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3 Common Allergies and Ways to Relieve Symptoms

3 Common Allergies and Ways to Relieve Symptoms

By Mary-Jane Gallagher

Screenshot 2019-04-08 at 09.12.01Allergies are a result of the immune system response to foreign particles or substances that the body deems harmful, even if they’re not. Just like people, a dog’s immune system can react in the same way, resulting in an allergic response. Taking good care of your dog means a number of things, including recognizing and addressing issues as they arise to prevent further complications and keep your pup healthy and happy.

Environmental Allergens

Also like people, dogs can experience allergic reactions due to environmental components. These can be indoor allergens like mold, dust, chemicals (like cleaning agents), and even fabrics (like wool); there can also be outdoor irritants, like pollen, ragweed, and grass. To address indoor concerns, use pet-friendly cleaning products, avoid smoking around your dog, and clean the air quality by vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum; you can also consider an air purifier for this purpose. If your dog’s allergy symptoms came on suddenly and there are no changes inside your home to account for them, then it’s likely a result of seasonal allergies. Take them out when the pollen count is at its lowest (early morning, late evening) and limit their exposure to overgrown areas. Also be sure to wipe off their feet so they don’t track in allergens, and bath them regularly to remove allergens from fur.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

The most common allergy in dogs can happen both indoors and out: fleas. Of course you’re familiar with the havoc of fleas, but did you know that the itching they cause is due more to an allergic response to their saliva than the actual bite itself? Most people assume that without a significant number of fleas, they can’t be the culprit for Fido’s itching.

However, that’s actually not the case. The reaction to just a couple of fleas’ saliva can cause prominent discomfort that stays present even long after those fleas are gone. Get rid of any fleas that are present in the fur with the use of a flea comb to limit the exposure. You can also apply coconut oil liberally throughout your dog’s fur, as it not only helps soothe the skin, but it also eliminates fleas.

Food Allergies

Finally, the other most common allergy in dogs is a response to something in their food or edible treats. The symptoms associated with food allergies may present traditionally (ie, itching and/or fur loss), but will often be accompanied by gastrointestinal disturbances, like vomiting or diarrhoea. Treating a food allergy is a little more challenging, as it’s difficult to pinpoint what the source is. Start by eliminating any new treats or chews. If you’ve recently changed your dog to a new food, change back to what they were eating prior. If they’ve been eating the same thing for a long time, contrary to popular belief, they can still develop a sensitivity to it. Check out the ingredients and switch to a different product. If their food uses chicken, for example, switch to one with lamb. Meanwhile, you can feed them a bland diet to settle their stomach.

Allergies in dogs are more common than you think, and while they start out benign, they can cause more serious issues if left untreated. In addition to keeping your dog comfortable, be sure to treat the root cause of the allergy. Seek the help of your vet if problems persist – and remember to give your dog lots of love to help them feel better.