If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from allergies, you know how miserable it can make you feel. What you may not realize is your dog can also suffer from allergies, which makes them feel just as miserable. Pet allergies can be similar but also very different from human allergies.
Causes of Allergies
Just like with people, dogs can be allergic to what’s in the air. Dust, pollen, mold, and other allergens can be inhaled and cause a dog to develop a skin condition called atopic dermatitis. There’s not a lot you can do about keeping your dog away from these triggers because they can occur inside or outside.
Another cause of pet allergies can come from food. Some dogs, just like people, are allergic or sensitive to certain foods. Protein, especially beef, is a common food allergy. Low-quality foods in general can cause what is known as nutritional dermatitis. The most effective way to deal with this allergy is to change dog foods and remove whatever ingredient is causing the problem.
Parasites can cause allergies as well. They irritate the skin by biting the host. Some dogs react more intensely to the bite than others because they are more sensitive. Parasites include fleas and ticks as well as mites, which may be too small to see.
A dog can be allergic to a medication just like us. It can be a topical medication that you put directly on the skin, and it irritates that area. It may also be a medication that is digested, which may cause an allergy. You can stop this allergy by not giving the dog the medication or asking the vet for a substitute.
Many dogs are allergic to chemicals found in shampoos or household cleaners. They may accidentally come in contact with these products, or you may use one on your pet, such as a shampoo. This is one reason it’s recommended to only use dog products rather than human products on a dog.
Neurological dermatitis is a type of allergy caused by stress or anxiety. The dog will lick or chew their paw or other part of the body because they are anxious or nervous. The licking or chewing may cause a sore to form over time.
How to Treat Pet Allergies
Dogs mainly show their allergies through their skin. It may become red, blotchy, and sore. They often lose the hair around the spot because of licking or scratching.
How you will treat your dog’s allergies depends on the cause. In some cases, such as with products and food allergies, you can stop using them and the allergy will go away. You can treat the dog for parasites which will relieve the allergy. For other allergies, you may not be able to fix the problem, but you can treat the issue. Vets carry medication they can give to a dog just like humans who take allergy medicine.
If your dog is showing signs of having an allergy, talk to your vet. It may be helpful to track information about what your dog has been eating and doing to help with diagnosis and eliminating the culprits of the allergy. Your pet doesn’t have to suffer with treatment options available for pet allergies.