Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments


It’s fairly easy to determine whether your dog is suffering from allergies. Dog allergies can affect any breed of dog, no matter where you live. The symptoms of dog allergies are the same for all breeds and the treatments for those allergies are usually the same.

Some of the symptoms of dog allergies are: excessive scratching, pawing at the face or eyes; excessive sneezing, continual runny nose, watery eyes, acute coughing, skin rashes or dry, crusty skin, continually rubbing its face on the floor or furniture , and chronic ear infections.

Seasonal allergies affect many dogs and are caused by spores or pollen grains in the air. These allergens are inhaled and sometimes are able to penetrate a dog’s skin.

Seasonal dog allergies usually occur when a dog is between the ages of 1 and 3. However, some dogs don’t develop seasonal allergies until they are 6 to 8 years old.

If you notice allergy symptoms in your dog you’ll need to schedule a vet visit to have blood tests performed. This is the only way to confirm if the dog really does have seasonal allergies or if the symptoms could be related to a disease that has infected the dog.

Two methods veterinarians use to determine if a dog is suffering from allergies are an ELISA test, the most commonly used test to diagnose allergies; and intradermal testing.

To effectively treat seasonal dog allergies, the vet first has to determine the cause of the allergy, and then you’ll need to limit or eliminate exposure to that allergen. Most dog owners whose pets suffer from seasonal allergies will keep the dog out of grassy or flowered fields during pollen seasons and will also keep the grass on their lawn cut short.

The vet may recommend topical ointments to relive the dog’s itchiness and the other symptoms of seasonal allergies. In addition, regular bathing of the dog’s skin will help reduce allergic reactions.

Some dog owners have reported that a change in their dog’s diet reduced the allergies by strengthening the dog’s immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help in boosting a dog’s immune system.

The vet may also prescribe antihistamines and steroids if the dog’s allergies continue to worsen.

Some vets also use immunization therapy to reduce a dog’s allergic reactions. This is accomplished by injecting the allergen in small amounts in the dog’s system and after a few shots, the dog will begin to build an immunity to the allergens.

The symptoms of dog allergies should not be ignored and treatment should begin as soon as you know for sure that your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies.

Importance of Owning a Pet

The American Animal Hospital Association undertook a survey of more than 1,000 pet owners which revealed that the companionship and affection of our pets play a much stronger part of our lives than most people realize.

This national survey was conducted by The American Animal Hospital Association using its membership rolls covering 39 states across the U.S. plus several provinces in Canada. Those who answered the survey were pet owners who had taken their pets to a veterinarian who was also a member of the AAHA.

One of the most interesting results of this survey was the answer to the question “If you were forced to choose between human or animal companionship if you were deserted on a desert island,” more than 50% of the pet owners surveyed would prefer the company of a family pet rather than another person.

I’m not quite sure whether this speaks highly of our pet animals or it reflects most people’s disenchantment with their fellow man.

The American Animal Hospital Association also asked pet owners about their day-to-day interactions with their pets. The results provide an interesting insight into how people are humanizing relationships with their pets.

Here are some of the more interesting survey responses from the 79% of the respondents who had a dog:

57% would want a pet as their only companion if deserted on an island;
80% selected companionship as the major reason for having a pet;
72% said that affection is their pets’ most endearing trait;
79% give their pets presents on holidays or birthdays;
33% talk to their pets on the phone or through the answering machine;
62% often sign letters or cards that include both their name and their pet’s name;
55% consider themselves a mom or dad to their pets;
94% believe their pet has humanlike personality traits;
50% thought their pet listened better than their spouse did;
34% said their pet enjoyed watching TV, mostly animal planet, followed by cartoons, then sports;
100% said they talk to their pet;
97% felt they knew what their pet was saying;.
78% speak for their pets, speculating on what there pet would say if it could talk;
63% acquired their dog when it was less than 3 months old;
50% did not have a preference for a particular breed of dog while 30% wanted only a purebred dog;
48% specially prepare their dog’s food such as heating it or preparing special meals for their pet.

So the next time someone in your family or a friend criticizes you for paying too much attention to your pet dog, show them these survey results, then sit back and ask them, “Now what do you say!”