Just like in humans, allergies in dogs start with an overactive immune system. The function of the immune system is to protect us. But sometimes, the immune system has mistaken non-harmful environmental substances as dangerous, which then leads to allergic reactions.
Allergy susceptibility in dog varies in geographical location, genetics, as well as the nutrition provided. The following are some of the breeds that are predisposed to dog allergies:
Most allergic reactions in dogs manifest upon reaching the age of six months or older. Moreover, there are different kinds of allergies that may occur to your pooch, although the common allergies are flea allergy, food allergies, and environmental allergies. It is very important to find the main allergen for effective treatment. Read further to understand various dog allergies and treatments.
Canines may also be allergic to any type of food. In fact, about 10 per cent of dog allergies is elicited by food. The following are common food ingredients that can cause allergic reactions to dogs:
Dog food allergy symptoms include:
- Obsessive licking
- Ear inflammation
- Poor coat quality
- Swollen paws
- Skin rashes
How do you treat food allergy in canines?
The best way to ease food allergy is a change in diet. Let your dog undergo an elimination diet trial with a hypoallergenic diet. During the trial period, your pooch must strictly eat the special diet for at least eight to twelve weeks. Any treats, table food, and flavoured vitamins should not be provided to produce an accurate result. Your dog’s vet will be able to discuss a suitable diet along with natural supplements to prevent your pooch from having allergic reactions. Unfortunately, in most cases, dogs with food allergy are likely to suffer from other types of allergies as well.
Flea allergy dermatitis and insect bite allergy
One of the common allergy conditions seen in dogs is the flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). Causes of the itchy reaction are either the flea bites or the flea saliva. Allergic reaction from saliva ends in extreme irritation that can last for weeks.
On the other hand, insect bite allergies are caused by any contact or bites from spiders, ticks, blackflies, mosquitoes, bees, hornets, wasps, and ants. The tail-base area of the pooch is the commonly affected area.
- Inflammation or redness of the skin
- Hair loss
- Biting and gnawing on the skin
How do you treat it?
Be strict in introducing flea control to your pooch using monthly natural flea control products and home treatments. Spray apple cider solution (one part apple cider, one part water) on the bald patches or irritated parts of your dog’s skin. If the itching persists and becomes severe, visit your dog’s vet to ask for prescription on appropriate medications such as corticosteroids or antihistamines.
Do you think your dog has seasonal allergies? Perhaps your dog is suffering from environmental allergies through exposure to allergens in the environment. Your pooch’s allergy may be caused by household allergens. Look for indoor irritants such as cleaning chemicals, dust mites, fabrics (wool or cotton), or moulds. Outdoor allergens include smoke, grass, tree pollens, and ragweed.
Symptoms of environmental allergies are evident in the dog’s certain body parts:
- Areas surrounding the eyes are itchy
- In between the toes
How do you treat environmental allergy?
Unfortunately, permanent cure for this condition is less likely possible as allergens come from the environment. Treatments vary on the particular allergy season. Symptoms can be controlled with the following therapies:
- Anti-inflammatory therapy
This therapy involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs which include antihistamines or corticosteroids that may block allergic reactions.
- Hypersensitisation or desensitisation therapy
This therapy can be given by your vet using ‘allergy shots’ or allergy injection serum.
- Shampoo therapy
This may not be a cure but it helps soothe your dog’s itchy and inflamed skin. Frequent bathing may also rinse out allergens in and on the coat.
Home remedies for dog allergies
The following offer solutions to your dog’s allergic skin reaction:
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider has been popularly used as a natural treatment in various human ailments. Without a doubt, it is deemed as an effective remedy for tick or flea allergies. You may apply it in two ways:
- A teaspoon of water can be mixed along with your dog’s drink.
- Make a 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water, and add it on the last rinsing water during his bath. You can also spray it on certain affected spots.
Oatmeal contains antibacterial properties that are helpful in removing any forms of bacterial infection and glycoproteins. Apart from that, it sheds the flaky skin from the allergic reaction. How do you treat allergies using oatmeal? Boil a cup of oatmeal with three to four cups of water and give it time to cool. After that, apply or scrub your pooch with it, followed by a good rinsing of cold water.
- Epsom salt
Epsom salt is known for treating allergies because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. As it helps eliminate certain bacteria, it minimises the desire to itch and the flaking of the skin. How do you treat allergies using Epsom salt? Prepare a cup of Epsom salt in a tub. Half-fill the tub with warm or cold water and soak your pooch for about five to ten minutes.