A beautiful dog with long hair runs through a green field.

Just like humans, many dogs have to deal with allergies. Though we would love it if our pets didn’t have to deal with pesky allergy symptoms, unfortunately, many dogs will encounter allergens in their lives. 

Allergies in dogs tend to be caused by environmental factors such as grass, dust, or even ingredients found in dog food. These allergens can cause symptoms such as itchiness, scratching, sneezing, and digestive issues.

Luckily, many dog allergy issues are manageable, and there are steps that owners can take to ensure that their furry friends are able to lead healthy and comfortable lives. 

Understanding Dog Allergies

Though dog allergies are typically caused by environmental triggers, there are many types of allergies your pup may have. Some of these most common allergy types are listed below.

Environmental Allergies

Pollen, mold, and dust are examples of environmental allergies (allergies caused by things typically found in the environment). These allergies can cause a range of reactions that include itching, sneezing, coughing, and inflammation and/or redness of the skin. 

Food Allergies

Food allergies are triggered by your pet ingesting a specific ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. Some typical food allergies include beef, dairy, chicken, and grains. If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, they may display symptoms such as stomach upset like vomiting or diarrhea, but may also have itching or skin irritation as well.

Flea Allergies

Dogs with flea allergies are allergic to flea saliva and can experience intense allergic reactions. These reactions can cause severe itching and skin irritation, and dogs with these allergies, left untreated, can often experience secondary skin infections due to excessive scratching and biting.

Medication Allergies

Some dogs can be allergic to ingredients in medications. If a dog experiences an allergic reaction to their medication, their symptoms can range from itching to hives to difficulty breathing and possibly even experience anaphylaxis, which is serious and can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention from a veterinarian.

Contact Allergies

Dogs can also be allergic to certain materials, such as different types of fabric, plants, or cleaning products. These allergies can be difficult to diagnose and, as such, difficult to treat.

Symptoms of contact allergies can include itchiness, redness, and inflammation of the skin.

Common Dog Allergy Symptoms

Pet owners and their dogs can share a lot of the same allergy symptoms. If you are concerned that your dog may be experiencing an allergy to something, here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Itchy, red, irritated, or inflamed skin
  • Consistent scratching or biting at their skin
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing breaths
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

If you notice your pet displaying these symptoms consistently, consult with your veterinarian to find the best solution for your furry friend. Your veterinarian will be able to run tests to help determine what is triggering the allergies in your dog and will use that information to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Managing Dog Allergies

There are different steps that you can take in order to keep your dog’s allergies in check, depending on what factors are causing their reactions. Working with your vet is essential in determining an allergy management plan, as they can run tests that will help to determine the cause of your dog’s discomfort.

Here are some general tips that can help you to minimize your dog’s allergy symptoms:

Bathe Your Dog Regularly

Giving your dog regular baths with hypoallergenic shampoo will rid their coat of any environmental allergens. Additionally, wiping their paws off when they come inside is a great way to minimize both the amount of time your pup is exposed to an allergen as well as reducing the amount of allergens in your house.

Use Quality Air Filters

Using air purifiers with HEPA filters is another great way to reduce the amount of allergens in your home. It can be especially effective during allergy seasons when pollen and other allergens are more prevalent.

Maintain Good Air Quality

In addition to using air purifiers, another way to ensure that your dog stays healthy and comfortable is to ensure good air quality inside your home. Air purifiers are a great start, but ensuring that your home is cleaned regularly and avoiding harsh scents and fragrances are also ways to ensure that your home is a comfortable place for your canine companion. 

Talk With Your Vet About Allergy Medicines

If you are concerned about your pet’s allergies, talk with your veterinarian about what medications may be a good fit for your pup. In some cases, environmental mitigation may be enough to keep your pet comfortable, but there may be situations in which medication is necessary.

Your vet may prescribe antihistamines, corticosteroids, or allergy shots to help your dog battle their allergy symptoms.

Helpful Dog Allergy Solutions

In addition to ensuring that your home is clean and has good air quality, there are other steps that you can take to help your furry friend live comfortably in spite of their allergies.

Regular Grooming

When washing your dog, look for hypoallergenic shampoo made specifically for dogs with allergies. These shampoos should be free from any harsh fragrances and chemicals that could cause an allergic reaction in your dog’s skin.

When washing your dog, you want to ensure that you thoroughly rinse them when you are done, as any leftover shampoo can cause irritation to your dog’s skin. Additionally, combing or brushing your dog’s fur regularly can reduce the amount of allergens they are exposed to, as well as ensure their coats don’t become matted or tangled.

Hair and Nail Trims

If your dog has a long coat, it may be more likely to hold on to environmental allergens. By regularly having their coat trimmed, you are helping your dog avoid as much exposure as possible.

In that same vein, keeping your pet’s nails trimmed can minimize the amount of cross-contamination from inside and outside of your home, as long nails can trap dirt and other debris and bring it inside the house. Also, keeping their nails trimmed can minimize the damage they may cause themselves by excessive scratching.

Physical Activity

Just like for people, physical activity is a great way to boost your dog’s immune system. Keeping your dog active can help them stay healthy and live a long and happy life.

Exercise has the added benefit of keeping your dog’s skin healthier, as well, due to increased blood flow. This is essential because healthy skin can aid in reducing the severity of skin allergies. 

If your dog has an allergy to pollen or other outdoor allergens, consider alternatives to outdoor play when pollen levels are high. Playing fetch inside, working on training activities, or sending your pup to doggy daycare are great ways to keep your dog active while minimizing their exposure to allergens.

Greenlin Pet Resorts Are Here for You and Your Special Needs Pup!

If your dog is having a hard time with their allergies and your vet has recommended regular hygiene as a way to help them feel their best, look no further than Greenlin Pet Resorts. 

In addition to our pet boarding and doggy daycare options, our highly trained staff of pet professionals are here to help your furry friend look and feel their best. We offer a pet spa with a range of treatments, including bathing, nail trims, and brushing.

Not only will your dog feel pampered, but it will also help them feel their best!

Greenlin Pet Resorts has six convenient locations around central Pennsylvania. Book your pet’s stay online: 

We look forward to hearing from you and can’t wait to add you and your pup to our Greenlin Family.