Allergies in Dogs: Symptoms of Dog Allergies & How to Treat Them
Chances are that you think of your dog as your baby, right? Well, just like a human baby, your pup can react to allergens in the air or in specific plants or foods. Like humans, dogs can be allergic to substances that are typically not harmful and which other dogs don’t react to. You read that right—dogs can have allergies! And if left untreated, those allergies can worsen your pet’s quality of life.
Simply put: if your pup’s immune system deems an allergen to be a threat to his or her health, an allergic reaction will take place. If your dog has allergies, they could be experiencing adverse effects when inhaling or ingesting a certain substance, or could be reacting negatively when the allergen comes in contact with their skin. This may result in various respiratory, digestive, or respiratory symptoms.
If your dog is having an allergic reaction, contact Germantown Vet right away so we can accurately diagnose and treat your pet! Call us at 240-252-7467 or schedule your appointment online now.
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
A few different types of allergies can affect your dog. The first type of allergies we often see in dogs is atopy, the environmental allergens that your pet breathes or that come into contact with his or her skin and cause a reaction. This can include things like dust mites, pollen, mold, and more. Atopic allergy reactions are the most common in dogs, and typically affect dogs’ faces, ears, and paws.
The most common symptoms of atopic allergies in dogs include:
- Itchy, red skin
- Constant scratching
- Ear infections
- Increased licking/chewing of skin/paws
- Red ears (often with discharge)
- Red or runny eyes
Dogs can also experience contact allergies, meaning they’ll have an allergic reaction to things they come into direct contact with, like carpet fibers, cleaning solutions, or plastic on the items in your home. Contact allergies usually make your pup itch excessively, can cause problems in their ears, or could cause skin infections. They may get itchy blisters on their stomach, paws, or snout, or in more serious cases, they could experience hair loss.
Your dog could have food allergies, which can result in digestive issues for your pup, such as diarrhea or vomiting. More commonly, food allergies cause itchy skin and ear infections. We will work with you to figure out what food your dog is allergic to and how you can eliminate that allergen from your pup’s diet.
Pups may also experience allergic reactions resulting from flea allergy dermatitis, caused by flea bites. This is one of the most common causes of allergies in pets, and the best way to avoid it is by making sure that your dog is treated for fleas.
Less common (but more severe) signs of allergies in your dog could include swelling of the face, hives, or anaphylactic shock. Though these are rare compared to the symptoms listed above, they’ll typically occur within 30 minutes of exposure to the allergen, and require immediate attention.
If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of an allergic reaction, contact Germantown Vet so we can help you diagnose the allergy and treat your pet! Schedule your appointment online or call us at 240-252-7467 now.
Common Things Your Dog May Be Allergic To
As mentioned above, there’s a wide variety of things your dog may experience an allergic reaction to, and they could experience several different types of allergic reactions, ranging from atopic allergies to contact allergies to flea allergies and beyond.
However, there are a few common substances that your dog may be allergic to, including:
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
- Ingredients in their food
- Cleaning products
- Carpet fibers
- Cigarette smoke
How to Treat Allergies in Dogs
Remember that although dog allergies can be managed, much like human allergies, they can rarely be cured. Treatment options will help alleviate the negative effects of allergies on your pup and will keep them from becoming as uncomfortable.
Treatment options can include:
- Allergy vaccines/injections
- Shampoos, rinses, and conditioners
Depending on the allergy in question, a member of our veterinary team may suggest an alternate solution. It’s important to contact us as soon as possible if you think your dog may have allergies—allergies lead to itching, which causes your pup to scratch, which can result in an infection.
Beyond that, we suggest ensuring that your dog is treated for fleas to avoid flea allergies. For atopic allergies, cleaning your pet’s bedding weekly and vacuuming your home weekly can help to keep environmental allergens at bay, particularly if dust mites are the problem. Giving your dog a bath each week can also help to negate the effects of allergens like pollen or mold from your pet’s skin. We also suggest wiping off your dog’s paws to remove allergens after long walks.
To learn more about allergy treatments for your dog, call Germantown Vet at 240-252-7467 now or contact us online.
Schedule an Appointment to Treat Your Dog’s Allergies Today
When symptoms of dog allergies present themselves, don’t wait! Contact us to schedule an appointment for a diagnosis and treatment plan in the Germantown, MD area.
Germantown Veterinary Clinic was the first veterinary clinic that opened its doors in Germantown back in 1983, and today, we’re proud to be the largest, best equipped, and most well-staffed animal hospital in Montgomery County. When you visit our state-of-the-art facility, your dog will receive exemplary care from our esteemed team of veterinarians and technicians.
Contact us online or by phone at 240-252-7467 to schedule your dog’s allergy appointment!