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Does your dog have an allergy?

elegant dog posing with blurred background

Just like humans, dogs can also suffer allergic reactions to many things. There are many different symptoms that a dog can display that could mean they are suffering with allergies. Unfortunately finding out what they are sensitive to is not always easy, but once you do get to the bottom of what’s making your dog itch or sneeze, there are medications out there that can help ease their symptoms. However, relieving the symptoms is only the first step, as you’ll also have to remove, or reduce contact with, whatever was causing the issue in the first place.

Dogs can be allergic to all kinds of things, from shampoos and cleaning products to food, pollen, dust, fleas and even cigarette smoke. Dogs can also suffer with allergies that we’d usually associate more closely with humans, such as gluten intolerances and hay fever.

Symptoms of an allergy can include vomiting, diarrhoea, sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes, itching and even hair loss. In serious cases, a dog may go into anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal but thankfully this is a rare occurrence. Of course, many of these signs are also associated with various other ailments so it’s important to always seek the advice of a veterinarian before administering any new medication. If your dog starts to display any of these symptoms or their behaviour changes at all, you should always keep a note of it so that you can provide detailed information to the vet, especially if their condition is worsening.

golden Labrador in a grassy field

Once your vet has established the cause of your dog’s allergy, they will prescribe suitable medication. For a food allergy, this may involve a prolonged elimination diet or a change in brand. Your vet may prescribe an antihistamine to prevent hay fever, or reduce the signs of swelling or hives. Corticosteroids can help with skin allergies and itchy rashes. There may also be some lifestyle changes required, for example, if your dog is sensitive to cigarette smoke then you may have to consider switching to vaping, or going outside for a cigarette.

If you suspect that your dog may be suffering with an allergy, get them to a vet as soon as possible so that you can make them comfortable and happy again and you can carry on having plenty of fun together.