Dogs Have Allergies?

Dogs Have Allergies?

Dogs get allergies too!

Dogs are just as likely as people to have allergies. These allergies can often cause skin irritation and discomfort for your pet. Allergies can sound quite intimidating to most but often are only mild. 

What are allergies 

Allergies are when the body is unable to process certain enzymes and can have a physical reaction. Often allergies to many things will result in skin irritation, regardless of how your pet comes into contact with the allergen. 

Allergies can occur when an allergen is eaten, contacted (like touch), inhaled (like pollen), or to the normal bacterial flora and yeast organisms of the skin, fleas can also cause similar irritations.

Like most things skin allergies have a more scientific name, canine allergic Dermatitis. This is the terminology you may find many articles talking about similar things. All canine allergic Dermatitis is, in its most basic terms,  is a reaction on the skin that causes irritation 

What causes allergies?

Like people, pets can have allergies on a case by case basis, for example two dogs from the exact same litter that have grown up in the same environment could have different allergies. There are certain things that dogs are more likely to be allergic to than others. Contact and inhalant allergies are things like grasses, trees and weeds, dust mite and mold (just like humans). Food can also be a cause of allergies. However there are no real common foods that are likely to cause allergies like this, it is on a case by case basis. There can be many other things that can cause allergies in dogs, like bacteria and fleas. 

How to help

The first thing that should be considered when trying to help with allergies is what is the cause. Is it environmental or is it something that your pet is eating? Food can be both difficult and easy to determine what the cause is, an elimination diet is a great way to determine if the allergy may be food based. An elimination diet is when you stop feeding your pet a certain food to determine if that is the cause, repeating for each food your pet is consuming. This would be the best place to start, as diet is a relatively easy trial to help determine if an allergy is diet/ food based. 

Determining if an allergen is environmental based can be more difficult. It may be a lot of trial and error, taking your pet to a different park, keeping them away from certain plants, looking at the time of year that allergies flare up. 

Other things that you can do to help is ensuring that the gut is balanced as well as treating any immediate reaction appropriately. If your pet has an irritation on their skin it is important to treat the irritation as soon as you can to ensure that the irritations don’t worsen. Often when skin irritation occurs on pets it can deteriorate quite quickly as they scratch and lick at it. When they keep scratching the irritated area can turn into an open wound. These open wounds can let bacteria in and further irritation can occur.

Ensuring treatment as soon as possible, aids in the prevention of any further irritation. We recommend our Derma Cream to help soothe irritations on the skin. 

With anything health related like this it is always a good idea to contract your veterinary professional.