Allergies in dogs

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There is a wide variety of allergies that dogs can suffer from. While they typically become visible through skin conditions, there are a number of other symptoms and warning signs to look for.

Dog allergies can happen just like in their human companions. These allergies usually manifest themselves as skin conditions. What this will do is provoke the immune system of the dog to overreact in the form of a number of different symptoms, most notably a skin irritation. Unfortunately, allergies are becoming more common every day just as they are with humans.

Skin irritation from allergies is fairly easy to identify. Some of the symptoms are redness, itching, hair loss and recurring skin infections from the irritation. The dog may begin to scratch himself more thus bringing on the skin problems.

When looking for symptoms, there are various things that can help to identify if the dog is suffering from allergies. Sometimes, cigar shaped mites will appear on the dog’s skin. These mites are located in the hair follicle and oil glands of the skin. While it is possible to identify what type of allergies the dog is suffering from, it is best to seek attention from a veterinarian to identify the best treatment possible. [1] To identify which allergens the dog is allergic to veterinarians will commonly use a serum allergy test or a skin allergy test. Veterinarians will often recommend either over the counter Benadryl or Zyrtec to alleviate these problems or if the allergy is slightly more severe for example allergy immunotherapy.[2]

There are a number of different kinds of dog allergies dogs may be suffering from. The five main allergies include food allergies, flea allergies, bacteria, contact, and atopy allergies.



Dog food allergies are common health concerns because their symptoms include rashes, itchy or tender skin, gastrointestinal upsets and swelling.[3] The commonest ingredients behind these allergic responses are intact proteins.[4] Protein sources that commonly offend include beef, soy, chicken, and turkey.[5] Novel proteins include any protein not common in dog food, and therefore not a common allergen.[6] Novel protein diets make up the majority of hypoallergenic dog food diets.


Flea allergies, like food allergies, cause redness to the skin, and dogs become itchy, and may begin chewing in spots. The primary cause of dog fleas is the saliva of fleas that irritates dog’s skin. Similar to mosquitoes, fleas suck the blood out of the dog. Sometimes and effective treatment is bathing the dog in cool water with a shampoo designed for fleas. If the dog has chewed his own skin, antibiotics will be sometimes needed, depending on the severity of the problem.[7]


Bacterial allergies can be identified by red blotches, pus pockets, hair loss and a skin formation that looks like ringworm. Typically, bacteria allergies are secondary to other problems the dog may have such as parasitism or hormonal disorders. It is vital to get a blood test to see what the actual problem is.[8]


The symptoms of contact allergies are very similar to flea and bacteria allergies symptoms. Sources of allergins include bedding, plants, or household cleaning products. Treatment methods include special shampoos, prescribed oral form of steroids, as well as natural treatments like omega-3.[9]


Atopy allergies start with itching, biting, hair loss and face rubbing. Other symptoms may be papules, which are small red bumps, or pustules, which are small pimple-like lesions. Atopy allergies are typically caused by fleas, but can also be caused by airborne and chemical irritants, and by many of the common products found in your home.[10]

See also[edit]

Hypoallergenic dog food


  1. ^ Shawn Messonnier (July 6, 2000). The Allergy Solution for Dogs: 1–10
  2. ^
  3. ^ Favrot, Claude (2016). "Diagnosis of canine atopic dermatitis (including food allergy)" (PDF). World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology – via ZORA.
  4. ^ Kennis, Robert A. (2006). "Food Allergies: Update of Pathogenesis, Diagnoses, and Management". Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice. 36: 175–184. doi:10.1016/j.cvsm.2005.09.012. PMID 16364783.
  5. ^ Jensen-Jarolim, Erika (2017). Comparative Medicine: Disorders Linking Humans with their Animals. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. p. 121. ISBN 978-3-319-47007-8.
  6. ^ Dodds, W. Jean (2015). Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health. Dogwise Publishing.
  7. ^ Lowell Ackerman (January 1994). Guide to Skin and Haircoat Problems in Dogs: 14
  8. ^ Lowell Ackerman (January 1994). Guide to Skin and Haircoat Problems in Dogs: 20–28
  9. ^ Lowell Ackerman (January 1994). Guide to Skin and Haircoat Problems in Dogs: 18
  10. ^ Lowell Ackerman (January 1994). Guide to Skin and Haircoat Problems in Dogs: 8