When it comes to looking after our dogs’ health we know the basics: nutritious diet, plenty of exercise, and lots of mental stimulation. But If your dog is prone to allergies it can throw a less predictable element into the works. Allergies come about when the immune system has a misguided reaction to forgein bodies, and it can present itself in different ways. Your dog could have skin, food, or environmental allergies – just like humans do – and all three can overlap.
Fortunately, there are various options for treating dog allergies, including allergy supplements that fight the symptoms. Here, we will explain dog allergies and what you can do about them
How to know if your dog has allergies
Reactions to different kinds of allergies and allergic reactions can vary widely, so it’s important to know what signs to look for if you suspect your dog might have allergies. For example itching caused by a skin allergy will be irritating and unpleasant for your dog, but it’s not as serious as anaphylactic shock that can be caused by food or environmental allergies.
These are some of the symptoms of allergic reactions that dog owners should be aware of:
- Swelling in the face, lips, eyelines, and ears
- Itching, especially around the ears
- Constant licking
- Red or inflamed skin
- Itchy or runny eyes
- Constant ear infections
Some of these symptoms can also be indicators of other conditions, so it’s important to contact your vet if your dog is displaying any of the above for a prolonged time. They will be able to reassure you about whether your dog has an allergy or a different issue.
Types of allergies in dogs
Flea allergy dermatitis, a reaction to flea bites, is one of the most common allergies in dogs. Some dogs have an allergy to flea saliva which makes their skin, especially that at the base of the tail, extremely itchy. Chronic itching can cause redness, inflammation, and scabbing. You might notice flea dirt or even actual fleas in your dog’s coat, which can be treated with flea medications.
Some dogs also suffer from food allergies, including gluten, dairy, and soy intolerances. Food allergies can also lead to extreme itchiness, mostly round their ears and paws. So if your dog is itching a lot but you’ve ruled out fleas, it could be something in their diet. Like with humans, food allergies can also lead to gastrointestinal issues. Food allergies should be be confused with food sensitivities which are far more common. Sensitivities and intolerances are not an immune response but a gradual reaction to an allergen. However the symptoms can be similar to allergic reactions and include vomiting and diarrhoea.
Many dogs also have allergic reactions to environmental allergens like dust and pollen. Mould can also cause atopic allergic reactions in dogs. Environmental allergies are often seasonal, so if you notice your dog itching their paws, ears, and face more at certain times of the year this could be why.
Skin allergies can lead to further issues that develop through your dog having open wounds from excessive itching. Extreme food allergies can lead to anaphylaxis, as can more acute allergic reactions like bee stings or certain vaccinations.
How to treat dog allergies
Once your dog has been diagnosed with an allergy there are a number of options to treat and soothe their condition. If your dog has a food allergy, then an elimination diet that removes the allergen from their system is recommended. For flea bite allergies, flea-killing products that can be applied to your dog’s skin should be effective.
But as well as removing the cause of the allergy, there are other steps you can take to help your dog cope with the symptoms of allergic reactions. Vets can prescribed medications to help them with their specific allergy. But there are also supplements that can be included in your pet’s diet that will help prevent allergies and allergic reactions.
Front of the Pack’s Soothe supplement is designed to support your dog’s gut and help prevent itching. It’s made with Omega-3 fish oil that soothes & nourishes dry, itchy skin by enriching skin cell membranes to support healthy skin and inflammatory balance. Powerful postbiotics support a strong and healthy gut microbiome and reinforce healthy skin immune responses, and protein-rich egg membrane reduces free radicals and oxidative damage, supporting skin and immune health.