Dog Environmental Allergy Symptoms – Do You Know What They Are? (And What To Do About them?)
Dog allergy symptoms can be caused by several types of allergies. This article will focus on Dog Environmental Allergy Symptoms and what to do about them. Can your dog have allergies? Oh yeah…
Before we get into specifics here is one general list of Dog Allergy Symptoms:
- Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
- Increased scratching
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
- Itchy ears and ear infections
- Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
- Paw chewing/swollen paws
- Constant licking (Via WebMd)
There may also be bacterial or yeast skin infections. These infections may cause hair loss along with crusts or scabs.
Why do Our Fur-babies Have Dog Allergy Symptoms?
Dogs react (just like two-legged people) when their immune systems recognize that certain everyday substances are dangerous. It doesn’t matter if the substances are really dangerous or not. If the automatic systems in the body classifies them as dangerous then the automatic defense systems kick in. Dogs with allergies can show extreme reactions to things around that most people and animals recognize as harmless. The substances (called allergens) can be inhaled, ingested or just be in contact with the dog’s skin. The body’s defense systems tries to rid itself of these allergens and we see a variety of dog allergy symptoms – some are skin reactions, some are digestive reactions and some are respiratory reactions.
While covering the entire topic of allergies would take a medical degree, there are three common categories that we CAN learn to recognize and work with.
Three Categories of Dog Allergy Symptoms
- Dog Flea Allergies
- Dog Food Allergies
- Dog Environmental Allergies.
Dog Environmental Allergy Symptoms and Causes
In two previous articles we covered flea saliva allergies and food allergies. In addition to these common sources of allergens, there are many others available in our day to day environment.
Indoors – mold, cleaning chemicals, soaps, fabrics, dust mites and much more.
Outdoors – pollen, grasses, ragweed, pesticides, fertilizers and again much more.
Here is a nice Rule of Thumb – an allergy to something inside the house is usually a year round problem. An allergy to something outside the house is very likely to be seasonal.
What Can I Do about Dog Environmental Allergy Symptoms?
Your main objective (as with all allergies) is to find the root cause of the allergy. Treating symptoms can be a loosing battle. The more your fur-baby is exposed to the allergen, the more sensitive they become and the harder the symptoms are to suppress. As with many “symptom treatment” programs- human and canine – the solution can become worse than the original problem.
Clean Up Suggestions for Dealing with Dog Environmental Allergy Symptoms.
Water – Improve your dog’s drinking water supply. If you are drinking only filtered water, doesn’t it make sense to give the same quality of water to your fur-baby. Try to insure that the water they drink doesn’t contain fluoride and other contaminants.
Air – Clean up the air in your house or apartment. Don’t allow smoking around your four-legged child. Consider using an air purifier. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products.
Medications – avoid allowing your pet to be over medicated or over vaccinated. Dogs, like humans, need good bacteria in their digestive tract. Antibiotics kill the good guys right along with the bad guys. This has a very negative impact on the immune system.
Steroid Therapy – consider allowing your vet use steroids that turn off the allergic response. Unfortunately there can be serious side effects.
Bathe Your Dog – Irritated skin can often be soothed by washing away the allergen. You really can’t bathe them too much. so if it helps do it. Consider foot soaks when your dog comes in from outside. They may be bringing the outdoor irritant into the house and tracking it everywhere.
Genetics – Your pet’s immune system is partly genetic. This means that he can actually inherit a tendency toward environmental allergies. Check with the owners of your dog’s parents. They may have found a solution that will work for you.
Be observant. If you see your fur-baby in distress, try to determine the root cause of the problem and deal with it. Checking with your vet is almost always advised.
This is one of a three part series on Dog Allergy Symptoms and Suggested Solutions.
Part Three is Dog Environmental Allergy Symptoms and Fixes (this article)
See more on Flea Allergies Here or more on Food Allergies Here