You must have heard about people being allergic to dogs. Everyone, at some point, has. After all about 10 % of Americans are allergic to dogs.
But what if the tables are turned? What about when your dog has allergies. Yes, they, too, can get allergies.
Have you ever thought about that? Fret not if you haven’t today; we will decode everything we need to know about the types of allergies, and if you do know about it, read to brush up on everything you know, and maybe you’ll get to know something new.
Types Of Allergies
What is an allergy? It is our body’s misguided reaction to the foreign substances in our immune system. This can, as you might have gathered from the title hypoallergenic dogs, can suffer from too.
Just like in humans, dogs can too suffer from various types of allergies.
Factors like food and environment play a huge part in causing a flare-up of allergies in dogs. Determining the exact cause of an allergy often be a challenge for a pet owner since it is challenging to eliminate things from a dog’s routine in a sudden manner.
The most challenging position comes when you see all these symptoms that somehow manage to overlap.
The three distinct types of allergies that we will be talking about today are
- Flea allergy | Contact
- Food Allergy
- Environmental Allergens
Flea allergy | Contact
Also known as skin allergy or allergic dermatitis, it is the most common form of allergy in dogs. Fleabites cause it.
Most dogs are allergic to flea saliva, and that causes them to get extremely itchy. Even a couple of bites are enough to do the trick.
That stunning goose feather comforter you’re in love with could also be an issue for your pet. Dogs can be allergic to certain fabrics as well as cat and human hair; these are manageable, however. So you can breathe.
It is also the easiest to spot.
For a minute, stop and think about all the different kinds of scents that you take in day in and day out. Now think about your pooch with his sensitive nose, the sensory overload he must be in all day long.
Common natural causes for environment based allergies are
These are natural causes. Thanks to our love for smelling good at all times, there are enough manufactured allergens that can be detrimental for your dog.
- Rubber and plastic materials
- Insecticidal shampoo
- cleaning products
- Cigarette smoke
Also, remember this in no way is an exhaustive list. Anything that you can be allergic too, your dog can be too.
I once met a person who had a dog who was allergic to her cat. But that is a can of worms for another day.
Just like in humans, there is an entire horde of seasonal allergies that can develop in dogs as well during the pollination season.
Trees, grass, and pollens all play a huge role in aggravating allergies in your dog. Seasonal allergies can only be managed at best and hardly ever treated completely.
There is a silver lining here; food allergies in a dog aren’t as common as the others. In dogs, this allergy is often categorized under the intolerant section and filed away.
Signs of intolerance include vomiting, diarrhea, and itchiness of the coat.
Common culprits include
- Dairy: Milk, Yogurt, Cheese
- Proteins: chicken, lamb, eggs, pork
- Vegetables: carrots, potatoes, yams
- Legumes: soy, beans, peas, lentils
- Grains: Wheat, rice, corn
I want to point out again that this by no means is an exhaustive list, and some foods mentioned in the list can be considered to be healthy for them. It just never hurts to check.
It is like an Italian being allergic to tomatoes; it is sad, slightly improbable, but it can happen, and in the event it does, you need to be careful.
If your dog’s symptoms seem a little too severe, you can switch to hypoallergenic dogs food. These grain-free substitutes are a godsend as try to figure out the exact cause of allergies can be a time consuming, expensive process.
After consulting with your veterinarian, you can shift to hypoallergenic dogs food for your pet.
The Risk Of Acute Allergic Reactions
It does not take a long time for something to escalate out of proportion and keep that in mind; it is essential that you look out vigilantly for all the symptoms of dog allergy. They, too, run the risk of going into anaphylactic shock if their allergies are not managed.
If your hypoallergenic dogs does show swelling upon the administration of a vaccine or food, it can be treated with an antihistamine. But only if you act fast.
How Do Diagnosis and Treatment Work
The first test to be run usually is an intradermal test, in which a small number of allergens are injected in your pooch to determine the severity of the allergen.
Omega 3 fatty acid is a great supplement to counter allergens that cause skin-related issues in your dog. They reinforce the skin’s barrier and help reduce inflammation.
Chronic issues relating to the joints, or skin can also be managed via fatty acids.
The antihistamines that help humans manage their condition can be leveraged to take care of a dog itching. But always consult with your vet before you give your dog over the counter medication.
Again, this can only be administered by a vet and only in the case of the development of a secondary skin infection.
Managing Environmental Conditions
Once you have managed to figure out what the problems are with your dog, you can quickly try and avoid as many of those allergens as possible.
To reach the root cause of your dog’s issues, you might have to take a couple of educated guesswork and visits to the vet.
It might be a long and tiring process, but in the end, it will be worthwhile for you and your emotional support animal.