Does My Dog Have Allergies?
June 5th, 2017 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic
Have you been wondering, “Does my dog have allergies?” If so, you aren’t alone.
It’s estimated that 10 to 20 percent of dogs suffer from allergies. That’s as many as one in five dogs!
Here are some of the key things you should know about dog allergies. Hopefully, you’ll have a better idea of whether it’s time to visit our Castle Rock veterinarians.
Common dog allergies in Colorado
In Castle Rock, most of the allergies we see in dogs are due to environmental causes, such as pollen, dust mites, mold, grasses or even pet dander. (Yes, your dog may actually be allergic to your cat!)
Dog allergies can be seasonal or ongoing.
It’s also possible for dogs to be allergic to certain foods and flea bites. Though, we don’t see the latter very often in Colorado.
How dog allergies differ from human allergies
You may have noticed that the dog allergens above are very similar to human allergens. But there are some differences too.
With dogs, for example, most allergens are absorbed through their paws and skin. In humans, allergens are often absorbed through our respiratory tracts.
Symptoms of dog allergies
What’s a good reason to think your dog has allergies? You may notice your dog:
- Has red, itchy and/or scabby skin.
- Has really inflamed, swollen skin.
- Is licking and chewing his feet and/or his private parts a lot.
- Has an ear infection in both ears. (An ear infection in just one ear suggests other issues.)
- Has hair loss or hair that’s broken off.
Get more details on symptoms of allergies in dogs.
When to visit a veterinarian
You should definitely visit a veterinarian if:
- Your dog is scratching a lot, and his skin is red. Your dog is likely uncomfortable.
- There’s a related behavioral issue that’s affecting your family. For example, your dog licks his feet all night, and it keeps you awake.
- You’ve noticed any of the other symptoms and have concerns.
How to treat dog allergies
If your visit our veterinarians and we determine your dog has allergies, there are a number of different treatment options.
It depends on what your dog is allergic to and how severe the allergy is.
Allergy treatment can range from:
- Wiping off your dog’s feet with a wet towel when he comes inside, so allergens aren’t absorbed through his skin.
- Giving your dog a special diet to keep his skin extra healthy.
- Washing your dog with special shampoos.
- Putting your dog on a special diet (first, to narrow in on what may be causing a food allergy and then to avoid those allergens).
- Giving your dog special medications – either topical or oral.
- Administering ongoing allergy shots for dogs.
It really depends on your dog, so it’s best to talk to a veterinarian.
Often times, a combination of these treatment options can make a big difference.
Whether your dog is constantly licking his paws or is just a little itchy, there are things that can be done to make him more comfortable!
“Our poor Lab mix was scratching herself to the point of making her ears bleed due to allergies. The receptionist at Cherished Companions was kind in helping us with a plan to make her comfortable until we could get her in for an appointment, which put our minds at ease. Dr. Jeffrey was awesome with her and gave us a diagnosis right away. A few hours later, with the help of some meds, she was back to her spunky, sweet self. Thank you!”
– Kara H., Castle Rock
Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.
This article is intended to provide general guidance on dog allergies. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)
© 2017, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic