The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Dog Allergies
Does your dog excessively lick or itch themselves? This may be a sign that your dog may have allergies. Dogs frequently experience allergies, symptoms of dog allergies predominantly manifest on the skin and in the ears. Itching, particularly non-seasonal and involving the whole body or specific areas like ears and feet, is a common indicator. Chronic or recurring ear and skin infections, perianal inflammation, hot spots and general discomfort can also signify food allergies. While vomiting, diarrhea, and gas can occur, but less common.
Understanding Pet Food Allergies
Food-related adverse reactions in pets manifest in two primary ways: hypersensitivity reactions and intolerances. Hypersensitivity involves the gradual immune response to an allergen, while intolerance can emerge upon first exposure, notably in young animals. It's important to note that pets with food allergies typically react to proteins in their diet, whether derived from animals or plants. These proteins break down into molecules mistaken by the immune system as harmful, triggering the body's defensive response. Common food allergens encompass chicken, beef, soy, corn, dairy and wheat.
Steps To Determine Food Allergies
Depending on the pet it can instantly change their situation with their symptoms or it may take as long as 8-10 weeks.
1) If the pet is showing symptoms try a pet food that is composed of a single novel meat protein and grain free such as the Satori Wave Salmon Hypo Allergenic Dry Dog Food.
2) Be sure not to give the pet anything else such as chews, treats or table scraps. It's important that the pet is only ingesting one particular diet to confirm that the diet is or is not working for the pet.
3) If the particular food is not working, move onto another protein such as Lamb. Again be sure not to introduce anything else to the pet during this time. A great Lamb formula is the Satori Ridge Lamb Hypo Allergenic Dry Dog Food.
Read our blog "How to Correctly Switch Pet Foods" to learn how to slowly switch diets to avoid upset stomachs.
Substances triggering environmental allergies lurk within your home, backyard, and any space your dog frequents. These allergens enter through inhalation, like pollen, or via skin contact. Typical culprits for these reactions encompass pollens, plant or animal fibers, dust mites, and mold spores. Dogs affected by environmental allergies might exhibit redness of the skin, hair loss, and frequent skin or ear infections. Visible signs may include redness or fur loss in areas such as the paws, lower legs, face, ears, armpits, and belly of your dog. Your vet can perform a allergy test to see if they are able to identify the allergy.
Managing Environmental Allergies
- Regular Cleaning: Keep your dog's living space clean by vacuuming regularly and washing bedding to minimize exposure to allergens.
- Medication: Antihistamines, corticosteroids, or allergy shots might be prescribed by your vet to alleviate symptoms.
- Bathing: Frequent baths with hypoallergenic shampoos can help remove allergens from the skin and coat.
Allergies in dogs can significantly impact their quality of life if left unmanaged. With proper care, attention, and a tailored approach, we can help our canine companions live comfortably despite their allergies. Remember, a healthy and happy dog is a cherished companion for life.