Written by Kaydee Barker
The air is full of pollen, and many of us humans are struggling with stuffy noses, irritated eyes, and feeling “cloudy.” Don’t miss the signs that your pup might be feeling it too. *Disclaimer: This is not written by a veterinarian. Please consult with your veterinarian before treating your dog for allergies.
When looking for allergies in your dog, you may see:
When you see any of these, the first thing to check is for fleas, ticks, and insect bites. These are the most common cause for dog allergy symptoms- particularly those that affect their skin. If you find them, you of course need to get rid of any bugs still hanging around. Remedies for preventing and treating fleas, along with soothing the skin are below.
Next, check your dog’s diet. Make sure you know what’s in your dog’s food, and take note of slight changes in their diet. This includes treats and table scraps. If you’re sure their diet hasn’t changed, your dog could still have developed an allergy or intolerance to foods due to “overexposure.” The same thing happens to humans.
If you think it might be the food, switch to a high-quality dog food that free from additives and preservatives. Look at some of the ingredients in the food – dogs most commonly have trouble with corn, wheat, soy, dairy, beef, chicken, lamb, fish, and chicken eggs. Yes, we know that if you tried to eliminate all of these, you would be left with virtually no choices for dog food. However, your dog probably isn’t allergic to all of them (just like people aren’t), and you can look at the ingredients in dog foods to try to eliminate one or two of them at a time. Try to avoid dog foods with all of the common allergens, plus a huge long list of more ingredients, as this probably means there are a lot of additives and preservatives.
With those two ruled out, you can move on to environmental allergies. These may be seasonal or in your house (dust mites, etc.). They are the usual cause of coughing, sneezing, wheezing, runny noses, and irritated eyes. If it’s in your house, an air purifier may prevent many of your dog’s allergic reactions. If it’s outside, try to recognize patterns of where and what time of year your dog is having issues, so that you can prevent exposure and prepare for reactions as much as possible.
Flea prevention and treatment (topical):