Did you know that dogs can get allergies, just like people? Man’s Best Friend can develop allergies at any point in his life, and can react to many different things, including pollen, mold, dust, trees, fumes, and flea bites. Our canine buddies can also be allergic to specific materials, such as carpet fiber, or ingredients in their food or shampoo. Read on as a local Pelham, ON vet discusses allergies in dogs.
The signs of allergies can be a bit varied. Itchiness is one common red flag. Your furry buddy might bite, chew, or lick himself, and may rub against things (including you) to get at a stubborn itch. Dogs with allergies sometimes have skin trouble, such as hot spots, fur loss, or flaky or crusty skin. Stubborn ear infections can be indicative of allergies, as can red, runny eyes. Allergies can also make Fido sneeze, snore, or burp. Sometimes, dogs have more serious reactions, such as vomiting and diarrhea. In extreme cases, allergies can cause fainting, seizures, coma, or even death.
If you know or suspect that your canine pal has allergies, schedule a veterinary appointment immediately. Your vet will likely do some tests to determine exactly what Fido is reacting to. If food allergies are suspected, this may mean putting your pup on a new diet. Once the allergen has been identified, your vet will be able to discuss specific treatment options. These are always presented on a case-by-case basis, but may include medication, specific home care instructions, and/or special diets.
Home care is also important. Vacuuming and dusting regularly will reduce the amount of dust and dander in the air. Invest in a good air filter, and change the filters regularly. Washing Fido’s bedding weekly, using hot water and hypo-allergenic detergent, will help as well. Monitor pollen counts, and limit your dog’s outdoor time when levels are high. (Tip for smartphone users: download a pollen count app to make this easy.) We also recommend wiping your canine friend’s paws and belly with a damp cloth when you bring him inside, to remove pollen, dust, and/or chemicals from his paws and fur. Ask your vet for more instructions.
Do you know or suspect that your dog has allergies? Contact us! As your Pelham, ON animal clinic, we are here to serve all your pet’s veterinary care needs.