Help Your Dog Cope from Allergies

2:33:00 AM

People are not the only ones who experience allergies. Even dogs can have allergies too. Just like humans, dogs can become allergic to different things such as food, dust mites, pollen, fleas, ticks and bacteria. A dog can also get contact allergies from things such as dog collars, food bowls, plants, beddings, and other surfaces. To understand better, let’s briefly discuss how allergies are acquired.

What causes allergic reactions?
Allergic reactions are triggered when a substance or an “allergen” enters the dog’s immune system. The dog’s immune system will treat a substance as harmful (even if it’s not) and will attempt to fight it to protect the body.  

The immune system will produce antibodies which attach themselves in the blood cells. The cells will release chemicals including “histamines” which causes the symptoms we see in allergic dogs. (The same explanation applies to humans with allergies.)

What are the symptoms of allergy in dogs?
Since your pet won’t be able to tell you how he’s feeling, it’s important to observe your dog closely whenever he’s introduced to a new food or a new environment. Symptoms in dogs include:
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • loss of appetite
  • a discharge in eyes or nose
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in breathing
  • itching
  • rashes or red patches
  • constant chewing and licking
  • hair loss
How do you know if your dog is allergic?
If you notice any of the above allergy symptoms in your dog, take him to the vet for check up. Your vet would need to do some allergy tests (such as skin test or blood test) on your dog to find out exactly what kind of substance he is allergic to.  

Remember that the “allergen” or the substance your dog is allergic to may be found in several types of food or things. Once the cause of allergy is confirmed, your vet may prescribe an anti-histamine, a special shampoo, or allergy shots for your dog.  Hypoallergenic dog treats are best.

Some dogs are allergic to beef, chicken, pork, eggs, wheat or dairy products which are the same ingredients used in most brands of dog food found in the market. If your dog has a food allergy, it is not advisable to buy processed dog food. To be sure, ask your veterinarian about a recommended food suitable for your dog.

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