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Dog Allergies 101

Dog allergies are more common than many owners realize, and they can make your pet completely miserable!

Any of these symptoms could indicate that your pet is reacting badly to an allergen of some sort:

  • Red, irritated skin

  • Constant itchiness

  • Hair loss

  • Ear problems.

An allergic dog is usually a very uncomfortable dog, and 'if Fido ain't happy, then nobody ain't happy'!

So giving you the information you need to help him feel better fast is my first priority.

Just like people, dogs can have an allergic reaction to lots of different things, including food ingredients, seasonal allergens such as pollen or dust, insects, chemicals and more.

On this page I'm going to take a look at the 'big picture'.

You'll find general information on dog allergy symptoms, treatment options and a list of the breeds which are most prone to this type of problem.

You'll also find helpful links to other pages on my website which have more in-depth and comprehensive information on symptoms and treatment.

All About Canine Allergies

Dog allergies can be triggered by a number of different things, but regardless of the 'trigger', the majority of allergy symptoms show up as skin irritations and problems. You can find lots of information on the types of reactions that are commonly seen on my Canine Skin Allergies page.

The first and most important step is to find out what's causing the problem!

This is because although allergies can be treated and controlled, the only way to totally eliminate the problem is by removing the trigger.

Although any dog breed can have experience an allergic reaction, there are certain dog breeds that seem to be predisposed to canine allergies, these include :

  • Beagles
  • Boxers
  • Bulldogs
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Collies
  • Dalmatians
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Irish Setters
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Poodles
  • Pugs
  • Rottweilers
  • Schnauzers
  • Shih Tzus
  • Terriers

Allergies are more likely to be seen in dogs who are over a year old, and the likelihood of them suffering from allergies tends to increase as they grow older.

The main exception to this is when the allergic reaction is in response to vaccination. Puppies need a lot of puppy shots in the early months and so they are more at risk of having an adverse reaction than older dogs are.

Research has shown that puppies tend to 'grow into' their allergies as they mature due to their increasing exposure to allergens in dog food ingredients, their environment, vaccinations etc.

They become sensitized to these substances as their exposure to them increases.

It makes sense to try to minimize your puppy's contact with allergens as much as possible, although of course you don't want him to live in a 'bubble'!

Two big steps towards reducing Fido's chances of developing canine allergies are very simple for you to take -

  • Feed your puppy a high-quality, natural dog food to help prevent dog food allergies. My Best Puppy Food Choices page has lots of information on the very best, premium foods on the market. For older dogs, or those with food sensitivities, organic dog food is also a good choice.

  • Maintain an effective flea treatment/prevention routine, by applying a superior, topical flea and tick preventative such as K9 Advantix, and continuing to do so throughout flea season (which could be year round depending on where you live).

If you're not sure how to tell if your dog has fleas, or just want to know more about dealing with these nasty little critters, check out my Fleas And Ticks page.

Dog Allergy Symptoms

If you do notice that your puppy or dog starts to clean/lick himself compulsively, don't just put it down to his super-hygienic nature... it's much more likely that he's suffering from allergies!

Many canine allergy symptoms are characterized by red, itchy, irritated skin or scabby areas, brown-colored patches or hair loss.

There can also be a range of other signs that your itchy puppy or dog is suffering from allergies, such as sneezing, runny or watery eyes/nose, rashes, swelling, frequent head-shaking or ear infections and more.

Visit my Dog Allergy Symptoms page to find out everything you need to know in order to figure out if allergies are what are causing your dog's discomfort.

Dog Allergy Treatment

Luckily there are lots of things you can do to help your allergy-prone pooch!

There are many ways to treat allergies in dogs. These include:

  • 'Topical' products such as shampoos, dips or creams/lotions

  • Medications such as anti-histamines or corticosteroids

  • Special 'hypoallergenic' dog foods such as those with a single protein source, or ingredients designed for dogs with sensitivities and allergies

  • Natural products and supplements

Your veterinarian can help if your dogs' allergies are severe and there are several different options available in terms of allergy-testing and desensitization.

You can find a detailed look at how to treat canine allergies on my Dog Allergy Treatment page.

Left untreated allergies will only get worse, and it's much easier, and more effective, to treat them earlier rather than later.

Along with the above treatments, you can help your puppy or dog feel more comfortable by using bathing and grooming products that have been especially formulated to reduce itching and soothe his irritated skin.

Related Pages......

› Dog Allergies

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