Now that it is spring and your dogs are spending a lot of time outdoors, they can become susceptible to allergies. It isn’t always easy to detect if your dog is allergic, but there are some common signs that dogs exhibit to determine if he or she has allergies. Below are some tips that can help you establish if your dog has a common allergy.
ALLERGIES ARE SEASONAL
Allergies in the mouth and nose are typically in the spring and fall. Flea allergies are most prominent during the flea season. (Summer is the typical flea season in most areas.)
LOOK FOR ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
The most common signs of an allergy are frequent itching, chewing and biting, especially on your dog’s tail, stomach, and the insides of his hind legs, as well as licking and chewing the paws. Inhaled allergies can also result in sneezing, coughing and watery eyes. Vomiting and diarrhea are usually symptoms of food allergies. Hives and rashes can be symptoms of various types of allergies.
If your dog has any of the above reactions after he eats, he or she could be allergic to his food. Some dog foods contain food allergens including corn, beef, dairy products, wheat and soybeans. In this case, talk to your veterinarian about putting your dog on a special protein diet to determine which food your dog is reacting to. Follow the veterinarian's guidelines to gradually introduce other foods into the diet until the allergen is found. Your veterinarian may also recommend food allergy tests to find the allergen.
YOUR DOG COULD BE ALLERGIC TO DUST
If you think your dog is allergic to dust, make sure to vacuum and dust frequently. Sometimes new household cleaners or a new air freshener can cause an allergic reaction. In this case, treat your dog to a cool bath and rinse him or her with aloe vera to help soothe the itchy skin. Your veterinarian might recommend antihistamines or drugs to keep the itching at bay while the skin heals and the allergen is diminished.
Some dogs are allergic to bedding, grass, or plastic food bowls. If your dog has acne on his chin and uses a plastic feeding bowl, you should try switching to a steel, glass or ceramic feeding bowl.
CHECK YOUR DOG FOR FLEAS
Check your dog for fleas as your dog could be suffering from a flea bite. If this is the case, make sure to get your dog groomed, not only for fleas but flea droppings. Ask your vet which flea product would work best for your canine companion. Again, an oatmeal or aloe vera bath can help soothe the itching and provide relief.
I hope these tips help and, as always, consult with your veterinarian if you think your dog has more than just an allergic reaction.
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