Canine allergies: how to help your furry friends through summer symptoms
During the long, warm days of summer we love to head to the park or the beach with our four-legged friends. But could this exposure be causing them to scratch, sneeze, and suffer?
Man’s best friend isn’t too different from ourselves, it turns out: the same common triggers that cause allergies in humans also set off symptoms in dogs.
These triggers can include:
- Sun exposure
- Organic proteins
Dog allergy symptoms aren’t far from our own, either: weepy eyes, red skin, itching and discomfort — all the ingredients for an uncomfortable summer, if left untreated.
Sound familiar? Find out more about common dog allergies, and how to ease your pup’s symptoms below …
How to recognise canine allergies
The most common noticeable symptom of a doggy allergy is itching, either in one distinct area or over the whole body. This itching sensation can lead your dog to scratch, chew, lick, rub or shake the affected area in an effort to be free of it.
If you see them persistently itching themselves, look for inflammation and redness in the area. Depending on the type of allergy, you may find red, irritated skin in their ears, elbows, backs of their legs, feet or abdomen.
Your dog may suffer from a single allergy or a combination of allergies, making it challenging to find and exclude the allergen from their life.
While the symptoms appear similar, there are a few distinct causes of canine allergies
Environmental allergens such as pollen, mould, dust, and mites affect dogs as well as humans. Reactions to environmental triggers can manifest on the skin as dermatitis or internally as respiratory symptoms.
In summer, patches of your dog’s body may become red and irritated. Areas to look for your dog’s allergy symptoms are:
- Inner elbows
- Back legs
Mould and dust allergens can trigger respiratory symptoms similar to a human cold such as a cough, sneeze, or wheeze, as well as runny discharge from the eyes and nose.
You don’t have to stop running through the freshly-cut grasses in the park with your buddy, but if he’s prone to canine allergies like dermatitis consider what environments might be causing him discomfort – so you can find alternatives and keep you both happy.
A very common canine allergy occurs as a by-product of another nasty affliction: fleas.
When a flea bites, it injects a small amount of saliva into your dog’s blood, which can cause irritation and minor hair loss around the affected area.
Fleas should be dealt with as soon as possible. If your dog is particularly allergic to fleas, you may even notice the symptoms before you see the little creatures, so consistent management and prevention will ensure your pup is protected!
Canine allergies can be caused by food, and appear on the skin as itching and inflammation of the ears, paws, or under the tail base. Digestive symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea could mean your pup is allergic to something in his food!
Many different foods could be causing your dog to react, so talk to your vet for advice on how to pinpoint what’s causing the problem and find an alternative!
A less common type of allergy in dogs is from direct contact with synthetic products such as pesticides, certain fibres, and medical treatments (like flea collars).
If your dog has sensitive skin, they may react with a red itchy rash in response to contact with these synthetic products. With guidance from your vet, identifying and removing the allergen will be enough to ease your pup’s symptoms and prevent future discomfort!
How can I relieve my dog’s allergy symptoms?
Solving your dog’s allergy symptoms can be stressful! Depending on the type of allergy and severity of symptoms, you can find a solution from your vet or your local dog-care store Nose To Tail.
Treatments can include topical ointments and sprays, allergen-free foods, shampoo therapy and long-term desensitization therapy. If your dog is itching and scratching, don’t wait — come see the team today to find a solution.