Does Your Dog Have Allergies?

Humans aren't the only animals that suffer from allergies. If your dog is constantly scratching, missing fur, or has rough scaly skin, it may be suffering from allergies. 

There are various types of allergies that affect dogs, and many of them cause some kind of skin disorder or intense itching. If your dog scratches itself excessively, you should observe the focal points of its body where the itching appears to be most intense. Documenting the dog's most sensitive areas will help when you make a trip to a vet to have your pet tested for allergies. 

Allergens that affect dogs

Flea saliva

Your dog may experience an allergic reaction to flea bites that is out of proportion to the severity of its flea infestation. Your dog may only have a few fleas, but it may still experience a severe itching problem from the tiny amount of saliva produced by those fleas.

Fleas allergies may manifest themselves by itching in the region around the dog's tail, but they can occur in any area of the body where fleas bite. If you find fleas on your dog and suspects an allergy to flea saliva, ask your vet to prescribe a flea repellent. 

Low-quality food

Dog food that is high in fillers such as wheat and corn meal may cause dermatitis in dogs that presents itself primarily in itchy ears and paws. As the dog attempts to relieve the itching, its ears and paws may become red and swollen from repeated scratching or biting.

Switching to a higher quality dog food is the only solution to food allergies of this nature. This may require additional expense and research into healthier food choices for your pet. 

Environmental allergies

These allergies may be seasonal or year-round, depending on the allergen. If your dog experiences allergic reactions all year long, it is likely from an indoor source. Dogs can experience allergic reactions to cleaning supplies, fragrances, mold, or even dust. 

If the allergic reaction is only seasonal, an outdoor source is a likely culprit. Like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergens such as pollen, but their reactions to seasonal allergies differ from that of their human owners. While humans suffer from respiratory discomfort, dogs experience seasonal allergies through itchy skin.

Dogs will also carry seasonal allergens into the home on their paws, which can make life miserable for both human and canine victims. For the relief of all allergy sufferers in the home, owners should clean their dog's feet before the dog comes into the house during allergy season.

If your vet can't pinpoint and treat your dog's allergies, you may need to have a dermatologist take a look in order to find the cause and begin treatment. For more information, consider contacting a professional, like those at My Rancho Bernardo Pet Hospital.