppress seasonal allergies.
What are some of the natural home remedies for allergies in dogs?
Some of the natural home remedies for allergies affecting dogs include:
Aloe vera– Aloe vera has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and cooling properties. This ingredient is perfect for treating sunburn and itchy hot spots. Apply aloe vera gel directly to your dog’s skin twice daily. Additionally, it is important to ensure the aloe gel is saponins free, as saponins work as laxatives.
Oatmeal– One of the most versatile and useful home remedy for skin itching and dog allergies, oatmeal is perfect for your dog. You can opt for an oatmeal shampoo. This remedy is not only useful in removing the allergens it is also affordable and leaves your dog’s coat shiny and nice.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)– Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has anti-microbial properties. This remedy is ideal for dogs that are suffering from ear infections and yeast infections (or any form of fungal infections). To use this remedy for easing your dog’s itchy skin, pour ACV and water in equal measures into a spray bottle. Gently wash your dog’s paws as this is where most pollen accumulates and spread the mixture on the skin where the dog is itching himself or herself.
Other remedies– Other home remedies include using coconut oil, thyme, or Epsom salts.